Monday, December 3, 2012

Race Dance Company dancers from four high schools offer
hip hop dance and a contemporary story of  the classic.

By Nancy Condit

Marzipan dancers perform in the Land of Sweets in
 Oklahoma City Ballet's traditional "The Nutcracker."
All photos provided

Oklahoma City University's American Spirit Dancers dance as merry tapping Santa dancers
in a Broadway style revue "Home for the Holidays."
This week and weekend sees performances by three Oklahoma City dance groups -- the Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma City University's American Spirit Dance Company, and the professional jazz dance company, RACE.

The Oklahoma City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker December 7th - 9th and 14th - 16 at the Civic Center Music Hall. Each weekend includes 7 pm performances on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm performances on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform Tchaikovsky's score live for each show.

When the Oklahoma City Ballet presents its version of The Nutcracker,  audiences will see the traditional production "everyone has come to expect from the original libretto used for the very first production choreographed in 1892 -- including a grand Victorian holiday party, a battle between mice and life-sized toy soldiers...and, of course, visions of Sugar Plums and other fanciful characters dancing," 
Robert Mills, artistic director, wrote in a press release. "The holidays are a time for tradition and we are pleased to provide one of Oklahoma's most enduring family holiday outings."

The production will feature over 100 dancers, including numerous children selected during auditions in August. The matinee performances include family activities -- ornament decorating, pictures with Santa, and Braum's Milk and Cookies receptions with the dancers after matinees.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 405.848.TOES, or at the Civic Center Box Office. Prices range from $12 to $52. Family Four packs are $50.

The American Spirit Dancers at Oklahoma City University's Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management will perform December 6th - 9th. Shows will be in OCU's Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center on Blackwelder. Director Jo Rowan founded the dancer group in 1981 to "celebrate America's unique contributions to dance through jazz, tap and musical theater, and to provide students with professional performance opportunities" [from the press release].

The Broadway style show "Home for the Holidays" is "an annual Broadway style dance extravaganza that captures the spirit of the season with rocking swing numbers, hundreds of colorful costumes and a Nativity of Christ's birth. Popular numbers this year include 'March of the Toy Soldiers,' 'Song for a Winter's Night,' 'Imaginary Guy,' 'Baby Please Come Home' and 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'"[from the press release].

For tickets or additional information about these performances, call the Oklahoma City University Ticket Office at (405) 208-5227 or visit Single tickets are $28. The program is appropriate for six year olds and up.

Race Dance joins forces with four Oklahoma City School high school dance programs – Capital Hill,
N.W. Classen, Putnam City North, and Southeast -- for the production of the "Hip Hop Nutcracker."

A modern take on The Nutcracker is told through hip hop dance with real world issues in an urban setting. The cast of 80 dancers follows a young man who is searching for something missing from his life only to
find that it exists within himself. Race invites the audience to join Carlos to follow his heart in this coming of age story.

The cast includes the adult troop of the jazz dance company, the Men of Race, and Jr. Race.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. December 7th and 8th at Bishop McMcGuinness High School's Petusky Performing Arts Auditorium. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 for children. Tickets are
available at the door, or through their website,


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