The Great Lion Aslan frees Narnia from the grip of the White Witch in Augusta Ballet's "Narnia" March 23. Courtesy photo
The Great Lion Aslan frees Narnia from the grip of the White Witch in Augusta Ballet's "Narnia" March 23. Courtesy photo

Augusta Ballet takes dancers through the wardrobe and into ‘Narnia’

The journey through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia with Augusta Ballet has been a spring ritual for Megan Furno for much of her life.

Furno started dancing at the company when she was 13, and now her daughter, Jocelyn, 9, takes part in the annual “Narnia” production.

 “Being able to experience Narnia as a dancer and now as a parent has been such a wonderful experience and has created such a special bond between me and my daughter,” Furno wrote in a message.

The 39th annual trip into the world C.S. Lewis created where it’s always winter, but never Christmas will be staged at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center at 1 and 5 p.m. March 23. 

The seed for the annual production based on Lewis’s books of Narnia was planted in Augusta Ballet director Ron Jones’ mind years before he ever settled in Columbia County.

He’d been in San Francisco and found a copy of “The Horse and His Boy,” one of the seven books in Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, lying in the ballet studio. When no one seemed to claim ownership of the book, he took it with him, read it and then read the entire series after returning the copy.

“It was so easy to read. I was fascinated with the story of ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” he said.

When he met his wife, Kathleen, at the Atlanta Ballet, one of the earliest gifts he gave her was the series of books. He knew that one day he’d create a world on stage for dancers to go through the wardrobe and save Narnia from the White Witch.

Formerly called the “Roar of Love,” the production has ben a family affair for the Jones from its inception. Their three children danced in it, and their grandson, Gabriel Hughes, grew up in the production and is once again taking on the role of Aslan this year.

Multiple generations of families have taken part in its almost 40 years, and Furno said she’s glad to be able to raise her daughter in the tradition as well.

Not only has it enriched her relationship with her daughter but her mother, she said.

“From taking her to the studio, to the theatre, to helping her get ready for the performance and watch her light up on stage has also connected me in a unique way with my own mom, as she used to go through these same motions with me, in the same places, just 20+ years ago,” according to Furno.

For ticket information, go here.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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One response to “Augusta Ballet takes dancers through the wardrobe and into ‘Narnia’”

  1. Ron Jones says:

    Wonderful angle for this family event to be highlighted. The relationships the performers have to the story and the value that is added by the family involvement is rich.