Tuesday, March 29, 2011

                                   ARCHITECT BRUCE GOFF’S CRYSTAL
                                           CHAPEL IN STATE OF THE ART

                                                        By Nancy Condit

            To the serenely swelling usic of Dvorak’s Symphony 9, Movement 2, the 3 minute 24 second animated film flies over the three-sided pyramidal  apex of Bruce Goff’s 1949 design for a chapel rising to the sky on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Oklahoma. This animation is anything but Disney in its three-dimensional virtual reality rendering.The animation by Skyline Ink Studios, Oklahoma City, is shown on a three panel screen approximately 42 feet by 9 feet, each panel being approximately 14 feet by 9 feet per panel, is current state of the art in animated renderings for architects, says Lu Eyerman, director of communications, Skyline Ink. 
Bruce Goff was regarded as “one of 20th century’s most internationally respected architects,” and the exhibit celebrates “the innovative spirit of an amazing architect who is still impacting architecture worldwide,” wrote Ghislain d’Humieres, Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director of the FJJMA in the press release. Goff is celebrated internationally for his innovative design, nontraditional choice of materials and creative ingenuity.  D’Humieres is co-curator of the exhibit with Scott W. Perkins, curator of collections and exhibitions at the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. 

Goff’s works in copies of drawings, renderings or blueprints of selected projects, models and original paintings, with Skyline Ink’s animated renderings, form the center of the current Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind exhibit paying tribute to Goff (1904 – 1983), who was also chair of the architecture school at OU. The exhibit ran at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at OU through January 8, 2011. After that, it moved to Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, which is owned by Joe Price, who was Goff’s biggest patron. It shows there January 21, 2011 through May 1, 2011.

 Still shot from Bruce Goff’s Garvey House, courtesy the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Skyline Ink Animation Studios, the Art Institute of Chicago.

Digital Rendering of Shin'enKan Museum taken from the animated film in the Fred Jones Museum tribute to architect Bruce Goff (1904 - 1982) - Snow accents the lines of this 1978 design for an unspecified location. An adapted version of the design was later built as the Pavilion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Provided by Skyline Ink
            “Architectural visualization is animation that’s dedicated to architecture and the built environment,” said Brian Eyerman, president, Skyline Ink, and an OU architecture alumnus, in an interview on November 23, 2010. “Visualization takes the 2D renderings and puts them in a computer to build and explore the 3D form. Modeling, studying and exploring a building in 3D, using 2D pictures for some clients, up to full animation for others.

            “Through the visualization process is where decisions are made, such as aesthetics, colors, even changes to the form overall, such as architectural intent. The reason why architectural visualization studios are separate from architectural firms is that it’s a complicated, expensive process to keep the technical side up and running. The expensive part is the changing software.”
            The pink-hued chapel, which was never built, was designed to be made of double sheets of plastic with pink batt in between, said Brian Eyerman, giving the chapel its pink color. The roof over the sanctuary is constructed of diamond shapes, with large triangular supporting pillars of construction material. The chairs in the chapel, as the camera shows the sanctuary from the back to the front, finally revealing the chairs, have hexagonal backs and seats. In the center of the sanctuary floor is a Plexiglas hexagon, which also happens to be directly over the underground minister’s office.

           Still shot from Bruce Goff's Crystal Chapel,
courtesy the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Skyline Ink Animation Studios, the Art Institute                  of Chicago            

Seen from the inside, the walls are transparent. The corridors are revealed by the moving camera.

            Outside, Skyline Ink shows nature, one of Goff’s trademarks, in great detail – down to trees, grass, flowers, cattails, iris and water ponds. Even the flowers are individual, and lily pads, with a frog in the animation for another building, are on one pond. The chapel’s two spires and steeple rise against a blue sky.  In other films in the exhibit, the homes are pictured in rain, the Bavinger house – which still stands in Norman and is open to the public – is in a lightning storm, and the Shin’enKan Museum, which is now the Pavilion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is shown in the snow.

            To see the Crystal Chapel film and one of his houses, go to yourtube.com, and request "Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind." You may also follow the link below. All links are full size youtube.com  offerings. 

            This is the centerpiece of the multi-media exhibit, which includes three 60 inch plasma screen screens for animated films of other Goff projects, including the breath-taking, both from an architectural and animated point of view, curved Perez beach House in Caracas, Venezuela, with each higher story sitting further out over the beach, looking poised to sail over the ocean.

            The exhibit also includes models, which are reproductions, Goff’s renderings, which are reproductions, and some of Goff’s paintings.
            The Fred Jones Jr. Museum was kind enough to provide ereview.org with one of the first video CD’s of the daylong symposia held on campus Saturday, October 9, the exhibit’s opening weekend.
Following is a combination of Eyreman’s talk at the Goff symposia, interlaced with an interview done on November 23, 2010, which is indicated by quotation marks. Any further questions of how they did the films may be addressed to info@skylineink.com.

Eyerman is also available for education purposes.  “We really like people who want to know how the process works to come to the studio and we’ll show them around – a full educational program in an hour and a half or two. It’s definitely a career choice – the process of animating or the subset of architectural visualization.”

I had done several other small animations, so this was a dream come true.  I was drawn by the drawings of Goff when I was a student.

Where did you see the drawings?

“They were hanging in the basement of the library. I was interested in them before I knew what they were. They were very colorful, all kinds of geometry, very fluid.  Later I found out that from my professors that they were Goff’s.”

Are you an architect?

I graduated from OU architecture school in 1999, “but, by the time I was ready to take my second state exam for my architect’s license, I was so drawn into the world of architectural visualization and art that I couldn’t see myself going down the traditional path for architecture.” I started an animation studio in 2002, primarily in architectural animation. I always hoped to do something like this exhibit, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped at it.

How did you become involved in the program?

“OU contacted us and asked us if we’d be interested in doing the project. They had mentioned that Price Tower (Arts Center) was involved. They came down and brought drawings of the buildings that we needed – the curators came up with a list of buildings based on building types. Price had enough copies of drawings to do two of the buildings we needed.”

“For our needs – so that we could post them on a wall, use architectural scales on them -- photocopies or digital scans were what we needed. It’s actually easier to do this on the computer for our needs. Fragility was part of the problem. We (also) went to the Art Institute of Chicago to pick out the remaining ten projects.”

How did you know what existed in documents and magazines -- what to look for?

“The Art Institute had a catalogue from descriptions of what they had. Their collection is inventoried – and some of it is so vague that we have to mark it that we need to see it in order to know what it is.” (What is involved in this type of research is) “seeing absolutely everything.”

His wife Lu Eyereman said in an interview on November 18, 2010, “I worked with him digging through some of the documents in research and logistics. Most of what we used and needed was at the Art Institute of Chicago. We had a list of what was needed, and got a target list of buildings we might want to look at from the Fred Jones Museum.  We work with architects.  We know what to look for.”

The Crystal Chapel (designed to be in Norman, Oklahoma) is the first building we talked about.

(He showed the animation, which can be seen by going to youtube.com, entering “Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind” and requesting “Bruce Goff’s Crystal Chapel.” All links are full size youtube.com offerings.)                                      

The process (of making this film) required a number of components: research to go down and see what drawings were available for the Crystal Cathedral. What I was looking for were plans and elevations to tell how tall things are, how components should be within the building, and texture and color. In the case of the Crystal Cathedral, there were no elevations.

So, we did other research from written documents – in magazines (articles) said exactly how tall the tower was, and that’s the thing that really made the project possible.  The number one thing it told was how tall the building was, and that made the difference between whether or not we could do the building.

The project would have been on Elm a few blocks from the Fred Jones. It would have been very prominent.”

The drawing wasn’t specific, so we couldn’t go inside the annex (housing rooms like the fellowship hall, and the minister’s office, which was right under the Plexiglas hexagon in the sanctuary floor).

Here’s (he showed a slide) the interior perspective that gave us the information on doing the crystals that hang down inside the chapel.

(We found a) beautiful rendering from which we were able to figure out the color, the details on the perimeter glass, and we used a standard rule of thumb to figure out how the chairs worked, and for the chairs and the stairs – “you can figure out how tall certain components are based on those measurements.”

And, finally, the photographs of the original model helped us tremendously. This model is just amazing. Of course, we have (a replica) in the exhibit. This really told us a lot about how the ponds worked, about where the vegetation was located, the trees, the foliage, about how the geometry worked on the exterior. Again, without this, this would have been very difficult. (Eyreman showed 10-12 photos of the model.)

What we do is take this information and bring it into a CAD program, like AutoCAD, and we just start tracing. This building has to be digitalized in order to get into the modeling format, so it’s just a process of bringing it in as an underlay and you start tracing.

It takes probably six to eight hours to go through and put one of these buildings into CAD, but the more work you put in at the beginning, the better the ultimate outcome is. The nice thing is, should this building ever be built, there’s the beginning of CAD drawings.

3D wireframe view of the Crystal Chapel, courtesy of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Skyline Ink Animation Studios, the Art Institute of Chicago   

This is how we look at CAD drawings. This is the wire frame. You can rotate it around.

We look at the model with this wire frame. Basically we’re just dealing with surfaces. This is all in the 3D environment. You can rotate this building around and look at it from any side, but as you add and model you define surfaces. This is how we work with it.

This is all basically to full scale. You can measure this model and it’s all to correct height. It becomes a process of defining the geometry that makes up the building.

With this particular building it was actually fairly simple because it mirrors three times over on 120 degree angles so you only have to model one-sixth of the building and then mirror that over in order to come up with the complete chapel.

The shaded model is what it looks like when we start defining materials. When we start applying materials, we basically start applying real world photographs – we start applying photographs of grass for the under lays, for the water, concrete. It’s all just taken from the real world and applied to the scene.

This is an interior view of the wire frame. You can see the crystals hanging down and all the seating, and there it is in shaded mode.  This is what it looks like just before we render the animation that you just saw.

In this exterior we can see the tree line back there. You can see those in the animation, but it’s organized in such a way that you can’t really tell how well detailed those trees are.

A big component of visualization is basically our library of trees and shrubs and grass that we created to apply to the scene. (The slide shows long rows of trees, ground and grass lined up like kids’ games from the ‘60’s, or set aside for model railroads.)
Once you create your library of components, you basically just scatter them around in plugs 18” in diameter and try to match the site plan that you have. This is actually kind of fun.

Another tool that we used is a preliminary cost estimate for the building we found in Chicago. $3,001 was the cost estimate, so that was a pretty good deal.
These magazine articles are another tool that appeared no where else. (They laid) out certain details that we absolutely had to have. As you can see in this drawing, there would have been no way for me to figure out what the section was of the steel without this, and this was in no other publication but in this (seen on a slide) magazine article.

There was a section of aluminum framing for the building and it also calls out exactly how those glass panels work – two layers of glass with pink batt insulation inside those sandwich pieces of glass and that’s what gives it that pink effect on the interior.  And these are just a few renderings (illustrations) taking all that information and putting it together into a completed project, after which we become film makers, and really just work with the environment as if we’re creating a movie.

The music aspect (of the films), which has always been important to us in our work, was an opportunity to explore music with architecture and come up with that combination to create a beautiful environment.

(Goff had an 8,000 record library in his studio. The music played in the Crystal Chapel and other films in the exhibit “was inspired by Goff,” said Eyereman in the interview.)

The grass you see in the scene (rendering) is actually all modeled.

Some statistics -- There are actually ten billion blades of grass that have been modeled.

The trees – this was surprising in terms of early 2000 storage. It would take 10,000 3 ½” floppy discs to hold just one of those trees, and some scenes have hundreds – just a tremendous amount of data.

I think, overall, we ended up with maybe two or three terabytes of data, and once we take all of that, compile it into the animation, it all boils down into maybe four or five gigabytes of animation.

It’s pretty amazing to go from two terabytes of data to five gigabytes of animation
Here’s an interior view – (looking up into the tower or steeple). Basically the lighting software used, V-Ray, is physically accurate with these programs’ parameters. The software is 3D Studio Max, the rendering package is called V-Ray, and then there is lots of Photoshop and after effects, and Adobe Premiere for editing.

What programs were used for after effects?

“Compositing: Adobe After Effects.  In compositing, we don’t just render out a complete package, it’s rendered out into layers, like the sky is on a completely different layer than a building. What After Effects does is to help us compile all of the layers into a final image.”    

How do people who would like more details contact you?

I do want to acknowledge the artists who worked on this. They spent tremendous hours. Everyone slept on the floor and the couch and the bed. The five are Andy Simon, Scott Harban, Marty Law, Michael Ward and Jeremy Glenn…  I forgot my wife Lu. I’m in so much trouble…

  1.                     Skyline Ink Animation Studios donated more than 2500 hours of production time to create 3D computer models and photorealistic animation of 12 Bruce Goff designs.  Photographed by Stephen Chaffin


Monday, March 28, 2011


 The hillside stream at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden, Tulsa.
Photo by Nancy Condit

By Nancy Condit

A year ago this writer heard Barry Fugatt, director of horticulture at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden in Tulsa speak at the Oklahoma Gardening School.  Through a link on the Oklahoma City Museum of Art cinema email, this writer has also been receiving weekly emails on Circle Cinema, an art house cinema in Tulsa.  Lured by the prospect of 500 bulbs in bloom or about to bloom at the garden, mentioned on the website, and the promise of sunny warm weather, I was off.  The weather was chilly, the bulbs had been planted, and eaten a year or so ago, but the trip was a worthwhile.

Linnaeus Teaching Garden
The Linnaeus Teaching Garden is part of the Tulsa Garden Center in Woodward Park at
2435 S. Peoria Avenue
, behind the garden center.  The teaching garden focuses on designs ranging from an English garden to a vegetable garden to a well-planted hillside stream with a little waterfall, and cutting edge garden materials and plants.  The gardens were named for the “father of botany,” Carl Linnaeus.

Without all those pesky bulbs blooming, the hardscape was clearly visible.  The greenhouse was built from rumbled bricks – bricks tossed in a tumbler to knock the edges off them.  Pavers and retaining walls were built from pavestone.

Barry Fugatt, senior horticulturatist, and Julie Powere, assistant horticulturalist,
in front  of the outdoor fireplace made from manmade stone.  Photo by Nancy Condit

The new fireplace was built with lightweight manufactured stone from Impressions in Stone.  “It wasn’t like stone, and it was flat on the back.  The installers from Tulsa Brickworks could plaster it on the back and stick a stone in the middle of the wall (for the fireplace).  It wouldn’t buckle because it was so lightweight,” Julie Powers, assistant horticulturalist said. 

“It’s just as pretty, lighter, and a less expensive way to go,” Fugatt said.  Including the fireplace,  the space for wood storage and the outdoor kitchen, the $30,000 donated outdoor kitchen and fireplace was “a good example for our limited space from six corporate donors.”

The gardens will celebrate their fifth anniversary on Saturday, June 4, with a speaker who owns the genetics right to hundreds of perennials speaking at in the Tulsa Garden Center, and industrial friends of Linnaeus showing their products.

“This garden is the result of industrial friends, and 250 volunteers,” said Fugatt.

For more information, see the website at linnaeusgarden.com, or call 918.746.5125.  Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, with the grounds opening on Mother’s Day from to through Labor Day. Admission is free.

Circle Theatre

Currently showing at the Circle Cinema is
"The Little Traitor," with Alfred Molina

Circle Theatre, 12 S. Lewis, is a 1928 historic theatre for films, direct showings like the recent HD live broadcast from London of the National Theatre’s production of a new play, Frankenstein, limited release films like the recently shown Casino Jack with Kevin Spacey, and the current film with English subtitles The Little Traitor.  The theatre is still being renovated to expand from two theatres areas to three.  It’s a good space for parties.  This reviewer went to one held two years ago by the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers,
The couple I met coming out of the theater “loved The Little Traitor.” Placed in 1948, the film is about a little Palestinian boy who wants the British to leave his home.  A British sergeant (Alfred Molina) catches him, and they become friends.  The Little Traitor is based on Amos Oz’ novel Panther in the Basement.  With English subtitles.

Also showing through Thursday, March 31, are The Last Lions, The Shining, Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries, and Winston Churchill, Walking with Destiny, narrated by Ben Kingsley.  Some of these shows may run longer.  Check the website, circlecinnema.com, to see the next week’s showings, beginning each Friday.  Admission is $6.50 to matinees to movies, and about $20 for special events.

Coming up are two events:

On April 1, The Found Footage Festival features footage from VHS tapes found in garage sales, dumpsters, and thrift stores around the country. “Creators and hosts Joe Picket and Nick Pruiher condense countless hours of training videos and instructional tapes into ‘the most sublime spectacles…’  The interactive comedy has been touring the country since 2004.”

At , April 29 – a Friday, which could be a three day weekend, The Royal Wedding will be broadcast LIVE.  Watch it FREE, as Britain’s Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton are married on the big screen in HD.  An English style breakfast will be available from Queenie’s of Utica Square – crumpets, bangers and so on.

Concessions also offer coffee, tea and biscotti,
with assistance from Mary Donnelly.  Photo by Nancy Condit

The comfortable open discussion and HD screen viewing area is completed, as is the bigger smaller theater.  There is also a concession stand, including tea and coffee.  The largest theater is expected to be completed within the year, and the boarded up windows under the marquee will be unblocked then.

The theater was easy to find, since it was a straight shot down S. Lewis Avenue from 21st – coming from the Linnaeus Gardens, with parking in the back.  It’s across the street from a red brick library.  The phone number is 918.746.5156. 

To join the email list, sign up on the website, circlecinema.com for one email a week.
c. Nancy Condit

Saturday, March 26, 2011


By Nancy Condit

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Kaleidoscope Dance Company Spring Concert Campus Collaborations showcased department collaborations with dance faculty and students, performing a combination of modern, jazz, hip-hop, and  ballet.  The last performance is at p. tonight, Saturday, March 26th at Mitchell Hall. 

UCO’s dance concerts are always anticipated by this reviewer because they bring something new to the stage with each series of performances.  This was a lower key, more introspective performance than usual, but more thought-provoking.  It would be great to see more collaborations in upcoming concerts, coupled with the well-know Kaleidoscope energy   The most memorable collaborations were “Simply Beatrice,” “Still,” and “Quiddity.”  The concert was the idea of Tina Kambour, assistant chair of dance.

“Sincerely Beatrice,” choreographed by  Robyn Pasternack, was a lovely barefoot, demi-point ballet danced around the grand piano and pianist David Forbat, collaborator from the School of Music, with a DMA from the Peabody Academy.  The composer was not given.  The five women performed a classical based dance, at one point very effectively leaning in a serpentine line against each other, starting at piano bench by Forbat and reclining onto the floor.  They were the nymphs of the music.  Forbat was a pleasure to hear.  “The goal of the collaboration between the Music and Dance Department was to create… a conversation between the two.  As David stated, ‘I suspect we are feeding off each others’ creative energy.  Certainly they are helping me to play with spontaneity – to dance with them, in mind and fingers, at the keyboard.’” From the program.

“The Still Point,” choreographed by Michelle Dexter, was a wonderfully meditative modern dance.  Collaborators were Diane Rudebock, department of kinesiology and health studies, Jacqueline de los Santos, department of art, and KaDee Bramlett, school of music.  Bramlett was also the composer of “Dreams” for Guitar and Piano and a performer, on the piano, with Mark Nokes, on the guitar.  Bramlett, Nokes and Kerry Folsom are also members of the group Quantum Calm.

Inspired by the labyrinth, the piece started with an oval setting of luminaries.  The dancers did wonderful circular moves, both as partners  and individually, exploring standing and floor space.  The music was melodically repetitive, reminiscent of a waltz.  The costumes were split skirted long lavender twilight colored dresses over open footed tights.

“Hip-Hop Time Machine,” choreographed by Hui Cha Poos and Emily South, was a funny view of the history of hip-hop.  The music was composed by collaborators Chris Hicks, Nathan Buchanan and Calvin Green, and Alejandro Lawson (ACM).  Most of the music performed on tape was by them, and included the group Shades – The Immaculate Nathan B, C.Y.?, and Ali.

A tall mannequin dressed from the ‘70s, with a ‘fro of the time, and suspenders on his jeans, tried to learn each subsequent style of hip-hop the dancers performed,  until he found the woman he could dance with, took her back to his place, posed her as a mannequin, and they stayed.

Dexter and Poos each have dance companies.  Dexter’s modern dance company “Perpetual Motion” will be performing June 3rd and 4th at the Plaza Theater on
N.W. 16th Street
.  Poos has a popular dance company R.A.C.E., which is tentatively scheduled to  perform the third weekend in June, with its performance titled ”R.A.C.E.: The Amazing R.A.C.E., when Reality Meets Dance,” with a place to be decided.

“Quiddity” was choreographed by Tina Kambour, with music by Rachel’s.  Collaborators were Ruki Ravikuman, chair of the department of design, and Adam Gault, a graduate student in the department of design.  The collaborative work was dedicated to the campus group GATE (Gay Alliance for Tolerance and Equality). 

The one word that came across in this piece was harmony – harmony in the effective white line drawings and words with the modern choreography and dancers, who then performed in harmony rather than precision groups.  Across the light blue-lit backdrop appeared phrases in script like “Always be yourself” or lists of “Why can’t you… be more like a girl?”  a giant outlined hand was drawn with two yo yos hanging from two fingers, and a balloon from the thumb.

Also impressive was Dexter’s modern dance “Bridges,” in which people walked in a continuous loop across an ever-changing bridge.  As one dancer became tired, another would catch them, carry them, until they could walk on their own, and support others.  Finally sections of the bridge were propped upright and the dancers gave each other a hand up. This was very similar to an ideal life.

For those who are looking for a comparison for the demands on contemporary dancers compared to ballet, while the jazz “Tarantella Suite” was not as technical, it was just as frenetic, energetic and enjoyable as the ballet version 

The dance was choreographed by the late Richard Denson who was a faculty member of the dance faculty from 2003-2006.  The performances were dedicated to him.

Tickets are $14 and down.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


UCO Kaleidoscope dancers
explore cell division in the multi-disciplinary Spring Concert --
Campus Collaborations

UCO’s Kaleidoscope Spring Concert Campus Collaborations dance concert will be presented this week at Mitchell Hall on the UCO campus.  The performances will showcase college and department collaborations with dance faculty and students. The Kaleidoscope Dancers also perform a combination of modern, jazz, hip-hop, ballet and tap dance.  Performance are at p. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 24th through March 26th. 

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Richard Denson, who was on the UCO dance faculty from 2003 – 2005, and will feature Denson’s “Tarantella” as the finale.

The multi-disciplinary approach is the idea of Tina Kambour, assistant director of the UCO dance department.  The concert will feature unique collaborations between UCO faculty members, who teach such diverse topics as science graphic design, music and theatre arts. 

“Choreographers are inspired by a wide array of sources, including stories, nature, art and architecture, however, they often do not have the opportunity to work with colleagues from the full range of the scholarly spectrum,” Kambour said in the press release.

“Quiddity,” a dance about recognizing one’s own individuality, is the result of Kambour’s collaboration with design chair Ruki Ravikumar and graduate design student Adam Gault.  Ravikumar said she hopes the audience will see the merging of movement and design as a feast for the eyes.  “Adam and I have designed a continuous visual narrative with animated text and simple illustrations that will serve as a backdrop for the dancers.”

“Sex Cells” explores the process of cell division and DNA formation.  Choreographed by Jill Priest, dance education degree coordinator, the piece also has as collaborators Brooke Stabler, assistant professor of biology, and Samuel Magrill, professor of music and composer-in-residence, who is providing the original music.

Other faculty member collaborators come from kinesiology and health studies – which includes the dance department, and art and the academy of contemporary music (ACM@UCO).

Chris Hicks, director of academic operations at ACM@UCO, well known as a local guitarist and saxophone player who toured with Reba McEntire’s band for five years, will play for the dance “Hip Hop Time Machine.”

Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-UCO students, and $4 for UCO students.  To reserve tickets, call the Mitchell Hall Box Office at 974.3375.
---By Nancy Condit from UCO sources

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ailey's Solomon Dumas
Photo by Eduardo Patino
By Nancy Condit

This Saturday, March 26th at 8 p. the nationally ranked Ailey II Dance Company will close Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC), Inc.’s 40th season in the new Douglass High School auditorium, 900 Martin Luther King.

Ailey II embodies Alvin Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people using the beauty and humanity of the African American heritage and other cultures to unite people of all races, ages and backgrounds.  From the press release.

“BLAC, Inc.’s annual season of performing arts includes music (jazz, blues, classical, old school, gospel and spiritual), dance and theater.  Our season offerings are the most diverse of any arts organization and so is our programming, including history, heritage and cultural projects,” said Anita Arnold, executive director to
dance, art & OKC.blogspot.com.

Why does BLAC offer dance performances as part of their season?

“BLAC, Inc. supports dance because it is art, it is an art form that is expression in motion, people love it, it can be very spiritual as any other art form, and I like it.”

Tickets are $30 for general admission and $60 for reserved seating and the VIP reception.
For group discounts, senior and student discounts, contact BLAC, Inc. at 524-3800.  Tickets are on sale now from BLAC, Inc. or the following ticket outlets: Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Haircare, KM66, or Learning Tree Toy Store.

c. Nancy Condit

Monday, March 21, 2011


OKC Ballet dancer Anton Iakolev
in "Mozart's Requiem" 

By Nancy Condit

Three of Oklahoma City’s major arts agencies are collaborating to present Mozart’s Requiem for the first time in Oklahoma this Saturday, March 26 at 8 p, and Sunday, March 27 at 2 p. at the Civic Center Music Hall.  The OKC Philharmonic, the Canterbury Choral Society and the OKC Ballet will present the Requiem.
The final performances of the OKC Ballet will include a classic piece and a new work with multiple dance styles.

“Because the evening starts with Paquita Grand Pas Classique and then continues after an intermission into Mozart’s Requiem, the audience will see two distinctly different styles within one evening of dance,” wrote Mills to dance, art & okc.blogspot.com.

Paquita showcases 17 of our company dancers in various pas de deux’s, pas de trios, and solo variations along with group dances.  Paquita is classical ballet from the Russian Imperial period that became popular in Russia during the mid half of the 19th century.

“Within my Mozart’s Requiem, because the piece is nearly one hour, and because I often use different styles of movement to evoke different emotions, there are choreographic styles ranging from contemporary ballet to modern dance, including a section using aerial dance.”

The program begins with a classical, one-act ballet, Paquita Grand Pas Classique, choreographed by Marius Petipa, with scores by composers including Minkus, Drigo and Delibes.

Mozart’s Requiem evolved into a stage production under Robert Mills’ artistic direction after Dr. Randi von Eliefson, Canterbury Choral Society’s artistic director, was inspired, and approached Mills with the idea of a collaborative production with the OKC Philharmonic and the ballet.  The music is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor. The Canterbury Choral Society and the OKC Philharmonic will be directed by Eliefson.
 The work took Mills two years.

“Audiences can expect an exceptional moving performance that takes its inspiration not only from the Requiem’s actual, spoken work, to be sung by the Canterbury choir, but also from the idea that, during the process of writing the commissioned piece for the death of someone he didn’t know, Mozart was haunted by feelings of his own imminent death, which occurred before he completed the requiem.  Other composers later finished the piece,” Mills said in the press release.

Tickets are $29 to $54.  Information about purchasing them is online at www.okcballet.com.
c. by Nancy Condit

 Michael Flatley in "Lord of the Dance" - the movie

The movie Lord of the Dance is now playing in Shawnee. The New York Times gives it a mixed review, warning that the excitement of the live performance doesn’t make it from the arena to the screen, and that there are few long shots. However, there are apparently many shots of the feet. The Seatle Times likes Michael Flatley's dancing in the 15th anniversary show of the groundbreaking original.  Look for a Las Vegasy production.

The only place this writer could find the 3D movie showing is at Carmike Cinema Center 8 in Shawnee, 3031 N. Harrison, which is one mile south of I 40 on Harrison. Show times through Thursday are at and p. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for children. The box office opens at 5 p. with a phone number of 275-7511. Note: It did play on St. Patrick’s Day at Tinseltown, but is gone now.
-- Nancy Condit

Sunday, March 20, 2011


By Nancy Condit

OCU’s recent Spring Show in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium by the 140 member American Spirit Dance Company was highly enjoyable. The dance programs at the university prepare their students to make a living in dance, so it’s no surprise that the program spanned 80 years of Broadway style dance, from jazz to tap to lyrical to demi-point ballet.

One of the evening’s highlights was “Sing, Sing, Sing,” with choreography after Bob Fosse, reconceived by Tiffany van der Merwe, composed by Louis Prima. To the beat of the tom toms the dancers gathered together and broke out as the brass cut in. Their figures were cat-like hunches with dropped hands, and they leapt with curved bodies.
The timing was great, as were the variety, content and classic moves.

“Why God Why,” choreographed by Jo Rowan, who is also head of the dance department, was a memorable bare foot ballet. Even though it was placed in Viet Nam, with soldiers parted from the women they had come to love, the U.S. seems to be so involved in war that the green shadows of theatrical lighting for jungle were mentally interchangeable with desert, and the dancers were the same age as some of the soldiers in the Middle East. The contemporary feel to the dance was increased by moves like the lift of one soldier’s partner by his knees and hands. There was another good lift as the other soldier lifted his partner up while she extended her legs in a straight up split.

The jazz “Change of Fate,” choreographed by Kari Shaw, music by Kathrin de Boer, Ricky Fabulous, and D. J. Modest, was a constantly moving very rhythmic dance.

The evening led off with the enjoyable tap “Where’s My Gal?,” choreographed by Patricia Oplotnik, music by Handerson, Lewis and Young. “Strut,” with choreography by Brian Marcum, composed by Dioguardia, Lambert and Wells, was a great pulsing music video number in good fun with the women in black dresses, and the master of ceremonies in satin purple pants, lime green shirt, and a top hat with a plume.

“Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” choreographed by Diana Brooks, and composed by Irving Berlin, followed singer Tony Bennett’s lead. The cool tap number effectively used small, rapid steps. The lyrical “Georgia” – “Georgia on My Mind,” choreographed by Kelli Stevens, composed by M. Carmichael and S. Gorreli, was an effective mood dance that drew the audience into it. The dancers wore earth-toned full floor length skirts.

Particularly enjoyable was the humor in two dances. As much as this reviewer dislikes women shown as dingbats, and as far back as it sets the perception of women, the “Bushel and a Peck,” choreographed by Kelli Stevens, composed by F. Loesser, tap number with “Miss Adelaide’s Hot Hot Hot Hot Chickies,” dressed in bright yellow and feather head dresses, was funny. The Busby Berkeley style formations and the kick line was accented with poses of angled knees, and should come in useful in the continual reinvention of past musicals – it’s bread and butter. Truly funny was “Fit as a Fiddle,” choreographed by Patricia Oplotnik, composed by Huffman, Goodfest and Freed. The hot tap number was performed in ‘80’s style workout leotards, including spats on the women, in fluorescent pastels.

The costumes, by Melanie Shelley, were colorful, playful, and varied.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Saturday, March 12th, 7-10 pm

IAO' fundraiser Money Talks, Art Walks will be held from 7-10 pm at the IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan.

The fast-paced random drawing give people the opportunity to add affordable art to their collections. 
Two hundred works on paper and 3 D -- paper, etc., created by emerging, mid-career and established
Oklahoma artists will be up in the gallery.  All the works are avail for $50 to $100.

Here’s the catch: all of the artwork will be hung with no title information and the artist of each piece will be identified only after that work has been sold; all the artwork is available for essentially the same price, and patrons can acquire work only through the ‘luck of the draw.’
Admission to the fundraising event is $10, with hors d’oeurves provided by Jazmo'z Bourbon St. Cafe and sweets provided by 105degrees. Proceeds from the event support year-round programming at Individual Artists of Oklahoma.
From IAO sources

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Solar plate etchings by
Jennifer Lynch 

The [Press] at Untitled will present an artist talk, and meet and greet with visiting New Mexico artist Jennifer Lynch on March 10th at 6 pm. A chemical free alternative to traditional etching and relief printing,  solar plate etching uses a light sensitive polymer surface on a steel backing, water and ultra-violet light as modes for creating traditional intaglio or relief prints. Lynch will give insight into the unique, non-toxic printmaking processes she uses to create her dynamic work. The artist talk is open to the public and admission is free.

In addition, Lynch is leading a three-day Solar Plate Etching workshop in the [Press] at Untitled March 11 - 13, 9am - 5.  Her work is on display in [Artspace] at Untitled's current exhibition The Print.  The three-day workshop is $350 plus an $80 materials fee. Enrollment is open and space is limited.

The Print exhibit, from Untitled's permanent collection, including photograps from the recently acquired Photographic Society of America, is up through this Saturday, March 12th.  Admission is free, and gallery hours are 10 - 5 Tuesday through Friday, and 10 to 4 Saturday. 

For more information about [Press] at Untitled programming or to register for the Solar Plate Etching workshop, call 405.815.9995 or email press@artspaceatuntitled.org.

From [Artspace] at Untitled sources, image provided

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


"King of Birds" digital pigment print photograph
by Kahn & Selesnick, 2008. Photo c. by Nancy Condit

[Artspace} at Untitled continues its show The Print through this Saturday, March 12, from its collection of prints, both from plate prints to digital process prints, and prints from the recently acquired Photographic Society of America’s collection of nearly 5,000 prints.

Left, "Untitled," ca. l950's, Bramoil,
right, "Othello," 1949, color pigment,
both by William Mortenson
Photo c. by Nancy Condit

The exhibit includes prints from Robert Rauschenburg to Kiki Smith and a wide variety of processes, including state of the art digital pigment prints by Kahn & Selesnick and Jason Middlebrook.
The prints included those which used to be created by transferring ink from a matrix or through a prepared screen to a sheet of paper or other material, resulting in an impression, to today’s prints that include the rise of “digital” printing techniques, which is transforming the medium and the use of new materials for prints, writes Jon Burris, executive director.
This show sets the tone for Untitled’s programming for the coming year – works on paper, primarily printmaking and photography with a variety of workshops, lectures and exhibits.
The [Press] at Untitled was created by [Artspace] at Untitled’s founder, Laura Warriner, who is also a printmaker.  On the second floor of the building is a 4,000 square foot studio, fully equipped to handle production for a variety of printmaking processes and to accommodate students and visiting artists.
Hours are Tuesday – Friday 10 to 6, and Saturday . The address is
1 N.W. 3rd Street
From [Artspace] at Untitled sources.  Photos taken by and c. by Nancy Condit

Sunday, March 6, 2011

                                         Tap Dancer Debbi Allen to be honored by OCU


Tap dancer Debbi Dee will be honored by Oklahoma City University as a Living Treasure in American Dance Award during its upcoming Spring Show.  The award has been given by the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management for the past several years. 
OCU’s American Spirit Dance Company will present its annual Spring Show at March 10, and 11, and on March 12 at and .  The 140 member company will celebrate American dance from Hollywood to Broadway in the high-energy revue.  Dee will be honored during the March 12 performance.  The writer of this blog believes the award will be presented at , but was unable to confirm it before posting.
“Debbi Dee and I have been on tour together, so I have known her for many years and have shared both the stage and the studio with her,” said OCU dance department chair Jo Rowan.  “She speaks to the audience through her tap shoes with clarity and dynamics and she holds the audience with the same charisma that she brings to her tap classes.”
Dee is often referred to as a “teacher’s teacher” because of her reputation as a technician and dynamic stylist.  The “Debbi Dee Tap Intensive” is recognized by Dance Teacher as a higher education course for teachers.  Dee has performed professionally as a soloist on Broadway, at Lincoln Center, in Las Vegas and at USO shows, as well as on television and in movies.
Dee is a protégé of Henry LeTang and cherishes working side by side with him.
Spring Show tickets are $20.  To purchase tickets call 208.5227.
From OCU

                    "Revelations" may or may not be done in OKC.  Taken from the web


BLAC, Black Liberated Arts Center, will present Ailey II, an Alvin Ailey dance company, in performance at 8 pm, Saturday, March 26 at the newly renovated Douglass High School, 900 N. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tickets are $30 general admission, and $60 for reserved seating and the VIP reception.  For group, senior and student discounts contact BLAC, Inc. at 524.3800. Ticket outlets are Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Haircare, KM66, Learning Tree Toy Store, and BLAC, Inc.


The world premiere of Mozart’s Requiem ballet, choreographed by artistic director Robert Mills, with the Canterbury Choral Society and the OKC Philharmonic – under the direction of Dr. Randi Von Ellfeson, will be presented at Saturday, March 26, and at , Sunday March 27 at the Civic Center Music Hall. The music is Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor.  A costume display and lecture will be held at before the Saturday performance, and a young people’s fun and informative guide to ballet at before the Sunday performance.  Opening the program will be “Paquita Grand pas Classique,” choreography by Petipa, and composers including Minkus, Dringo, and Delibes.
Tickets are from $29 to $54, and can be purchased online at http://www.okcballet.com/,  or by calling  848.TOES, or 297.2264.
From OKC Ballet


The UCO Kaleidoscope Dancers will partner with other departments, programs and professors to present multidisciplinary concerts at , Thursday through Saturday, March 24th and 26th.  The company is a mix of modern, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and tap dance.  The concerts will be at Mitchell Hall.  Ticket information was not available at the time of posting.
From UCO

                         Dancing 100 foot pecan trees in winter in Les and Pat Imboden's
100 year old pecan grove in Stillwater