Ballet Magnificat! returns with Christmas program

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

The Natchez City Auditorium will be filled with Christmas cheer Saturday when Ballet Magnificat! performs its well-known program, “Most Incredible Christmas.”

The program aims not only to bring joy to its viewers, but to raise money for the Guardian Shelter, which provides a home for battered women and children.

“This will be year six for us, which is pretty exciting,” event organizer Carolyn Ridley said. “It all started when my co-partner and I were asked to work on the Guardian Shelter board to help with fundraising. The ballet called shortly after and asked if they could help. It was really a miracle in a way with the timing of it all, and they’ve been coming ever since.”

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Ballet Magnificat! will be bringing 31 dancers, who have been practicing since August for the show.

“People can expect to see a variety of really well-loved Christmas songs that are both beloved songs and fun Christmas songs,” Ballet Magnificat! tour director Erin Beaver said. “They can be excited about singing along, but also about the meaning behind it as well. It is really entertaining and fun, but also very meaningful.”

Ballet Magnificat! is based in Jackson and the company is made up of dancers from all over the world. Founded in 1986, Ballet Magnificat! is a professional dance squad focused on conveying a Christian testimony.

Ballet Magnificat! has two companies that tour the country independently full time, but during the Christmas season, the two groups combine to do productions together.

“To be able to do this in Mississippi is nice,” Beaver said. “The majority of our performances are outside of the state or country.”

Ridley said the annual event has taken off and become one of the more popular Christmas events in town.

“By year three, we saw a transition,” Ridley said. “At that time, the word and reputation of the ballet was beginning to make way around the community. Last year was the biggest response, and we expect this year will be our biggest turnout.”

Ridley said that because of last year’s successes, organizers decided to do the program in November once again.

“We’ve done it at different months, but last year was the first time in November,” she said. “November seems to be the month. It was our first time doing the Christmas ballet, and it was so popular.”

Ridley also encouraged people of all ages to make an effort to go and see the show.

“It is so beautiful,” she said. “We want people to experience this. People hear ballet and think it is the typical tutus, but it isn’t that at all. We would just love Natchez to experience Ballet Magnificat!”

“Most Incredible Christmas” will begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are available for $15. Tickets can be purchased at The Guardian Shelter Thrift Store at 624 Franklin St. and The Catholic Charities Office in downtown Natchez.

Ridley said there are discounts available for larger church groups.