Waverly T. Lucas and his beautiful dancing queen and wife Nena Gilreath are still dancing above the classical stars with the upcoming 24th anniversary season at Ballethnic Dance Company.
Lucas and Gilreath were former classical dancers with the internationally renowned Dance Theatre Of Harlem. In fact, Lucas received the Princess Grace Scholarship at the Dance Theatre Of Harlem.
“Nena and I were dancers with the Dance Theatre Of Harlem for approximately four years during the late 80s,” said Ballethnic Dance Company Co-Founder Lucas. “Our last international tour with the Dance Theatre Of Harlem ended in Philadelphia."
These two gifted classical dancers fell in love with ballet, and fell in love with each other. It became romantic love at first classical dance.
Although Gilreath was offered a classical dance contract with Atlanta Ballet, she subsequently declined the dance opportunity with Atlanta Ballet to establish a dance company with her classical dance partner and husband Lucas.
“After meeting with choreographer Louis Johnson and (Late Broadway Director) Lloyd Richards, we were strongly encouraged and inspired to start our own dance company,” Lucas proudly said.
Ballethnic Dance Company will celebrate its 24th anniversary season on the birthday of legendary civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 15, 2014.
“We wanted to do something more purposeful and we wanted Ballethnic Dance Company to be more meaningful to the community,” said Lucas emphatically. During his brilliant leadership as Co-Artistic Director at Ballethnic Dance Company, Lucas created 20 original works and two trademark full length works entitled “Urban Nutcracker” and “The Leopard’s Tale.”
“I feel very blessed throughout my career to having created the ‘Urban Nutcracker’ and ‘The Leopard’s Tale, said Lucas. “Those are two full length ballets that I have created. I have also created 20 original works.”
Lucas was an Artist-In-Residence at the University Of Georgia in 1997.
Lucas attended Mary Grove College for two and a half years, but left the institution to concentrate on a successful ballet career.
After Ballethnic Dance Company’s 24th anniversary season, Lucas plans to retire to concentrate on completing his B.A. degree in Dance Fine Arts.
Atlanta is blessed that Lucas originated an “Urban Nutcracker” that classically danced in an urban jungle with “The Leopard’s Tale.”