An evening of ballet will close out this season of the "Rhythm on the River" concert series in downtown Columbus.

BalletMet will showcase both classical and contemporary works at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, in Bicentennial Park, 233 S. Civic Center Drive, on the Scioto Mile.

Admission to the event, which is produced by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, is free, and food and beverages will be available for purchase beginning at 6:30 p.m.

BalletMet dancers will perform the iconic balcony scene and "Dance of the Knights" from "Romeo and Juliet" and passages from "Don Quixote."

Edwaard Liang, artistic director for BalletMet, said dancers also will perform "Square Dance," choreographed by the late George Balanchine, considered the father of American ballet.

"It's definitely going to be a full evening for dancing and a lot for the audience to see," Liang said, "but what's really interesting is they are going to see a full ballet instead of excerpts of a ballet."

Dancers also will perform original numbers by Liang, the former choreographer of the San Francisco Ballet.

"This performance, which we've now done for 21 years, is a great preview" of the upcoming season, Liang said.

"This is always one of the most popular 'Rhythm on the River' performances of the year," said Nancy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. "It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and enjoy one of Columbus' cultural gems. Being able to do it in such a stunning setting is really just the icing on the cake."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary