Community , Culture

Dance Maker Academy to present the Nutcracker Ballet Dec. 8-9

Photo caption: Dance Maker Academy students perform the Nutcracker Ballet last December at the Constantine Theater. Osage News 2017 File Photo

It’s that magical time of year again when a Nutcracker, a beautiful girl named Clara, a Rat King, and Sugar Plum Fairies descend into the Constantine Theater to wow crowds and excite children with their dancing prowess.

In its second year of presenting the Nutcracker Ballet, Dance Maker Academy will host two shows Dec. 8-9 in downtown Pawhuska. Tickets are on sale at the Osage Nation Visitors Center on the corner of Main and Lynn Avenue, or online at www.dancemaker.net. Adult tickets are $15 and Student tickets are $8.

Dance Maker Academy Director, Jenna Smith, presented the academy’s first Nutcracker Ballet with academy students in the roles. Both performances were sold out shows.

"Last year we were humbled by the generous support from our community and were able to buy 112 costumes, two backdrops and staging for our premier Nutcracker,” Smith said in a prepared release. “What had previously been hopes and dreams, became a reality for our children as they participated in this beautiful ballet event and performed for a full house."

Smith said some of the comments she heard last year were, “Dance Maker has certainly brought the Christmas spirit to Pawhuska,” and “it was wonderful to see people from all walks of life coming together to enjoy a great performance.”

This year’s performance will have the added scene of the Waltz of the Snowflakes, she said. The cast for the scene will include the Snow Queen, eight Snowflakes, and six little Snowflakes.

Smith has ordered one new backdrop and is having two new backdrops painted by local artist, Jason Duty.

“The community is invited to attend this ballet favorite, made famous by the late Osage prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, who danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy under the direction of George Balanchine with the New York City Ballet,” she said in a prepared release. “Tallchief was the first American to perform the role at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow in 1960. This became one of her best-known roles and elevated the Nutcracker Ballet to national prominence in the United States, and the ballet has only become more a part of American Christmas traditions in the 50 years that followed.”

The Nutcracker Ballet with music by Tchaikovsky transports audiences to a magical world of toy soldiers, sugar plum fairies, colorful characters, and a winter wonderland.

Smith said the community may join the Dance Maker Academy's family by attending and by donating toward production and costume expenses.

She said Nutcracker Ballet sponsors are those who make donations for general expenses such as theatre rental, publicity, printing, extra lighting, backdrops, and special effects. Costume underwriters are those who donate toward the cost of costumes. The donors' names will appear in the program every year until the costume is retired, Smith said. One or more persons may underwrite a costume together, she added.

She said costumes needed for the new Waltz of the Snowflakes scene are — eight snowflake costumes costing $219 each and a hand-beaded Nutcracker prince jacket costing $700.

The donations, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to 400 Palmer Avenue Pawhuska, OK 74056.