Predominately Cherokee group performs in Nutcracker
Encore! Performing Society Ballet Dancers pose with audience members before their production of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 8, at the Wagoner High School Performing Arts Center. Sydney Terrie (Snow Queen), left, Lacy Ullrich (ballerina doll), Clistia Geary (Mouse Queen), Reece Cowart, (Masha) and Natalie Walker (Sugar Plum Fairy). ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
WAGONER – The Encore! Performing Society entertained audience members with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 8 at the Wagoner High School Performing Arts Center.
Encore’s Chairwoman Elena Gladkova Huffman spoke on the organization’s origin.
“I had in mind an idea of bringing together dancers who’ve had a lot of training with children who would like to experience being in a pre-professional level production, but don’t have access to a dance studio in their little town, or don’t have the means to be in regular dance classes. These performers come from Tahlequah, Wagoner, Stilwell, Keys, all over, and their ages range from 3 to 60. Some students and parents drive a long way for rehearsals and it is their efforts which allows us to produce these large productions,” she said.
When asked why the performers were predominately Cherokee Nation citizens, Huffman said the reason was geographical. “We’re based in Tahlequah, which is the capital of the Cherokee Nation. The fact that over 50 percent of the performers are Cherokee has a lot to do with just that.”
The Cherokee Phoenix attended the Wagoner performance and produced the following video.
The Encore! Performing Society will perform “The Nutcracker” again at 3 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the Tahlequah High School Performing Arts Center at 591 Pendleton St.
Encore! is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, which recently received a grant from the CN’s Community and Culture Outreach. The CCO focuses on the advancement of Cherokee culture and communities.
CCO Technical Assistance Specialist Brad Wagnon said the reasoning behind CCO’s grant program. “Like Encore, we work with nonprofit organizations within the 14-county jurisdiction of Cherokee Nation whose board of directors is comprised of 51 percent (or more) Cherokee Nation citizens and are working to improve the lives of Cherokee citizens and strengthen Cherokee communities.”
For more information about Encore, call 918-803-1408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org