Thursday, December 29, 2011


Her Majesty Elizabeth I is pictured at a recent Shakespeare in the Park
fundraising, which showed the costumes of Robert Pittengen.
Her Majesty paused upon leaving, saying, "Your Queen loves you,"
as indeed she does, and does Lynn Adams, executive director
of the Oklahoma Children's Theatre,
who portrayed Her Majesty.
  Photo by Nancy Condit

By Nancy Condit

With the year's end comes the opportunity to donate to Oklahoma City's smaller
arts and community organizations, including the ones discussed in this blog.    All of the groups listed are 501 (c) 3 s.

While dance normally comes first to mind for this blogger, BLAC, Inc. (Black Liberated Arts Center) was hit particulaarly hard this year when the touring gospel group Mary Mary was forced to cancel the their tour just as they were coming to Douglass High School.  This was BLAC, INC.'s major fund-raiser for the season.  For more information, go to  Donation information is not available until after the first of the year.  This writer encourages you to be creative.

Dance comes first to mind for this blog writer.  All of these groups are 501 (c) 3 s.
Perpetual Motion Modern Dance is currently raising money to support their 2012 season at Dance Company is currently raising money for a space of their own where they can offer classes.  Their next performance is in February.  For donations, go to, and to follow their performance schedule, go to  Hartel Dance Group's website notes that "Donor contributions make performances possible."  They are also raising money to turn the fifth floor of the Magnolia Building an alternative performance space that will benefit the Oklahoma City performance community as well as young artists looking for an affordable space to present their work to the public. Go to for more information.

Theatre UponaStarDanceSwan involves children in the spontaneous dance of the annual midsummer Fairy Ball, The Magic Lantern, held around Halloween, and other events that are open to all young people. Donations to present events that put flowers in children's hair and give them the paper to make costumes can be made at and clicking on the "Become a Fairy Godmother" link on the righthand, lime,  side of the website.

In the visual arts, both IAO, Individual Artists of Oklahoma,, and [Artspace] at Untitled, could use support. 

In theater, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park is in the middle of their fund drive.
Contact the 27 year old theater at

In music, Brightmusic has presented chamber music since 2003.  Their artists include members of the OKC Philharmonic and teachers of music at Oklahoma City's surrounding universities.  For more information, go to

Two community services are in continual need of support.  The Guild of St. George assists the poor, working poor and homeless with utility bills, prescriptions, picture IDs and birth certificates.  It is located in St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown Oklahoma City.   can be reached at your check for the Guild.
Infant Crisis Services provides emergency supplies and referral services to children from birth to six years old.  Contact them at


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Photo provided
By Nancy Condit

The buzz is that local channel KSBI, Cox channel 7, is
broadcasting Oklahoma City University's annual Broadway
revue style dance program "Home for the Holidays" Sunday,
December 18 at 6:30 p.m. 

The information on their website is a little conflicting, but,
you push a button, and you takes your chances, as they say.

If you've never seen the Radio City Music Hall
Christmas program in New York City with the Rockettes,
or have wondered what the dance program at OCU is
like, turn on the television tomorrow evening.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Photo by Brett Weston provided by JRB Art Gallery at the Elms

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of famed photographer Brett Weston’s birth. To celebrate this event, Julie Maguire, the New York-based Curator of the Brett Weston Archives, in conjunction with JRB Art at The Elms, has selected some of Weston's most iconic images for a special exhibition at JRB Art Gallery.

Maguire, whose career includes art advisory and acquisition positions for both the United Bank of Switzerland and Citibank, will be presenting a free gallery talk on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at JRB Art at the Elms. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Weston’s techniques and subject matter. The gallery talk is free of charge and open to the public. The exhibit will run through December 31st, 2011.
The JRB Art Gallery is located at 2810 N. Walker.  For more information, call 528.6336.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Photo provided

By Nancy Condit

Every once in a while, this viewer will get new insight from an annual tradition. This was true last night at the Civic Center during the Oklahoma City Ballet's "The Nutcracker," with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, directed by Joel Levine.
The understanding was this, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, through his music of a procession, and artistic director Robert Mills, following the choreography of Les Ivanov and Marius Petipas, through his dance, transformed an ordinary Christmas party in an upper middle class Victorian home into an occurrence of majesty. With the orchestral announcement of the procession of the benevolent rulers, the adults took the floor for their dance and moved in grand rows toward the audience. The families gathered had the importance of any other court.
The newest part of the ballet, that also keeps it refreshed for the adult audience, was the addition of a young crush for the 12 or 13 year old Clara, Hans, in the character of Hans, Drosselmyer's apprentice.  In Clara's dream he appears as the Nutcracker and accompanies her to the Land of Sweets.  Mills added two pas de deux for the adult dancers, both of which were pleasing, but still, especially in the first one, tread a thin choreographic line between accomplished adult members of the company, on that night Callye McCollum and Tye Love, dancing as half grown people
It was pleasant to see that much of the Waltz of the Flowers was kept while McCollum and Love danced the pas de deux.  Seeing them dance more full out as adults was also a relief, perhaps a foreshadowing of their relationship as adults. Seeing how the dance is polished in subsequent productions is anticipated.

The Christmas treat more than lived up to expectations, with children as young as six dancing as little angels and pages, and a little white mouse.  Older children tumbled, literally, from under the skirts of Mother Ginger,
and were the heart of the Christmas party.
The best of the performances were the two pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, danced by new company members Sarah Chun and Yui Sato.  In their opening pas de deux, Sato had a variation in which he leapt, landed on one foot, and elegantly touched the stage with just the toe of his straight back leg.  In the final grand pas de deux, they were perfect partners, as Chun executed an almost endless series of pirouettes, circling Sato, while he kept her steady, and caught her as she leapt to sit on his shoulder.  In the final catch, he caught her as she plunged toward the floor.  Both of them kept wonderful lines.

The exquisite and delicate dancing of the second act, in the Land of Sweets, came to a high point of spun sugar fantasy in the Marzipan dance with Ellany Abbott, accompanied by Alyssa Daly and Amber Feeney.  Abbott was exquisite.  Also enjoyable were the Snowflakes, scattering hands full of snow over the stage, the humorous Spanish Chocolate divertissement with David Barocio, Carissa Churchil and Anna Doss, the sinuous Arabian Coffee divertissement with Darli Iakovleva and Anton Iakolev, the Russian Cossack dance with Joshua Crespo and Ryan Piper, and the excellent corps.
Dale Hall's set and lighting design, especially in the Snowflakes with the translucent blue backdrop, was very good, as were the costumes, especially on the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, by Michael Jones, Suzanne Hobbs, and Marcus Ford.
The one disappointing note is that the garlands of lights on the boxes that rise to the ceiling in the auditorium
are shut off as soon as the production is over.  It dampens the festivity.
The performances run today, December 22 at 2 p.m., and December 16 - 18, including a 7 p.m. Friday performance, a 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. performance on Saturday and a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday.
Individual ticket prices range from $10 to $52. Online ticketing is available at, by phone at 405.848.TOES, or at the Civic Center Box Office.


Friday, December 9, 2011


By Nancy Condit

March of the Toy Soldiers, choreographed by Diana Brooks.
Photo provided

What's new this year at the American Spirit Dance Company's "Home for the Holidays" dance performance is a higher level of dancing, especially in the tap and high kick numbers.  Equally visible are the markedly increased number of men, who complement the wonderful women in a company that is chosen by audition from the dance majors at Oklahoma City University.  The performance took place Thursday night in the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Auditorium, and runs through Sunday, December 11.
Diana Brooks' choreography of the rapid tap number of "March of the Toy Soldiers," new this year, was the best of the show with its precision tapping and loose challenge dances by the toy officers. Their tapping was on the money.  They rotated in small groups, and came back together again, tapping rapidly all the time, reflecting the Busby Berkeley style of the previous  "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," choreographed by Page Porter and restaged by Kari Shaw. 
For "Parade" a long line of soldiers wore red satin shirts crossed by impossibly glittery bands of silver with black pants also striped in silver.  The costumes were designed by Melanie Shelley.  The soldiers were straight legged and oval mouthed during the entire number, as they changed from three lines of tapping soldiers into one, and rotated through Berkeley style patterns.  The only thing missing was the camera shot from above to show the dancing patterns.
The opening number to Jerry Herman's "We Need a Little Christmas," choreographed by Jo Rowan, show director and chair of the School of Music, was another big number that started as the curtains opened to "a bevy of beautiful gals that go on forever," Rowan wrote for the press, with a felt rope of holly.  The women crossed the stage back and forth four lines deep, two alternating lines dancing in one direction and two dancing in the other, settled into high kicks, and ended up forming a Christmas tree that filled the stage.

"Mr. Snow Miser," new this year, and choreographed by Patricia Oplotnick, featured tap dancers in a traditional routine, until one gangly tapper appeared to throw himself all over the stage in a completely shaggy fringed white costume, dropped to a one-legged squat and circled the floor with the other.  The tappers celebrated winter with a some break dancing, too. 
Tall reindeer with high antlers danced with their '50 clad drivers to choreographer Alana Martin's "Jingle Bells," and dancers swirled in a lyrical ballet "Song for a Winter's Night," choreographed by Kari Shaw.

Other good numbers include choreographer Oplotnick's "How Lucky Can You Get" done by tap dancing men of the streets.  A ritzy lady -- we know by her fur coat, falls one of the guys, disappears to change her coat to one of cloth, and the group taps in great syncopation.  "Zat You Santa Claus?" has good Fosse, very jazzy feel to Brian Marcum's choreography, as they're joined by a gingerbread man, Uncle Sam, and a horse.

The lovely costumes were designed by Melanie Shelley, and the lighting and set designs, particularly effective in "Mr. Snow Miser" and "Hot Chocolate," by Steve Estes, with the caveat that the decorative lights on the front of the stage floor cut off the dancers' feet.  Pavoratti's singing of "Adeste Fideles" gave chills during the adoration of the Christ child.  The sound was good for the first act, but needed more bass in the second.
All in all, it was quite a show.
Remaining show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11.The show is recommended for audience members ages 6 and up.
All seats are reserved and cost $28 each, with group rates available. For tickets or more information, call (405) 208-5227 or visit

c. by Nancy Condit

See my article at magazine.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Join the Oklahoma Council of Garden Clubs as they present their "Nature Tree," Saturday, December 10 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The Nature Tree is a collective project of Garden Club members, who each made an ornament made out of natural materials. The tree reflects nature in unique and creative ways.
At the viewing, participants can enjoy refreshments courtesy of the individual Garden Clubs. Children can also make their own ornament made of natural materials, which they can hang on the tree, or take home.

FREE to the public!

The event takes place at:
Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center
3400 NW 36th Street
Oklahoma City

For more information, call 943-0827.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Artistic director Robert Mills and company dancer Tye Love in rehearsal for the party scene in
The Nutcracker.  Photo by and c. by Nancy Condit

By Nancy Condit

In case you haven't heard, the Oklahoma City Ballet is presenting The Nutcracker at the Civic Center
Music Hall December 9 - 11 and December 16 - 18.  Each week end includes a 7 p.m. Friday performance, a 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. performance on Saturday and a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday.

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform for each show.

Artistic director Robert Mills’ choreography of the ballet is after the original choreography by Marius Petipa.  “Portions of Petipa’s choreography is seen almost intact during the variations of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier and also in their Grand pas de deux within Act II,” he wrote in an email interview.

Mills cast Clara with members from the company “because I have some ladies in the professional company who are very strong dancers and so petite that they could easily portray a young person like Clara ... With that change, the role of Clara has been made a much more difficult dancing role   Hans, an apprentice toymaker to Drosselmyer, is a new role I added this year to be a ‘love interest’ of Clara’s. Clara and Hans meet for the first time at the holiday party and develop crushes on one another.  When Clara begins to dream after the party, she dreams that Hans is The Nutcracker, and they dance a pas de deux leading into the land of snow, and a second one during the waltz of the flowers.”

The matinee performances feature family activities beginning at 1 p.m.  They include ornament decorating and  drawings for  very special Nutcrackers. the story of the Nutcracker with Mrs. Claus at 1.30 p.m., and a Braum’s Milk & Cookies reception with the dancers after the ballet.

Individual ticket prices range from $10 to $52. Online ticketing is available at, by phone at 405.848.TOES, or at the Civic Center Box Office.

c. Nancy Condit 

For more of the story behind The Nutcracker, see magazine, due out this weekend
or next week.


Gospel duo group Mary Mary. Photo provided

From the press release

Gospel group Mary Mary, scheduled to appear December 11th as part of Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc.'s fall schedule, cancelled their tour yesterday because of medical concerns over Erica Campbel's pregnancy.  She is due in February.  The gospel duo had been on their first "Have a Mary Mary Christmas Tour," and was in the middle of television tapings and award shows.

Anita Arnold, Executive Director of BLAC, Inc., said that buyers of Mary Mary tickets should take their tickets to the place where they were purchased to claim their refund.  Online purchases, mail and telephone credit card purchases will be refunded through BLAC, Inc.  Call (405)524-3800 for specific instructions on refunds.

"An announcement of the full season of performing arts will be made after the first of the year.  The organization, also, wishes a happy and blessed holiday season to all," wrote Anita Arnold, executive director of BLAC, Inc.
Thirteen year old Kara Troester plays Clara, and
OU dance major Austin Lintner plays her Nutcracker prince in 
OU's Festival Ballet production.  Photos provided.

By Nancy Condit

Once every four years the University of Oklahoma's Festival Ballet students have the chance to perform in
Marius Petipa's choreographed The Nutcracker to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's music.  This is one of those years. Remaining performances are in the Rupel J. Jones Theatre at December 8-10, and at on December 10 and 11.
The Festival Ballet presents dancers about to start their professional careers, and is known for its high production standards. 
School of Dance chair Mary Margaret Holt is delighted to place this year's ballet in Victorian dress, the time in which it was written.  She feels that the shapes and movements of the clothes compliment the dance.
The lighting designer, Jerry Lewis, likes to present new ideas each year, and Holt tells audience members to watch for an extremely effective one in this ballet.
Tickets are $14 for students, $22 for adults and $18 for seniors and faculty.  They may be purchased by calling the box office at 405.325.4101.

Read my story in the archives of magazine. 

Photos provided. 
By Nancy Condit

The American Spirit Dance Company will bring the American style of dance to the OCU Kirkpatrick stage in their Broadway style American dance revue.  The "Home for the Holidays" shows, including 150 dancers in the double cast show,  perform tap, jazz, theater dance, and lyrical ballet.
The production includes rocking swing numbers, exciting country music cloggers, the high-kicking enthusiasm of a chorus line of 50 Santa’s helpers and a Nativity of Christ’s birth.  During the reverent Nativity, the double cast show fills the stage and audience with candles and candlelight. 
Vibrant costumes are an integral part of the show.
Show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 9 and 10, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11.The show is recommended for audience members ages 6 and up.
All seats are reserved and cost $28 each, with group rates available. For tickets or more information, call (405) 208-5227 or visit

Read my story on


Thursday, December 1, 2011



From the web. Copyright may apply.
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park’s holiday fundraiser, Christmas Tea and revelry with the Queen and her courtiers, will be presented in the Wanda L. Bass Music Center Atrium at Oklahoma City University on Saturday, December 3 from 2 to 4 pm.  High tea with the Queen will be served while guests enjoy a fashion show featuring historic costumes by OSP designer Robert A. Pittenridge.  There will also be a silent auction of gift packages and works of art as well as free giveaways for guests of Her Majesty.  Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased
by visiting or calling 405.235.3700.


The Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church, 4201 East Memorial Road in Edmond is the site of handmade, fair trade and global goods this Friday and Saturday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.  "Shop our gifts, decor, art pieces and accessories handcrafted by fairly paid artisans around the world.  Itms are eclectic to exquisite, and are created from natural, recycled and sustainable materials."  The church is one mile east of I-35 on Memorial Road, with a phone number of 478.1652.  They take cash or check only.

Compiled by Nancy Condit