The Oconee Performing Arts Society is bringing the magic of the Nutcracker and other ballet favorites to town this weekend.

OPAS will be presenting The Washington Ballet this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Eatonton's Plaza Arts Center.

Several excerpts of popular ballets will be performed this weekend including Washington Ballet director Septime Webre's The Nutcracker, Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen, Spanish dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato's Cor Perdut, other classical favorites, and a sneak preview of Septime Webre's Rocketman.

The holiday season often brings back memories of the classic Nutcracker ballet, but this weekend's close-to-home performance by a professional dance company is just one more reason to ring in the holiday season early with the Washington Ballet.

Several other less familiar, but equally entertaining excerpts will include the elegant, graceful choreography of Spanish dancer Nacho Duato's Cor Perdut which will be in stark contrast with the difficult, athletic work of Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen-the dancers are instructed to be as relaxed and loose-limbed while performing at incredibly fast speeds.

Sunday's performances will also include a sneak preview of excerpts from Septime Webre's Rocketman, a piece based on Elton John's 1972 hit that is not set to premiere until May 2009.

The Washington Ballet was founded by ballet pioneer Mary Day in 1976 and has been directed by Septime Webre since 1999.

The performance will take place at Eatonton's Plaza Arts Center, an intimate, restored theater with limited seating that is sure to bring to closer to the magic of the ballet.

The Oconee Performing Arts Society is a non-profit cultural arts organization that brings top-quality live music and dance performances to the Lake Oconee Area and has only been around since 2007.

In addition to providing the Oconee Area with great performances and entertainment, OPAS also has an educational outreach program that provides children with a first-hand opportunity to learn about performing arts.

On Monday, November 10, over 1,100 children will be in attendance for the kidsGALA, an interactive and entertaining education performance directed toward young children.

This behind-the-scenes look at the art of ballet will include excerpts from the company's repertoir, an activity called 'Make a Ballet' which will put children in the position of the choreographer.

Additionally, children will get an inside look at a men's technique and women's pointe work as a demonstration of the athleticism and training required of the Washington Ballet's dancers.

For tickets to Sunday's performance, please call the OPAS box office at 706-999-1518, visit ticketmaster.com, or visit the Lake Oconee Village Publix.

Ticket prices range from $35-$100 and seats are limited so be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time.

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