Wednesday, August 29, 2012


One of the young ladies attending the Fairy Ball
last year. Photo by Nancy Condit

 The Fairy Ball on Paseo is once again beckoning fanciful characters to the Paseo Arts District. A favorite evening for children of all ages, the Fairy Ball inspires imagination and wonder. Past Fairy Balls have been held in midsummer, but the heat waves of the last two years have spun this event to Saturday, September 15, as summer turns toward fall. Children, parents, friends, and the young at heart are invited to Paseo’s “Fairy Green” to celebrate the art of make-believe.
Children are encouraged to dress up as someone from the realm of Fairies. The evening begins with the young ones shaping flowers into crowns and wings to finish their costumes, so that at twilight they can follow magical characters into a twinkling garden and dance to their heart’s content.
Everyone gathers outdoors from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on the “Fairy Green” at Dewey and NW 28th, just west of Paseo Grill. “Flower Magic” is from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. The invitation to dance is at 7:30 p.m. as twilight gives way to rainbow lights hovering in the trees. Into this light, StarDanceSwan dancers beckon all characters to move in their own naturally expressive ways to the music of Steve McLinn (OJAS Music) until 8:30 p.m. McLinn’s live concert of electrical acoustical fusion music includes songs he has composed for StarDanceSwan from past performances and new pieces created just for this event.
“The flowers, shimmering lights, music and dance all stir a sense of beauty and delight, but children really bring this occasion to life. Their active, endearing imaginations light up the Ball,” says organizer Lorrie Keller of Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan, a nonprofit arts organization that has designed this event for eleven years in partnership with the Paseo Arts Association. “This year, StarDanceSwan wishes to create a Ball that engages all participants in a sense of joy and innocence.”
Parents are fascinated by the possibilities this occasion offers. Creating a costume at home for the Ball is an opportunity for parents and children to work together on a fun project. Parents are encouraged to let their children’s imaginations be the guide. For past Fairy Balls, children have dressed up as bugs, blossoms, elves, fairies, and other magical characters that materialize from their own imaginations. “Building a costume with your child is a special time well-spent. When beginning to make a costume, there are a few questions that a parent can ask their child that will enrich the creative process,” says Keller. “Think of questions that lead to finding a magical name for your child’s character. Parents and children can take this idea further and develop a story about this character.”

“Some questions that initiate exploration and take you and your child in to the realms of ‘once upon a time’ are: Imagine you are walking down a path to a place you love. Tell me about this place. Let’s look around: what do you see? Listen: what do you hear? Would you like to live in a garden, in the sea, in the air or somewhere else? What is your favorite color? Do you like to sing or fly? What is your favorite way to dance? How would you help another person? Find something you can share. What kind of character are you? What are you like? What is your name? Let’s make up a story about your character and go to the Fairy Ball!”
The Paseo Arts District is looking forward to seeing enchanted children materialize once again at this year’s Ball. Come to the Fairy Ball, participate in wonder, and be surprised! The Fairy Ball is free to the public. Donations are accepted to help offset the expenses of the event. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, please call the Paseo Arts Association at 525-2688, or visit

From the press release

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


By Nancy Condit

The sixth annual Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, hosted by Perpetual Motion modern Dance company, came to a very successful close and showed four Oklahoma contemporary dance companies – performing modern, aerial and jazz dance July 27th at City Arts. After a month of classes for dancers chosen by audition, this performance brought together four Oklahoma contemporary dance companies: Living Water Dance from Tulsa, Perpetual Motion Dance from Oklahoma City, Portico Dans Theatre from Tulsa, and R.A.C.E. Dance from Oklahoma City.
Living Water Dance Company’s choreographer Rachel Bruce Johnson’s “Vice Grip,” music by Maya Beiser. was notable for the dancers’ wonderful strength and Johnson’s use of modern dance in their search and struggle.
Living Water choreographer and solo dancer Amy Roark-McIntosh performed “Until It’s Over” – an excerpt from “Let Justice Roll Down,” with music by Olafur Arnaids, well with nice control of moves covering the stage – rounding, punching, flat foot kicking, and undulating as she fought throughout the dance.
 This is a company to look forward to seeing again.
Portico Dans Theatre from Tulsa presented two pieces from their work “BorN” premiered July 13th, 2012, in Tulsa. 
Choreographers Michael J. Lopez and Jennifer Alden and company dancers, with music from “Requiem for a Dream” by Clint Mansell and The Mars Volta opened strikingly with the Goth black costumed dancers’ bowed hooded heads.
As a continuation, Portico’s “Minions,” with another excerpt from “BorN,” showed the dancers’ strength.  A man assaulted by his tragic past crouched on the stage as three jagged, angular groups of dancers buzzed angrily around him.  The costumes -- the same as in the previous piece – had Goth lace hoods that some pulled over their faces.  This dance was particularly well choreographed to the dancers’ small, slender bodies that extended well into clawlike fingers.
R.A.C.E. Dance’s slightly rechoreographed “With Thanks” was well done by Allison High.  Jennifer Martinez Stevenson’s jazz dance, music by Thirty Seconds to Mars, showed more of a learning – but with an edge -- from the four men positioned around her.

Standouts of the evening were Perpetual Motion Dance’s aerial pieces, choreographed by Kim Kieffer-Williams, “Choosing a Path,” music by Quixotic, and “Zazen,” music by Bonobo. In “Path” Williams stood at stage right with a long drape of white silk against a red backdrop, and then climbed, danced, and dropped in the silk.  “Zazen” was done on a square carousel that held four dancers as the apparatus circled the stage. They held hands while hanging by their knees from the square, and danced from loops of white silks, even holding onto the apparatus and performing splits, connecting themselves to each others loops. The dances were particularly effective combined with work on the stage floor.

“Hannah’s Journey,” choreographed by Jill Priest from U.C.O., music by Allison Krauss and performed by Perpetual Motion, was memorable for the choice of the lullaby for music, and the use of thick poles by two of the dancers to carry the third. This increased her dance possibilities, and allowing her to perform moves like walkover somersaults down the back of another dancer.
A note, Fabrice Conte, head of the fine arts department at St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee, told this writer that aerial dance classes taught by Perpetual Motion are being taught this fall at the college.