The Union Recorder

December 12, 2013

The Nutcracker cast reaches out to the community


Special to The U-R

MILLEDGEVILLE — During this year’s performance of The Nutcracker, 240 dancers will take the stage.

The cast has worked for months perfecting choreography and presentation of the world-famous Russian ballet.

Even with all that hard work, several cast members took time to visit with and perform for some community members who may not be able to make it to the shows.

“We took several dancers to visit with the elderly in some of our community nursing homes, and we also went to Central State Hospital for two performances at their annual M-Day Christmas celebration,” said Amelia Pelton, director of dance at Georgia College. “For us the performances are very important, but equally as important is the chance to reach out to people with special needs in our community.”

At the Georgia War Veterans Home, a group of Spanish dancers from the show performed and visited with residents.

“I’ve seen the show several times,” said Zackey Sanders, a resident of the Georgia War Veterans Home. “It means the world to us that these kids would take the time to come out and do their performance for us.”

Sanders, a U.S. Navy veteran, served his country from 1961 to 1967. As he sat in his wheelchair, he proudly smiled while he watched the cast members present their dance.

“This is such a nice thing. You could tell the girls really enjoyed what they were doing,” said Sanders. “We really appreciate them taking time to do this.”

A group also visited Chaplinwood Health and Rehabilitation in Milledgeville.

There, Spanish dancers, Candy Cane Dancers and the Chinese Dancers performed their dances from Tchaikovsky’s classic.

“I enjoyed it very, very much,” said Carolyn Thomas, a resident at Chaplinwood. “It used to be that we would have to travel to see the Nutcracker, so it’s great having the campus so close. I’ve always liked dance so it’s nice to see them.”

The cast of the Nutcracker includes dancers from ages three to adult, a real community-wide effort. For the 60 Georgia College students involved, this outreach gives them the chance to bring their passion to others.

“Sharing what we love to do with the residents always makes us happy,” said Shayne Williams, a senior mass communication major. “Of course we love dancing, but getting to share that experience around the holiday season with people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to see it, makes it even better.”

The Georgia College production of The Nutcracker will be presented Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. All performances will be in Russell Auditorium. General admission is $12. Children 12 and under are $8.

To purchase tickets, visit gcsutickets.com or they can be purchased at the Box Office.

For more information, contact the Department of Theatre and Dance at 478-445-8290.