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Ballethnic fall season amps up
by Nneka M. Okona
nokona@neighbornewspapers.com
September 18, 2012 10:00 AM | 3358 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff/ Emily Barnes <br>
Nena Gilreath and Waverly Lucas, co-founding directors of Ballethnic Dance Studio, show off a dance move in the studio in East Point.
Staff/ Emily Barnes
Nena Gilreath and Waverly Lucas, co-founding directors of Ballethnic Dance Studio, show off a dance move in the studio in East Point.
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East Point’s Ballethnic Dance Company Inc. has a full calendar for the upcoming months.

The fall season, themed Back to Creativity, will feature a fall festival, as a prelude, as well as “Urban Nutcracker” and “Leopard Tail” productions.

Nena Gilreath, co-founder of the company alongside her husband Waverly T. Lucas II, said the theme is a signal of getting back to basics.

“With all the economic turmoil, we’ve really been crunched to be more engrossed with the business workings,” said Gilreath. “We’re determined to go back to being creative and [starting] a new commitment to being in the studio more in terms of engaging our students.”

Already, Gilreath, Lucas and others teach 42 classes a week, but since the company was founded in 1990, the dedication remains to the most integral of aspects: teaching and being a beacon of inspiration for the community.

Ballethnic’s fall festival, scheduled for Oct. 13, will pay tribute to just that — the community of East Point.

“Our fall festival is a part of our cultural cul-de-sac series [which includes] monthly free performances for the community featuring Ballethnic company, academy and professional dancers,” said Gilreath. “It is a way for us to engage people in the company.”

The fall festival is the culmination of the cul-de-sac series which started in May and features performances on an outdoor stage with food vendors and other activities for the community at large.

November will bring the annual production of the “Urban Nutcracker,” the first official show of the fall season.

Performances this year, as every year, will be held the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nov. 15 through 18.

“We have about 80 performers in the production from age six all the way up to dancers from the Bowden Community in their 70s,” said Gilreath. “It’s an annual holiday tradition.”

On the tail end of the “Urban Nutcracker,” Ballethnic will host Wonderland at their studio as a way to celebrate the holiday season.

Wonderland will be at the Ballethnic studio on Dec. 15 and 16 with trees decorated in various themes.

Performance snippets from the “Urban Nutcracker” will be featured at the event, what Gilreath referenced as “the ‘Urban Nutcracker’ on a smaller scale.”

Also during that month, the company will present an older production, “Leopard Tail,” at a new location — the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta.

All the buzz of upcoming events has Gilreath in a hopeful mindset.

“It is all very exciting,” she said.

The dance company is at 2587 Cheney St. in East Point.

Information: (404) 762-1416.

or www.ballethnic.org.

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