For more than 60 years, the young male and female dancers of Stoughton High School have enthralled audiences around the nation with their authentic Scandinavian folk dances, executed with breathtaking acrobatic moves. The troupe will perform at Nicolet College Theatre Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
“The Stoughton Norwegian Dancers are always a big hit,” said Nicolet College Theatre Director Jim Nuttall. “It’s their gorgeous costumes and intricate dances, but above all, their acrobatics that make them so popular. They are famous for their amazing feats of movement.”
The group was first formed in 1953 to perform in Stoughton’s Syttende Mai (Norwegian Independence Day) festivities. A tradition was born, and the troupe began performing at every Syttende Mai held in this largely Norwegian community. Jeanne Reek, the high school’s physical education teacher, traveled several times to Norway to research costumes and folk dances to lend authenticity to the performances. Under her dedicated direction, the troupe evolved its unique style of skillful acrobatic dancing.
Through an arduous audition process (last year, 30 students tried out for eight openings in the 23-member troupe), long hours of rehearsal before and after the school day, as well as a generous community investment in the costumes, the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers are not only a source of local ethnic pride but have become the “good will ambassadors” of Scandinavia, touring across the United States and performing at national folk festivals.
Tickets for the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers are $13. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit nicoletlive.com. Tickets also may be purchased by calling the box office at (715) 365-4646, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4646; TDD (715) 365-4448.