By Conrad Dudderar
Plans for Yukon’s popular yuletide ballet have started taking shape, with three events set this fall in advance of the big Christmas production.
Central Oklahoma Ballet will present the 27th annual “Nutcracker” Dec. 3-4 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon. The performances are highlights of Yukon’s Christmas holiday season.
“Our goal is to bring in world-class talent to our community and keep ticket prices affordable,” Central Oklahoma Ballet President Allie Overton said. “We want everyone to be able to come see our premiere ballet event.
“The Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium features close seating so the audience can really experience the performance.”
The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 on Yukon’s Nutcracker ballet.
“It’s so important to have this cultural event featuring professional artists from around the country and local dancers,” Overton said. “People will have a unique opportunity to see some of their community leaders perform on stage during the opening ‘party’ scene.
“We’re all looking forward to another beautiful season of Nutcracker and all the fun experiences that go with it.”
Several benefits are coming up to help raise funds to cover Yukon Nutcracker production costs:
- The 2022 Yukon Nutcracker kickoff will feature live music by the Gleason/Landrith Band from 2-4 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 9 at Grady’s 66 Pub, 444 W Main. Other highlights are a baked goods auction, raffles of Bedlam gift baskets (with Bud Light signs) and tasty grilled onion burgers. Tickets are $10.
- A “Nutcracker Fall Follies” showcasing Yukon notables and other local talent set 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 inside the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore. Attendees will bid in an auction featuring ballet shoes decorated by local artists. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult refreshments will be served.
- A “Sugar Plum Fairy Tea” from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 at Yukon’s First United Methodist Church, 400 Elm. Children are invited to play “Drosselmeyer Says”, hear the Nutcracker story and participate in a dance lesson with Nutcracker characters. There will be a raffle for an American Girl Doll. Tea, cookies and cupcakes will be offered.
Meanwhile, Central Oklahoma Ballet won first place in the adult division with its float at the annual Oklahoma Czech Festival parade last Saturday, Oct. 1 in Yukon.
Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Nutcracker returned to record audiences in December 2021 after being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
This December, locally trained dancers from Doran-Vossen School of the Dance will again share the stage with professional guest artists inside the spacious Yukon Fine Arts Center.
“They get to learn and work alongside some of the country’s best ballet dancers,” Overton noted. “We’ve already had auditions and the dancers have started rehearsing.”
The 2022 Yukon Nutcracker will feature guest artists from Arizona Ballet and Oklahoma City Ballet, along with live music by the Oklahoma City Community Orchestra directed by Dr. Irv Wagner.
“During intermission at each performance, kids are allowed to visit with the musicians about their instruments and being in an orchestra,” Overton added.
The first performance of Yukon’s Nutcracker was December 1994 in a small auditorium at the Yukon Museum and Arts Center (Old Central School), 601 Oak.
Three cast members from that inaugural season, Ginger LaCroix, Maggie Fuchs and Larry Taylor, still perform today.
Debra Doran-Vossen is the local ballet company’s longtime artistic director.
Visit www.centralokballet.org for advance tickets or more information about this year’s Yukon Nutcracker events.