Jun. 1—Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the next Hopelands Concert Series will continue Monday, June 7, at 7 p.m. with the Aiken Community Theatre performing a Broadway Review.
Hopelands Gardens played host to the Aiken Civic Ballet's annual Memorial Day performance Monday evening as part of the Hopelands Concert Series.
Aiken Civic Ballet, South Carolina's longest continuously operating ballet company, performed to a wide variety of pieces during the show as dozens of attendees looked on and frequently applauded.
The program began with a western-inspired piece and ended with the classic theme song from Footloose, with selections in between that ranged from Coldplay to music from the Academy Awards. In all, there were seven pieces performed.
Diane Toole Miller, the company's artistic director, said afterwards that she thought the show went great.
"The kids were so excited about getting out on the stage and performing and it was a beautiful day, so I was really pleased with the way everything went," Miller said. "It couldn't have been any better."
Miller also spoke about the challenges that the past year has put on the company and said there where times when "You think it may not get there."
"These kids worked so hard and put in so many hours," Miller said. "When one wasn't (at rehearsal), (the others) were really good about helping that person when they came back. Everybody had to work together to get it done, and they did."
In the program handed out, the ballet dedicated the performance to the members of the United States Armed Forces, past and present, "who willingly put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedoms. Words cannot express our gratitude for your sacrifice and your service."
During the halfway point of the performance, a moment of silence was held in observance of Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the military.
Aiken Civic Ballet will have two more performances in 2021: "Dracula" in October and "The Nutcracker" in December. For more information, visit aikenballet.org.
The Hopelands Concert Series will continue Monday, June 7, at 7 p.m. with the Aiken Community Theatre performing a Broadway Review.