Encore! Performing Society to dance tribute to Oklahoma’s 5 Indian ballerinas

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/02/2016 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Encore! Performing Society will present the Louis Ballard Ballet “The Four Moons” as a tribute to Oklahoma’s five Native American ballerinas at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 3 at Northeastern State University’s Center for Performing Arts.

The five dancers – Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin and sisters Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief- were reunited in Oklahoma in 1967 to dance “The Four Moons” as a part of Indian Festival.

Maria Tallchief had already retired by that time and did not attend, therefore, the five became four. The ballet, set to music by the Oklahoma native Louis Ballard, a Quapaw-Cherokee composer, consists of four solos that evoke each dancer’s tribal heritage. The Osage solo is dedicated to both Tallchief sisters, thus explaining the title, an Encore! Performing Society release states.

Eleven Native American dancers from Tahlequah, Fort Gibson, Stilwell and Keys will come together to bring the production to life.

Sydney Terry, Emma and Madison Sherron, Hadley Hume, Sinihele Rhoades, Stella and Mena Aldridge, Natalie Walker, Clistia Geary, Reece Cowart, Lacy Ullrich and Kerstyn Thompson are going to showcase the parts of younger and older ballerinas as they show their history in life and throughout the time period of their people, the release states.

Lena Gladkova-Huffman, Encore’s chairwoman, production director and choreographer, said because the original choreography is lost, they have decided to create new choreography for this production. She and Grace Chanslor, second choreographer, worked all summer for their thoughts and emotions to come to life through the dancers.

“It is amazing how we can tell a story through movement and how the music aids the dancers in this,” Gladkova-Huffman said.

Tickets are $10 and children under 5 are free to attend. For more information, call 918-803-1308 or email encoreperformingsociety@gmail.com.

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