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Gainesville Ballet Company to perform the Christmas classic 'The Nutcracker'
Performances Dec. 2-4 in Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University in Gainesville
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The Gainesville Ballet Company and visiting professional dancers will perform the annual production of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at Pearce Auditorium in Gainesville. - photo by Courtesy of Gainesville Ballet Company

‘The Nutcracker’

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2;  2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4

Where: Pearce Auditorium, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville

Cost: $20-28 adults, $16-24 seniors, $14-20 children/students

“I think our ‘Nutcracker’ is the production that heralds in the Christmas season,” said Diane Callahan, artistic director of the Gainesville Ballet Company. “It’s going to be a wonderful show.” 

This year’s performance will feature Gainesville Ballet Company dancers, Junior Company dancers and students of the Gainesville Ballet School along with dance students from Brenau University. In addition, Alexis Arria and Brandon Penn, two professional Atlanta Ballet dancers, will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Sugar Plum Cavalier, Callahan said. 

Many of the lead dancers are students Callahan has trained for years. And the nearly 80 performers range from age 7 to professional adults.

One particularly unique performer is David Arvold, the father of one of Callahan’s former students. Though his daughter Kasey now dances with the Louisville Ballet, Arvold plays the role of Drosselmeyer, the godfather of the main character Clara.

Based on the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann,  Drosselmeyer gives Clara a nutcracker as a Christmas present. Later, the toy comes to life and takes her on adventures in the world of living toys. But before the fun begins, the nutcracker and his fellow toy soldiers must battle the mouse king and his mice army.

With so many scene and dancers, rehearsals began in July. Students worked four nights a week to prepare for the annual
Christmas show.

“These kids are highly dedicated and we consider ourselves a family or a team just like any athletic team,” Callahan said. “You have to work hard at it. Dancing is not easy.”

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 in Pearce Auditorium on the Brenau University campus, 500 Washington St. SE, in Gainesville.

Tickets are $20-28 for adults, $16-24 for seniors and $14-20 for children/students.

For more information, visit www.gainesvilleballet.org/performances or call 770-532-4241.

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