By Traci Chapman
Central Oklahoma Ballet – with the help of some local faces – brought Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” to life over the Dec. 4-5 weekend in two Yukon performances.
The 26th annual Christmas holiday production, presented by Central Oklahoma Ballet, returned after a 2020 pandemic-necessitated hiatus, to large audiences that flocked to Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave.
The ballet is perhaps more than anything a collaboration – between dancers from across the country and the globe, area performers that included Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby, Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney and civic leaders Maggie Fuchs, Larry Taylor and Ginger LaCroix, who have performed in the annual production since its first showing in 1994.
Former Canadian County Commissioner Phil Carson also took to the boards for this year’s performance; he is also one of Central Oklahoma Ballet Company’s board members.
Board President Allie Overton said Sunday her own association with the production began when she took her own child to see “The Nutcracker;” over the years, a “mom volunteering backstage” led to more and more in-depth roles for the Yukon resident who now helms the organization.
COB is a nonprofit in existence for 27 years, performing Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic for 26 of those.
Auditions for corps roles took place in August. Professional guest artists included Marian Faustino, who played Clara; Kevin Hernandez portrayed the Nutcracker, while Kara Troester Blythe was the Snow Queen and Miranda Montes de Oca was the Sugar Plum Fairy.
In addition to area officials, several local dancers also performed during the two-day run.
Debra Doran-Vossen, who has operated her dance studio in Yukon for more than 30 years, is Central Oklahoma Ballet Company’s artistic director. She has studied locally and internationally, including with the Royal Dublin City Ballet in Ireland.
Doran-Vossen has also directed Yukon Variety Show, which benefitted Yukon Public Schools Foundation for Excellence and Yukon Mobile Meals.
Oklahoma Community Orchestra, led by conductor Dr. Irv Wagner, performed the classic score. About 70 musicians perform in the orchestra.