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Iconic 'Nutcracker' ballet dances into town
The Gainesville Ballet Company and visiting professional dancers will perform the annual production of “The Nutcracker” in two weeks in the Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University in Gainesville.

‘The Nutcracker’
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6
Where: Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 500 Washington St., Gainesville
Cost: $18 adults and $12 children
More info: 770-532-4241

The holidays are arriving and bringing traditions loved by all with them.

This season, the Gainesville Ballet Company will once again whisk its audience off to a magical world filled with sugar plum fairies, snow-covered forests, international dancers and a love story for the holidays with its production of “The Nutcracker.”

“The company has a lot of strong high school and college dancers this year (who) have been working very hard since August,” said Diane Callahan, founding artistic director of the Gainesville Ballet Company.

School children will have the chance to meet some of the cast members after the school matinees.

“We have over 80 cast members this year, and many of them are little dancers (who) have been learning dances since July,” Callahan said. 

The youngest cast member for “The Nutcracker” is 7 years old. She will dance alongside college dance majors from across Georgia as well as many professional dancers.

And one of Callahan’s students is returning to the production as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

“She has been working with the second company of the Atlanta Ballet, and we are very excited for her to join us,” she said.

Callahan choreographs the creative dances every year.

“We don’t do exactly what the Atlanta Ballet Company does,” she said. “We’ve taken a lot of liberties with our show. … There will be a very interesting first act with a lot of dancing in it with the older dancers.”

The sparkling costumes, bright music, articulate dancing and iconic storyline will wow children during school matinees at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Dec. 3 and 4. Then the ballet will open its doors for public performances at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6 in Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University, 500 Washington St., Gainesville.

Tickets begin at $18 for adults and $12 for children. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and for seniors 55 and older. Tickets may be purchased at the theater door or by calling at 770-532-4241. The box office is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Nov. 25. If buying tickets at the door, it is advised to arrive one hour before showtime.

“We’re selling out of tickets fast, and it’s only been a few days since we opened the box office,” Callahan said. “I advise everyone to buy their tickets soon.

“I believe that it is going to be the best ‘Nutcracker’ ballet we’ve ever performed,” she said.