Monday, October 15, 2012


By Nancy Condit

From Margo Sappington's tango ballet "Cobras in the Moonlight." Photo provided.

Oklahoma City Ballet's 41st season will open with "Director's Choice," three ballets "that are favorites of mine and ones that I knew audiences in Oklahoma would enjoy as well," wrote Robert Mills, in an email. The ballets are a commemoration of his fifth season as artistic director, and will be performed at the Civic Center Music Hall Saturday, October 20th at 8 pm, and Sunday, October 21st at 2 pm.

Nicolo Fonte's "Left Unsaid" opens the evening. "It is a beautiful contemporary ballet set to Bach violin concertos, danced in flat shoes. Nicolo has ballets in the repertoires of ballet companies all over the world."

"Anthony Tudor was one of the 20th century's greatest choreographers. We were very pleased to have been granted the rights to perform this work from his trust in New York City. The neo-classical narrative ballet, 'Lilac Garden,'  is set in the Edwardian era and danced on pointe. It depicts numerous guests at a garden party on the eve of one woman's marriage to a man she does not love but is promised to marry. Her real love is present, and we witness the couple's last moments together as they try to find a moment for one final kiss.  It is a touching work that I enjoyed dancing during my career."

The last work is Margo Sappington's "Cobras in the Moonlight," which she choreographed for Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago in l986. "We are the third company to have danced it since. I am not surprised because it is fabulous! It is set to four different compositions from Astor Piazzolla, the women are in high heels and the men are in tuxes. It is a hybrid of the tango and ballet. It is fast, exciting, and dare I"

Human relations tie all the ballets together. Although Mills admits that the Edwardian idea of a forced marriage to someone they don't love, "the basic human elements of love, unrequited love, deceit and betrayal, all still exist. Although the other two ballets are abstract and have no story, they definitely have an undercurrent of human relationships, or maybe our relationship with ourselves, driving the choreography."

Special events are a panel discussion led by Mills with one of the stagers from the Tudor Trust, and  choreographers Fonte, and Sappington on Saturday night at 7:15 pm in the south lobby of the Civic Center. On Sunday at 1:15 p.m. in the south lobby members of the Oklahoma City Youth Ballet will demonstrate and teach various dance moves that correspond to the choreographic styles used in the three ballets. This is geared toward the younger members of the audience.
 Ticket prices range from $12.50 to $55. Ask about the family four pack of tickets for $50. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 405.848.TOES, or at the Civic Center Box Office, 405.297.2264.

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