September 26, 2005
It’s a dancing duel. The Augusta Ballet’s number one source of revenue, the Nutcracker Ballet, faces some competition this year. News 12 is on your side with why local dancers are not delighted.
Since 1971 it’s been a community tradition: The Augusta Ballet’s Nutcracker. To get in place for December, fifty young local dancers and nine professionals spend months on their toes so when the curtain rises Christmas comes alive.
Husband and wife team Kristy Tancred and Rider Vierling play the beloved sugar plum fairy and her cavalier.
“We rely on the Nutcracker in terms of ticket sales and in terms of all that stuff to kind of help us sustain,” Rider said.
But this year, those ticket sales could take a turn. The Civic Center’s Bell Auditorium booked the Moscow Ballet this season. That worries Augusta Ballet’s executive director, Sutton Stracke.
Augusta Ballet’s problem is also with the date. The Moscow Ballet will dance on November 29, just two days before the Augusta Ballet takes the stage at the Imperial Theatre.
The Civic Center’s general manager, Larry Rogers, didn’t want to talk on camera, but did tell News 12 he was just doing his job booking the Moscow ballet. He didn’t get the pick the date.
It’s too late this year, but Stracke hopes to salvage next year’s Nutcracker.
“We would love to bring in this group and help them bring in this group. Maybe at a different date with a different ballet,” Stracke said.
But this Christmas, there will be plenty of sugar plum fairies to go around.
“Don’t make it an either/or choice, chose to go to both,” Stracke said.
Civic Center leaders and the Augusta Ballet meet Tuesday morning to discuss this. The Augusta Ballet is upping their marketing this year. It’s the first year they’ll print a brochure. They’re also offering ticket specials.