“It’s better if it’s played straight. If you go for cheap laughs, I don’t think it’s as effective. It really separates them so much from Cinderella,” said Ron Jones, artistic director of the Columbia County Ballet, which will present Cinderella on Friday, Sept. 20. Jones will play one of the stepsisters along with Jonathan St. Martin.
While most of the performers are between the ages of 10 and 18, several adults round out the cast. Renee Toole, former Augusta Ballet dancer and chairwoman of Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School’s fine arts department, will play the stepmother, and Sharon Mayfield, a modern dance teacher at Davidson, will be the fairy godmother.
On Cinderella’s journey to the ball, she will meet fairies representing each of the four seasons and be led into the ball by the Dragonfly Queen and her attendants.
Jones based his production of the ballet on the choreography of Tom Pazik, with whom Jones worked at the Atlanta Ballet.
The ballet company will perform its work at Augusta’s Imperial Theatre to help raise funds for renovations scheduled to take place during the theater’s centennial in 2017-18. There are three phases of renovations scheduled at the theater.
In September 2012, the Columbia County Ballet presented Peter Pan and donated its ticket receipts of about $15,000, said Jones. A grant through the Porter Fleming Foundation offset the Imperial’s operating expenses.
This year, there is no grant for operating the theater the evening of the performance, so the Columbia County Ballet will have another fundraiser, a Cinderella Ball, on Friday, Sept. 13. The ball is a father-daughter dance and will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.
“This is going to be a sweet time,” said Kathleen Jones, who is coordinating the ball. “It’s for 3 (years old) and up. If my father was still alive, I’d go to this. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While it’s billed as a father-daughter event, Jones said if a child doesn’t have a father, another male relative or father-figure could attend.
Tickets are $50 for a dad and one daughter. Admission for additional daughters is $20.
For information on the ball or performance, call (706) 860-1852. To purchase tickets for the performance, call the Imperial Theatre box office at (706) 722-8341 or visit the Web site at imperialtheatre.com.