Visions of sugar-plums

Thu, 12/06/2007 - 4:57pm
By: Emily Baldwin

Holiday performances kick off this weekend

Visions of sugar-plums

With only two and a half weeks before Christmas arrives and Hanukkah now in progress, the holiday season is in full swing. Parking lots are full, shopping bags are overflowing and holiday parties abound.

Shopping, decorating, family gatherings, party giving and party going fill our days and evenings from this week until the beginning of January. These are the things that pull us into the holiday spirit, but they can also deplete our energy and test our ability to maintain the holiday cheer.

One tradition that proclaims the holiday season without testing our patience, however, is also getting into full swing: over the next few weeks local dance companies will entertain audiences with performances designed to lighten our hearts and engage our senses.

While most troupes will opt to go the always-anticipated traditional route with “The Nutcracker Ballet,” dance aficionados will also have a couple other options to choose from including the holiday production “Babes in Toyland” and a variation on the traditional fare with the newly opened Southeastern Ballet Company’s “Holiday Concert with Le Petit Nutcracker.”

Georgia Youth Ballet

The Georgia Youth Ballet (GYB) will present their 12th annual “Nutcracker” performance this year over two weekends. This year’s performances will be extra special for a couple of participants, however.

When they appeared in Georgia Youth Ballet’s inaugural “Nutcracker” in 1996, Katie Herring and Jordan Smith had no idea that they were beginning a 12-year tradition. Herring and Smith performed as elves that year, and over the years they have performed as Gingerbread children, Party children, Clara and Fritz, Nanny, Spanish, Arabian, Snow, Flowers, Dew Drop and Snow Queen. Now high school seniors and in their last year with GYB, Herring will be performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Smith will be performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dream Clara.

“I love performing in ‘The Nutcracker’!” said Herring. “I think every young girl dreams of being the Sugar Plum Fairy, and I was no different all those years ago! I am definitely living out my dream this year.”

“It will be strange next year when I’m not dancing with GYB anymore,” Smith added. “I’ll miss it, but we have made so many wonderful holiday memories with GYB!”

Georgia Youth Ballet will perform its 2007 “Nutcracker” four times over two weekends at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts of Coweta County. The family show performance will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. All tickets for that show are $8. Matinee performances will be held on Sunday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. and an evening performance will take stage on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the last three shows are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. New this year, the Georgia Youth Ballet will have a Sugar Plum Fairy reception one hour before each 2 p.m. show at the Centre. Guests will have an opportunity to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, see some of the costumes and props and perhaps a surprise guest will make an appearance. There is no extra charge for the Sugar Plum Fairy reception.

Tickets are available at Scott’s Bookstore in downtown Newnan, the Centre, Center Stage Dancewear and The Studio in Fayetteville. The Centre is located at 1523 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan, Ga.

For more information on Georgia Youth Ballet, call The Studio at 770-716-9858 or visit

Evolving Pointe Ensemble with Dance Contempra

Evolving Pointe Ensemble, in conjunction with Dance Contempra, will take stage this year with yet another original holiday production, “Babes in Toyland.” The show will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. at Starr’s Mill High School’s Willie Duke Auditorium.

From the company who brought “The Grinch a Contemporary Ballet” to the stage, the story was adapted and written for the stage by Kara Gillcrist and artistic director Paola Jenkins.

The ballet has elements of “Polar Express” and “The Nutcracker,” and is also unique in that it showcases a variety of dance disciplines including classical and contemporary ballet, tap, hip-hop and modern dance forms.

“It allows us to showcase how well rounded our dancers are,” said Jenkins. “It also allows all of our student body to feel as though they can participate in the winter production.”

Evolving Pointe, Inc., a non-profit dance company dedicated to cultural enrichment through performing arts, along with Dance Contempra’s Centre for Dance Education, will be performing the new holiday show that is sure to be fun and entertaining for all ages.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and free to children 8 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Dance Contempra or at the door on the day of the show.

The company would like to thank World Gym and Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. for their sponsorship. With the help of these local businesses, Evolving Pointe, Inc. is providing free passes to 500 children age 12 and under to see “Babes in Toyland.”

For information, call 770-631-0460 or visit

The Peachtree City Civic Ballet Company

Peachtree City Civic Ballet Company will present “The Nutcracker Ballet” on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.

All performances will be held at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fairburn.

This year, the company is the recipient of a Grassroots Arts Program Grant which will help make this year’s performance possible.

According to director, Kathleen Senger, support from the State of Georgia keeps access to the arts affordable and available to families in our community.

“We are honored to receive this award which enables us to reach a diverse community with quality arts programming,” said Senger.

The entire ballet will feature spectacular scenery, lavish costumes, and the beautiful Tchaikovsky score. Tickets are for this annual holiday tradition may be reserved by phone at 770-632-1544.

Georgia Dance Theatre

Georgia Dance Theatre will return to the stage with “The Nutcracker Ballet” in its traditional form this year. Last year the company entertained audiences at Kedron Elementary School with the interactive “The Nutcracker Tea.”

For Jennifer Seabaugh, a 22 year-old professional company member of Georgia Dance Theatre, her holiday excitement arrived during September, when she found out she would be performing the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

“It’s always been my dream to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” said Seabaugh. “The tutu, the choreography, it’s all a dream come true!”

In 1995, Seabaugh performed her first “Nutcracker” with GDT as a candy cane. Since then, she has performed the roles of Snow corps de ballet, Waltz of the Flowers soloist, Spanish, Marzipan and Shepherdess.

Seabaugh was a student of Georgia Academy of Dance and the Performing Arts since 1992 and has been a member of GDT for 11 years.

This year’s performances will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at Starr’s Mill High School’s Willie Dukes Auditorium.

The school is located at 193 Panther Path in Fayetteville, Ga.

Join the company for a magical event and a visit from Ol' Saint Nick during intermission.

Tickets are $15 for all general admission tickets and may be purchased online at and at the door.

For questions and information, contact Georgia Dance Theatre at 770-631-3128 or Nichole O’Brien at

Southeastern Ballet Company

Southeastern Ballet Company (SBC), a new and emerging non-profit, professional dance company, will present their “Holiday Concert with Le Petit Nutcracker” on Saturday, Dec. 22

The dance concert will feature over 50 dancers, including ten professional guest artists. SBC principal dancers and soloists, including Lorraine Davis, Jennilia Taulbee, and Jennifer Hillman will also perform. In addition, a multitude of Classical Dance Theatre (CDT) students will share the spotlight. CDT is the home of Southeastern Ballet Company and trains a host of aspiring young dancers, most of whom are residents of Coweta and Fayette counties.

The opening portion of the concert will contain original modern, jazz and contemporary choreography with a definite holiday flair. All choreography will be set by Yasmine Hassaan, artistic director and founder of SBC. After the audience experiences a more contemporary side of dance, they will be transported by the Snowflurries from Act I of “The Nutcracker” through a magical land of ice and snow. The second half of the show will consist of Act II of “The Nutcracker”—a magical journey to the beloved Kingdom of Sweets with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince.

SBC makes its home at the CDT studio in Newnan, where it trains young dancers, who aspire to join the professional ranks of SBC.

Their holiday performances will take place at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Sandy Creek High School theater in Tyrone.

Tickets for “Holiday Concert with Le Petit Nutcracker” are $10 and are available for purchase at the Classical Dance Theatre studio, 1065 Sullivan Road in Newnan. Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance.

For more information, call 770-252-5515. Find out more about SBC at

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