HAMLET — The Columbia City Ballet from Columbia, South Carolina, will be performing the holiday favorite, “Nutcracker,” on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cole Auditorium.
“Nutcracker” is a two-act ballet based on the beloved story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” in which young Marie Stahlbaum’s favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive.
“Nutcracker has become synonymous with the holidays, and its popularity is due in part to the fact that the story is so familiar,” said Jamie White, development director for the Columbia City Ballet. “Our production of Nutcracker is special chiefly because Artistic Director William Starrett goes to great care each performance season to make changes that keep the production fresh for the dancers and the audience. From changes in costuming, music, and choreography, to adding new divertissements and on occasion throwing in a live unicorn — how’s that for magic, Starrett is committed to assuring that Columbia City Ballet’s production continues to be a source of excitement and anticipation for our patrons.”
Columbia City Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in the state of South Carolina. With a history encompassing 62 years, it has an extensive repertoire of both classical and contemporary works. Under the artistic direction of Starrett for the past 36 years, Columbia City Ballet is renowned for its high artistic and production standards.
“Our productions are often described as ballet theater because of our careful attention not only to excellence in ballet technique and musical scores, but also to our costuming, sets, and scenery,” White said. “We are very proud that Columbia City Ballet has been called a cultural icon of the southeastern United States.”
Columbia City Ballet has more than eighty major performances per year while reaching more than 51,000 people in a season.
“These productions are nothing less than lavish and on par with the very best known ballet companies,” White said.
The dancers and other members of the artistic team are selected for their exceptional talent and ability to tell a story through dance.
“For any dancer aspiring to the professional stage, it requires an amazing degree of commitment to the art form, great discipline, and a lot of hard work,” White said. “Ballet is unique in that it is using the human body and spirit as a musical instrument. It is through this interpretation of the music that we find our choreographic voice for storytelling.”
Because many local dance groups have attended the Nutcracker for previous performances, White said he would encourage any ballet student to focus on their musicality in addition to ballet technique and to hone their body into a quality instrument.
Ticket price for “Nutcracker” is $20 to $30 depending on seating area. Tickets are also still available for the two remaining shows of the 2022-2023 Performing Arts Series. The Highwaymen Live is Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m., and the Motones & Jerseys is April 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $30 per show.
To purchase tickets online, visit www.richmondcc.edu/showtickets, or stop by the Cole Auditorium Box Office. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also call the box office at 910 -410-1691.