‘Nutcracker’ dances in Yukon this weekend

Popular ballet production becomes local yuletide staple

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The Soldier Doll (Michael Requena) comes to life to salute the audience during the opening Christmas party scene in Central Oklahoma Ballet’s 2021 “Nutcracker” production in Yukon. The 2022 performances will be this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave. Visit centralokballet.org for tickets. (Photo by Traci Chapman)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A staple of the local yuletide slate, The Nutcracker will dance into Yukon this weekend.

Central Oklahoma Ballet stages its 27th annual production of this Christmas classic on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave.

The Gene Cranfill Auditorium’s curtain will rise at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday for the magical performances.

“A visual delight for adults and children alike, The Nutcracker is the most beloved ballet of all time,” COB artistic director Debra Vossen said. “The Nutcracker has become a favorite Christmas tradition both in our community and across the region.

“It’s not Christmas without the Nutcracker!”

Yukon’s Nutcracker ballet features professional guest artists performing alongside local company dancers.

They will be accompanied by the Oklahoma Community Orchestra with conductor Irv Wagner performing live the classic Nutcracker music of the composer Tchaikovsky.

“This really adds to our performances,” Vossen added.

Featured guest artists for this weekend’s Yukon Nutcracker production are Danielle Archuleta of Zikr Dance Ensemble in Littleton, Colo., and Joseph Hetzer, Mayu Odaka and Kara Troester Blythe of Oklahoma City Ballet.

“The Nutcracker is just a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season,” COB Board President Allie Overton said. “It’s so important to have this cultural event in our community.

“People will have a unique opportunity to see some of their community leaders perform on stage during the opening ‘party’ scene.”

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THEY’RE BACK FOR MORE

Among Yukon notables who will again take the stage this weekend are Larry Taylor and Ginger LaCroix, two original Yukon Nutcracker performers.

Taylor and LaCroix were part of the cast from when the production opened in December 1994 inside the Yukon Museum and Arts Center (Old Central School).

Since the late 1990s, the spacious Yukon Fine Arts Center has housed Yukon’s Nutcracker – with audiences swelling each year.

Cast members and local dancers started rehearsals in early October at the Doran-Vossen School of Dance, 519 Maple.

Advance tickets for the Dec. 3-4 performances of Yukon’s Nutcracker are $20 each.

Tickets are on sale at YNB bank and MidFirst Bank inside the Yukon Walmart, and may be purchased online at centralokballet.org

Ticket price is $25 at the door.

Nutcracker souvenirs will be on sale inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center lobby. These make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.

Also featured will be a raffle for a 3-foot by 4-foot quilted Nutcracker wall-hanging donated by COB board member Margie Rosson. The colorful piece was handmade by Cindy Young.

Chances are $5 each. The winner will be notified next Monday, Dec. 5.

For more information about the Yukon Nutcracker, visit centralokballet.org or call (405) 354-1743.

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