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Release Date: 12.07.2017 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Ballethnic Dance Company

Ballethnic's "Urban Nutcracker" Showcases National Dance Talent

Historic Return to Morehouse Marks Show's 26th Year

Friday's 'Community Night' show was canceled due to severe weather. Persons holding those tickets will be allowed to use them for the Opening Night show at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Anyone with a printed or online ticket can present it at the King Chapel box office for all available seats.
Designated seating will go to those persons who purchased the Opening Night tickets; but other ticket holders will 
be accommodated.
For more show updates -- visit www.Ballethnic,org; call 404/762-1416; or see notices on WSB-TV2 ( a Ballethnic sponsor).

Come this weekend, Atlanta’s Ballethnic Dance Company will have staged its celebrated “Urban Nutcracker” for 26 years. And this time, December 8-10, the popular Christmas ballet will go back to its first venue --the MLK Chapel at Morehouse College.

Ballethnic’s Co-Founders and Directors Waverly Lucas and Nena Gilreath are excited about bringing Urban Nutcracker back to the King Chapel.  “We first got the chance to fully mount our version of the traditional “Nutcracker” with African-American dancers and young children who wanted to perform in this classic  ballet,” said Mr. Lucas.

“And just like that first performance at Morehouse – our return to the King Chapel this weekend enables us to share Urban Nutcracker with a broad and diverse audience from across metro Atlanta,” Ms. Gilreath added.

Along with its historic return to the Morehouse campus, Ballethnic also is celebrating the participation of many cast members who trained as youth with the Ballethnic Academy of Dance (BAD).  “We take great pride in now having cast members who began in our children’s classes and then graduated as apprentice dancers from the Ballethnic Youth Ensemble or the Danseur Development Project,” commented Mr. Lucas.

This weekend’s staging of Urban Nutcracker marks our move from a period of significant challenge to major growth for Ballethnic, Ms. Gilreath noted.  “Our theme for the 2017-18 season  From Grit to Grace – celebrates where we are now.”



Opening Night for Ballethnic’s “Urban Nutcracker,” Waverly Lucas’ colorful and whimsical adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s classic “Nutcracker” ballet, but set on Atlanta’s ‘Sweet Auburn’ of the 1940’s.

Awards Ceremony for Lifetime Service to Ballethnic 
V. I. P. Reception, featuring the show’s lead performers
‘Casual Cal,’ from the famed Universoul Circus, will emcee the OpeningNight activities.

Saturday, December 9, from 8 -11 p.m 
Two-Act Performance, followed by Awards Ceremony, V.I.P. Reception.

Lead Performers in Urban Nutcracker

  • Dance Theater of Harlem (DTH) star performers Alicia Mae Holloway andSaverio Pescucci
  • Karla Tyson, former ‘Laker Girl’ and Ballethnic Academy graduate
  • A.  Laila Howard, Ballethnic Company member and Academy graduate
  • Chadrick Jones, a talented area dancer and Ballethnic Academy graduate
  • Terrell Venn, Danseur Dancer Development Project graduate 
  • Rodney Bridges, a Ballethnic Dance Company recruit from North Carolina
  • Apprentice Dancers from the Ballethnic Youth Ensemble
  • Senior Dancers from the HJ Bowden Multi-Purpose Center

Additional Performances, Tickets
Friday, December 8 – 8 p.m. Community Night (public dress rehearsal)
Saturday, December 9 – 2 p.m. Matinee
Sunday, December 10 – 3 p.m. Final Performance

$15 for Community Night; $30 for children and seniors (and for groups of 10 or more); $40 for general admission; $60  for Opening Night with VIP reception.

Purchase Tickets via EventBrite on the Ballethnic web site at


Urban Nutcracker is sponsored in part by the Fulton County Arts Council, WSB-TV Family 2 Family, Georgia Certified Development Corporation and the Chestnut Family Foundation.

About Ballethnic Dance Company
Ballethnic Dance Company is a classically-trained, culturally diverse ballet company that merges traditional ballet with the artistic influences of other ethnic cultures, especially African American. Ballethnic -- Atlanta’s first and only African American- founded, classically- trained professional ballet company -- produces unique and exciting dance performances locally and nationally. Ballethnic was founded in 1990 by Nena Gilreath and Waverly T. Lucas II, a husband-and- wife team, and both former dancers with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Atlanta Ballet. The company’s goal is to inform, educate and entertain through dance.  Ballethnic Dance Company, including its Academy of Dance, is located in East Point, GA.

For more information about other productions and the Ballethni Academy of Dance, visit


Contact Info

Contact Name: Gwendolyn R. Davis

Company: CommunityWorks! public affairs

Phone: (770) 996-6387

Cell: (770) 841-1510