There is something special about the holiday season. Twinkling lights, the feeling of togetherness, tinsel, excitement … and the Nutcracker! Few holiday traditions are as timeless as this one of a kind performance, and the Columbia City Ballet brings their award-winning production back to the Midlands for another exciting year. Executive and Artistic Director, William Starrett, has created a captivating performance, which waltzes onto the Koger Center stage for six splendid performances December 9-10 and 16-17, 2017.
First performed by the Columbia City Ballet in 1967, the company presents its 50th anniversary production of Nutcracker, making it the longest, continuously running, performing arts event in South Carolina. In its anniversary year, Nutcracker will be touring eight cities across the Southeast. The company’s 29 professional dancers will share the stage with over 150 local children, ages 4 to 16, and will feature not only critically acclaimed professional dancers, but also famous actors including Katherine LaNasa and Grant Show, along with local celebrities, such as WIS’s Rick Henry and Judi Gatson.
“This is a professional production replete with major sets, scenery, and costumes.” Starrett says. “This isn’t just a ‘go to it because your neighbor is in it’ kind of experience — it’s a fully professional, statewide, once-in-a-lifetime holiday event.”
Nutcracker is the story of a little girl, Clara, who receives a nutcracker as a Christmas gift from her Uncle, Drosselmeyer. At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, Clara sees the nutcracker magically grow into a lifesize prince and battle the Rat Queen. Clara throws her slipper at the Rat Queen and saves her beloved prince. The two enter the magical Land of Sweets and where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, portrayed by Columbia City Ballet’s Ballerina, Regina Willoughby. To honor Clara for having saved the Prince, sweets from all over the world perform for her. The celebration ends with a final waltz where visions of sugar plums dance in her head.
Columbia City Ballet’s 50th anniversary production of Nutcracker will be presented at the Koger Center for the Arts December 9th at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., December 10th at 3 p.m., December 16th at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 17th at 3 p.m. Photos with Santa will be available in the lobby of the Koger Center during intermission at each matinee performance. Tickets may be purchased online, at the Koger Center box office or by calling (803) 251-2222.
To further heighten the spirit of the holidays, the Columbia City Ballet will host its exclusive Nutcracker Teas before each matinee performance on December 9th, 10th and 16th, at 1:30 p.m. This children’s event features a sit-down tea, complete with sweets, crafts, goodie bags, and surprises, including special appearances by the Nutcracker characters. Tickets are $30 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling Columbia City Ballet’s office at (803) 799-7605.