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A holiday classic dances in
Gainesville Ballet will present The Nutcracker Friday
The Gainesville Ballet present ‘The Nutcracker' at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium. Standing from left is Jennifer Venable, Victor Gallupo, Brelin Zimmerman and Monica Glosson. Seated from the left is Sally Justus, Emily Wilbanks and Leigh Ann Powell.

The Nutcracker

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, Gainesville

Tickets: $10-24, purchase at the door or at 615-F Oak St.

More info: 770-532-4241 


Sugar plum fairies and armies of mice will be invading the Pearce Auditorium this weekend as the Gainesville Ballet prepares to put on their production of "The Nutcracker."

The company has been performing the holiday favorite for 28 years, but each year there's something new to see.

"Something changes every year," said Diane Callahan, the company's founding artistic director.

Although all of the familiar characters will be there — Clara, Fritz and the Sugar Plum Fairy herself - audiences will notice a slight variation from the original plot.

"Our ‘Nutcracker' is very different from other company's productions because we have much more dancing. Usually, it begins with a party scene that includes a lot of little children and non-dancing adults," Callahan said.

"We changed the story slightly, so that instead of bringing in other people, the kids in the company have more opportunities to dance."

The Gainesville production on Brenau University's campus will still feature some of the traditional scenes, including the one set in the Land of Snow.

"That's my favorite scene - it's at the end of the first act. I love the music," Callahan said.

"It's also one of my favorites because we have a male dancer in that scene. It's always more exciting with a male dancer because he can do all of the lifts with the girls."

This year, audiences are in for an extra-special treat because the male dancer that Callahan is referring to is also a member of the Atlanta Ballet.

The Gainesville Ballet production opens with a 7:30 p.m. show on Friday. There will be two shows on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Nutcracker will close Sunday with the 2 p.m. matinee.

Tickets for seats in the center of the auditorium are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors ages 55 and over and $16 for children. Tickets for side seating are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children.

They can be purchased in advance at the company's offices at 615-F Oak St. in Gainesville or at the door. The box office at the auditorium opens an hour before show time.