Monday, April 16, 2012


Tulsa Ballet II (TB II), the official Pre-Professional Ensemble of Tulsa Ballet, performs in Tulsa and Oklahoma City for its 2012 Oklahoma Spring Tour. On April 17, 2012, at the Oklahoma City Community College, dancers perform Dance Diversified and Journey through Dance in the Bruce Owen Theater.

Dance Diversified, a triple-bill performance, features excerpts from Don Quixote, Blue Velvet, Folia and a special performance with Tulsa Ballet’s Principal Dancer Alfonso Martin and TB II dancer Chelsea Keefer in Edwaard Liang’s Romeo and Juliet pas de deux. Dance Diversified will incorporate some of the best of both classical and contemporary ballet into one exciting performance. Audiences will be able to see some of the newest, most cutting edge choreography, along with some of the most beloved and beautiful pieces passed down through history.

Don Quixote Suite is based on the choreography by Marius Petipa with music by Ludwig Minkus. Audiences will take the journey through this familiar story as we experience bull-fighters and dancing in the streets. These fast paced excerpts with hypnotic and spirited dancing, twirling capes and swirling skirts will be sure to thrill.

Blue Velvet
was choreographed by Alexei Kremnev, a former principal dancer with the Cincinnati ballet, with music by Fredric Chopin. The hauntingly beautiful nocturnes are brought to life through the intricate partnering and romantic styling which was created as a world premiere for the Gala of International Dance Stars.

Folia is a mesmerizing dance is set to music from the 16th and 17th centuries connecting the Renaissance with modern life through the movement that is always an audience favorite. Choreographed by the internationally renowned Ma Cong in honor of Tulsa Ballet’s 50th anniversary.

The Romeo and Juliet Balcony Pas de Deux is an excerpt from internationally-respected choreographer Edwaard Liang’s world premiere. This will be Martin’s reprise performance as he dances with TB II member Chelsea Keefer as his Juliet. The balcony scene depicts the romantic rendezvous between the young lovers after first meeting at the Capulet masquerade ball.

Dancers perform Dance Diversified in the Oklahoma City Performances as well as Journey through Dance. Journey through Dance is an educational performance – a lively presentation that covers the development of ballet through the ages. Designed for students, this fascinating journey highlights several historical periods in dance. Each historical period is explored in this 60-minute program through an entertaining and educational lecture and PowerPoint presentation. TB II dancers perform various excerpts of dance works reflecting each time significant time period. In recent years, Journey through Dance has included repertoire such as excerpts from Ma Cong’s Folia and Carmina Burana, Val Caniparoli’s Prawn Watching and Going for Baroque, George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Pas de Quatre, and Artistic Director Marcello Angelini’s La Sylphide, Les Sylphides, and Swan Lake, as well as La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Flower Festival, Dying Swan and many more.

The performance is Tuesday, April 17th at 7 p.m. in the Bruce Owen Theatre at Oklahoma City Community College.  Tickets range from $10 to $22.  The Journey Through Dance educational program at 12 p.m. is free.  To purchase tickets, go to www.occc,edu/tickets, or call the OCCC box office at 682.7579.

From staff reports



The Scarecrow, Dorothy, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly
are on their way to Oz.  Photo provided.

The Oklahoma City Ballet will present an encore production of "The Wizard of Oz" to cap its 40th anniversary season April 20-22 at the Civic Center Music Hall.

The ballet is based on “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a classic children's novel by author L. Frank Baum which has become one of the best-known stories in American popular culture.  The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a storm.

The production premiered during the 2008-2009 season, set to an original score by Kermit Poling written specifically for this ballet.

“We wanted to conclude this milestone season with an exciting, colorful production that people would want to experience with their children,” Executive Director John Krasno said.  “With so many people requesting we bring the yellow brick road back for an encore performance, we felt strongly that this was a fun way to thank the city for their ongoing support.”

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. 

The production will feature live orchestral music by The Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and flying effects and a three-dimensional tornado provided by Las Vegas-based ZFX Flying Effects. 

Total running time is two hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Individual ticket prices range from $10 to $57 depending on section. Online ticketing is available at, by phone at 405.848.TOES (8637) or at the Civic Center Box Office.

According to Artistic Director Robert Mills, because the story is told without words, the most significant challenge in preparing for this production has been helping the dancers imbue their movements and expressions with the essence of the character they are portraying. 
“Ballet Master Jacob Sparso has created dynamic choreography that effortlessly tells the story without words or singing,” Mills said.  “It is energetic, engaging and highly entertaining for adults and children alike.”

The lead role of Dorothy will be shared by Stephanie Foraker Pitts (Friday and Sunday) and Amanda Herd (Saturday).

Joshua Crespo will dance the role of Scarecrow, Anton Iakovlev will play the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion will be danced by David Barocio.  Miki Kawamura will portray the most powerful sorceress of Oz: Glinda the Good Witch of the South.  The story’s primary antagonist, The Wicked Witch of the West, will be a role shared by Sarah Chun (Friday and Sunday) and Audrey Johnston (Saturday).

Students from The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet will charm audiences as the Munchkins, the Winged Monkeys, and as Toto (the role of Toto will also be played by a dog in the Kansas farm scenes).

Seven stage sets were created for the production by California-based set designer Ed Gallagher with support from resident designer Dale Hall.  Sets include: The Farm (with a working windmill), Munchkin Land, Yellow Brick Road, Enchanted Forest, Witches Lair (bubbling cauldron), Poppy Field and Emerald City. 

Costumes were designed by Bruce Bui, resident costume designer for Ballet Memphis, and Oklahoma City Ballet Costumer Michael Jones.

Family-friendly activities scheduled one hour prior to each performance in the south lobby include: “Build the Yellow Brick Road,” where kids can color their own bricks and help build the road for Dorothy’s journey to Oz; and “Picture This,” a photo opportunity in front of a green screen that magically transports you to the land of Oz.

Thirty minutes before show time is “Storybook Time,” where families can listen to Glinda the Good Witch of the South tell the story of The Wizard of Oz.  Following the Sunday matinee performance, Braum’s will provide milk and cookies for a reception where families can meet their favorite dancers.   

Photo provided


The Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble will perform the fifth concert of our 2011-12 Season – “Musical Narratives” – on April 23-24.  This concert will feature four musical selections that reflect narrative stories by composers from Germany, Austria, Denmark and the United States.  Here’s the basic information:   

Brightmusic Chamber Music Concert:    Brightmusic, Oklahoma City’s residential chamber music ensemble, will hold the fifth concert of its 2011-12 season on Monday evening, April 23 at Casady School in northwest OKC, and on Tuesday evening, April 24 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral downtown.  The concerts begin at 7:30 pm.  Admission is $10 for adults and free for students with ID.  The concert title is “Musical Narratives.”  The ensemble will perform four works: (1) “Three Short Stories” by the contemporary American composer Gernot Wolfgang; (2) String Trio in B-flat Major, D.581 by the beloved Austrian Romantic composer Franz Schubert; (3) “Sernata in Vano” (“Serenade in Vain”) by the 19th-20th Century Danish composer Carl Nielsen; and (4) Nonet for Winds and Strings in F Major, op. 31 by the 19th Century German composer Louis Spohr.  (A “nonet” is a work for a nine-musician ensemble.)  A reception with the musicians will follow each performance.  For more information, visit

Photos provided

“Musical Narratives” is the final concert of our Regular Season.  However, in May we will offer a first for Brightmusic and for OKC – a four-concert Festival of the immortal music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Johannes Brahms.  The Festival concerts will be held on May 26, 27, 29 and 31.  More information about our upcoming Bach & Brahms Festival, as well as “Musical Narratives,” can be found on our website,  Financial support for our 2011-12 Season has been provided by Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Ad Astra Foundation.

From staff reports