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Gainesville Ballets Nutcracker a timeless, enchanting holiday tale
Visions of sugar plum fairies will grace stage at Pearce Auditorium
The Gainesville Ballet will present its annual production of "The Nutcracker" Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium. - photo by Tom Reed

The Nutcracker

presented by the Gainesville Ballet

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 500 Washington St., Gainesville

How much: $18-$26 adults, $14-$22 seniors, $12-$18 children

Contact: 770-532-4241,

Maybe it’s the twinkle of light reflecting off of sequined costumes. Maybe it’s the energy in the dancers’ performance. Or maybe it’s just the story itself.

Whatever the reason, The Gainesville Ballet Company’s production of “The Nutcracker” is a tried-and-true herald of the Christmas season.

Nearly 70 dancers will bring the traditional holiday story to life on the stage at Pearce Auditorium, with performances from Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-2. Tickets can be purchased at the Pearce Auditorium box office or by calling 770-532-4241.

The dancers often perform for an audience of several hundred spectators.

Diane Callahan, artistic director of the Gainesville Ballet Company, said the production is so well received because the classic story is so cheerful and recognizable.

“These days life is so difficult and hard. This gives people a time to forget that and just be happy,” Callahan said.

The company has graced Gainesville with the production for more than 25 years.

When the production was originally choreographed, some changes were made to the first act that includes a large party scene.

The Gainesville version of the production is somewhat different with Clara, the lead child, venturing into an enchanted forest where she meets different characters. The second act stays closer to the original storyline.

The cast is made up of dancers with varying levels of experience including, college dance majors, professional dancers and the “littlest angels.”

The littlest angels are as young as 7 and began practicing for their roles in July. They are double cast to ensure they all get an opportunity to shine.

Callahan said there are several “second generation” dancers among the younger dancers whose parents were once a part of the company.

The family production is sure to be even more memorable for families in the coming years as more second generations make their way to the stage.

Which, after all, is exactly what the Nutcracker is all about — family and the joy of the Christmas season.