Wednesday, October 30, 2013




Highlights include the world premiere of “PopArt” by Austin Hartel in collaboration with visual Artist Marwin Begaye, as well a collaborative dance theater piece with Tonia Ellis set to music by composer Aaron Robinson with poems by local artist Skip Largent.

When:      November, 8th & 9th    at 8pm
Where:    Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
                          3000 General Pershing Blvd. OKC 73107
 Hartel Dance Group, Oklahoma City ‘s internationally acclaimed modern dance company, is pleased to announce the program for its fall season.  This season will include a rich variety to of collaborations between local Oklahoma artists.  Artistic Director, Austin Hartel is an award winning, internationally acclaimed choreographer who has been presenting his unique brand of dance on stages worldwide for over 25 years, is pleased to announce the lineup for this show.
His vision for “What’s love got to do with it?” will weave together many facets of connections, networks, and rituals that define our lives. Journeying through life, we inherently create relationships—some lasting, some passing, and some that impact us in the most transformative of ways. We have more means to access human connection than any generation past. Yet for some reason, there remains a cold undercurrent of isolation, loneliness, and separation that bridles many of our experiences—whether we are aware of it or not. All humanity craves acceptance and love, but Hartel poses the well-known question, “What’s love got to do with it?” While love is a powerful, deep-seated emotion, active relationships do not flourish on love alone.
  Hartel’s World Premiere PopArt, with the help of Visual Artist Marwin Begaye will also include original music by Aaron Robinson. In this piece, the choreographer is exploring the possibilities that lay between performing arts, the artist and the result of that interaction by tracking the movements of dancers Becca Schmedt, Karen Boyd Bethel, Thyrsa Da Rosa, Nicolette Battle, Kira Blazik, and Maggie Boyett, musician Aaron Robinson and the concept of visual arts. “Dance is an ethereal form of art, it is experienced the moment it happens. You can take home a painting, a sculpture, a piece of music, but dancers and choreographers, give you sensations and feelings.    With PopArt, I am looking for ways to give the dance a more permanent visual record, to create unique pieces of art each night that can be taken home and hung on the wall as a way to recall the visceral experience of the performance”. says Hartel.
  Choreographer Chris Castleberry will present his hilarious Delicious," a study of some of the absurdities presented by the dating rituals of human beings.
  SleepWalkers, a poem written by local artist Skip Largent, will also be presented in this evening of  “WLGTDWI”.  Choreographed in collaboration with Austin Hartel and Tonia Sina Ellis and original score by Aaron Robinson, this piece will take us through a journey of a couple, that’s walking through someone else’s dream, or not.
Additional works to be presented to round out this performance are Tears for Maria, choreographed by Hartel and exquisitely performed by Karen Boyd Bethel.

Searching For… a US premiere by Austin Hartel danced by Nicolette Battle and Maggie Boyett. This duet was originally commissioned for the Momentum Dance Company in Guatemala City.

Kira Blazik’s  Banksy My Warhol, a street dance layered onto contemporary movement solo that pokes fun at the artist’s ego and the adoration that inflates it. 

Love Me Tender, a suite of short pieces choreographed by Hartel, representing three aspects of the evenings theme “ What’s Love got to do with it?”

Tickets, purchased in advance are $15.00
Those purchased at the door are $20.00
Students Tickets are $10.00
Advance purchases and additional information about the Hartel Dance Group can be found on-line at

Performances are on

Friday November 8th        8:00 pm.

Saturday November 9th    8:00pm. 

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing Blvd. OKC 73107
(Due to construction, enter at Gate 5, which is Gordon Cooper Boulevard, and head west. Once you reach Land Rush Street, you will need to turn right (north) and head until you see the Arts Center).

Friday, October 25, 2013


From a recent Magic Lantern Celebration. Image provided.

We are all Magic Lanterns, lit by the light of imagination.”   Inspired by this verse, the artists of Paseo are opening their studios to the creativity of children on Sunday, October 27 from 3:00 to 7:30 PM.   A time of light instead of fright, children are invited to descend upon the streets of the Paseo Arts District to celebrate their creativity by bringing to life characters of their own making.  On Paseo, children can jump into their own imaginations and have fun doing it with a different twist to the Halloween tradition  through visual art, dance, and song.  Community artists are offering children of all ages hands-on costume-making workshops from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a “Spin and Sparkle ” where children can parade in their costumes from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

All that children need to do to prepare for the event is to have an active imagination, wear their everyday clothing to Paseo, and be ready to make wonder from paper and little bits of collected possibilities.  Discovering and doing are the main ingredients needed to make the most of this event.   Awaiting children are all kinds of paper that can be twisted, crumpled, folded, ruffled, and embellished into fantastic sculptures to be worn over their clothing.  Their imaginings can inspire an endless variety of characters. Children and parents can walk from studio to studio to build original hats, add a touch of shimmer to their faces, and find a pumpkin friend in twigs, leaves, and flower petals.  This is an engaging opportunity for parents to be involved in the problem solving aspects of their child’s constructions.  Helping hands and brainstorming are an important part of this creative process.
The celebration will culminate in twilight when children can display their costumes.   A giant winding pathway painted on the street in the shape of a Pumpkin Jack ‘O Lantern by artist, Elizabeth Muller, provides the setting for the spectacle of costumes.  The StarDanceSwan dancers and Steve McLinn of Ojas Music, join children in generating a spinning, sparkling dance of light and energy. 

“This is a unique experience for children, not only are they making wearable art, they are also moving into the realms of theatrical expression and creative dance.  I am delighted to watch the children become immersed in the creative process; they embody the wonder of the Magic Lantern verse, their faces seem to glow, ” says Lorrie Keller of Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan who designs the celebration.   “Halloween is full of sweets, but the real treat of the Magic Lantern Celebration is in the authenticity each child brings into their own creations.” 

The Magic Lantern Celebration is organized to happen whether the weather is rainy or sunny.  Costume Making is from 3:00 to 6:30 PM.  Plan your day to stay for the Spin and Sparkle Parade from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.  Activities are held at the north end of Paseo at NW 30th and Dewy.

The studios participating are Rainbow Fleet, Paseo Art Space, StarDanceSwan, ArtScape, and Paseo Pottery.  All activities are free to the public. Donations are appreciated to help with the costs of the event. The Magic Lantern is made possible through the support of the State Arts Council of Oklahoma, the Paseo Arts Association and Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan.  For information call the Paseo Arts Association at 525-2688 or go to

From the press release

Sunday, October 13, 2013


October 15
6 - 8pm
Farmer’s Public Market
311 S. Klein,

Paseo FEAST (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics), the unique micro-funding program for artists of all disciplines, proudly announces the artists for its next event: The Garden Project, Ghostlight Theater Club, Hartel Dance Studio, Erin Latham, and Rhia Winkleman. At each FEAST event, five artists are selected to present a project to a group of diners who each have a ballot. The artist with the most votes earns a grant based on the evening’s ticket sales. Previous grant amounts have ranged from $800-$1900 per event. Our next event will take place on October 15, 2013, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Old Farmers Market, 300 S. Klein, Oklahoma City. Tickets are $10 or $35 and can be purchased through

GHOSTLIGHT Ghostlight Theatre Club hopes to launch a fourth annual run of its popular irreverent holiday tradtion, Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum. Ghostlight describes the play as a hilarious annual holiday revue consisting of original sketch comedy and live music. This play is written and performed entirely by Oklahoma artists, the only holiday theatrical event of its kind in the city.

Hartel Dance presents their multidisciplinary dance performance “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” As Artistic Director Austin Hartel describes, this work will explore “the many facets of relationship, connection, networks, and rituals that define our lives,” This performance will be a part of Hartel Dance Group’s 4th Season of performances in Oklahoma City, and this group is proud to continually present cutting edge, collaborative dance pieces to the Oklahoma City community. FEAST funds would go towards production costs, costumes and set construction.

Erin LathamErin Latham, visual artist, presents work that introduces Oklahomans to the Scottish law known as “Right to Roam.”  According to this law, the public has the right to travel freely about the countryside regardless of who owns the land, as long as they follow three basic guidelines: respect the interests and privacy of landowners, care for the environment, take responsibility for your own actions.” Latham plans, if chosen for the FEAST grant, to present an exhibition in Oklahoma encouraging the public to roam and learn more about the land around us.

The artists of The Garden Project- Adrienne Wright and Lisa McIlroy- seek to create a constructed landscape meant for public interaction. The artists describe the project in their proposal: “The purpose of The Garden Project is.. to create a space that the public can experience and enjoy [and] to help raise awareness of the positive impact that a beautiful, functional space can have on a community.”

Balance: Art + Design proposes a curated group art exhibition titled “Balance: Art + Design,” to open at Norman’s Mainsite Gallery in early 2014. This exhibition would focus solely on artists who are also graphic designers. As Winkelman describes, “Behind Oklahoma’s rising fame is its interconnected graphic design community, because we use it… to communicate a social message, to tell the story about ourselves, or to promote Oklahoma.”

If you’d like to hear more from any of these artists, please make plans to attend FEAST on October 15! For more information, please call Jennifer at 405-525-2688.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Image provided

"The Art of the Comic Book"
Opening and Artists Reception at Istvan Gallery
1218 N. Western
Friday October 11, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Istvan Gallery celebrates an installation based on Comic Books and Graphic Novels - COSTUMES/COSPLY ENCOURAGED!
Illustrated storytelling stretches back in history far beyond the printing press as artists spun yarns about super humans, heroism, love, and everyday life. Though comics might still be associated with pulp fiction and silliness like Tin Tin and Archie or superheroes like Batman and the Shadow, the art form dates back as early as Rome in 113 AD. This exhibit promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art and culture of comic books that morphed from cheap, newsstand “funny books” to a driving force behind a multibillion dollar industry spanning the entire entertainment industry from critically heralded graphic novels to video games and blockbuster summer movies.
Artists of varying mediums and styles have been invited by Istvan Gallery owner Stephen Kovash as well as comic creator Charles Martin to participate in The Art of the Comic Book, a celebration of the comic book style as well as the genre’s rich variety of heroes and villains.

Image provided
In addition to the art, the opening will feature costumed superheroes as well as members of the Oklahoma Comic Creators (OCC). Oklahomans play a huge role in the international comic book world and many will be represented at the opening which will feature work from traditional fine artists as well as illustrated storytellers. Some work will be inspired by comic book icons and imagery and other work will be actual pages from original comic books. Featured artists include: Eli Casiano, Clint Stone, Eric Gorman, Jerry Bennet, Jack Fowler, Trent Lawson, Dustin Oswald, Nathan Lee, Suzanne Thomas, Marilyn Artus, Michael Adams, Nathan Evans, Zachary Presley, Kevin Stark, Michael Wilson and M. Paul Kirby. Writers Charles Martin, Don Rosencrans, and Jackson Compton will be among the comic book creators in attendance.  Artists will also be on hand to do caricatures of attendees. 

“Comics possess accessibility for both the audience and the creator that you don’t get with any other storytelling device,” said Charles Martin, member of OCC and founder of Literati Press. “They are an active art from, like a novel. You have to put in some work to consume a comic book, but they are much more immediate and approachable. Unlike a movie or a play, the creator is unrestrained by budget. Whatever the artist can draw, can exist. Hollywood is just now approaching the visual scale that comic book artists have been working with for decades.”
As always, Gallery Owner and Curator Stephen Kovash is delighted to use innovative formats to showcase the incredible talent offered by Oklahoma artists.  “I am always excited to work with Oklahoma artists and being able to curate work you might not see in another commercial gallery.
The gallery’s comic book show will continue through Oct. 27.
From the mailer 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Oklahoma City Ballet Artistic Director, Robert Mills announces the company’s 2013-2014 season of performances. “From the Page to the Stage” titles a season that brings beloved pieces of literature to life with four varied productions.

The Season begins in October with the Southwest premiere of Toni Pimble's Mowgli - The Jungle Book Ballet. Ms. Pimble's work has been seen around the world including the New York City Ballet. With Mowgli, she has collaborated with Emmy Award winning set designer Gregory Crane to produce fanciful sets and larger than life puppetry to bring Kipling's beloved tales of the jungle boy Mowgli to life on the stage.

In December the company restages its annual production of The Nutcracker with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

February brings a triple bill of ballets showcasing varying choreographic styles. The evening will include the Oklahoma premiere of 20th century master choreographer George Balanchine's Rubies, a World Premiere from Matthew Neenan (one of today’s most in demand contemporary choreographers), and a brand new production of Carmen choreographed by OKC Ballet’s own Jacob Sparso.

The season wraps up in April with a World Premiere production of Beauty and the Beast. This all new full length ballet is a collaboration between Artistic Director Robert Mills, composer Kermit Poling (composer of our Wizard of Oz and Phantom of the Opera) and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Utilizing fantastic sets, costumes and dazzling special effects, Beauty and the Beast will be an all new telling of the familiar story with a newly commissioned score.

New season subscriptions and renewals can be made by calling 405-848-TOES (8637) or by visiting All performances now have the option of a Friday night performance. All performances take place at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 North Walker, Oklahoma City.
From the press release

Friday, October 4, 2013


 By Nancy Condit
Three Grimm's Fairy Tales to be performed.

A Grimm Affair will be presented Sunday, October 6th, through Friday, the 11th by the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company and the Metropolitan Libraries at the libraries. "A Grimm Affair" is a comic piece by Dr. Glenn Winters of the Virginia Opera, which he based on three of Grimm's Fairy Tales Dr. Know It All, Rumplestiltskin, and Cat and Mouse. The free comic operas are performed by the great voices of the opera company in the spirit of opera and the fall and Halloween season. The performances are for all ages.

“Cimarron Opera has combined familiar folk tales with great music and singing, with a touch of comedy,” said Metropolitan Library System Director of Outreach Services Dana Morrow, “to produce an introduction to opera that is a whole lot of fun."

The performances are also made possible by the Friends of the Metropolitan Library, the Oklahoma Arts Council, and the National Endowment For the Arts.

Schedule of performances:

Sunday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m. – Downtown Library, 606-3879
Monday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m.— Warr Acres Library, 721-2616
Monday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m.—Northwest Library, 606-3580
Tuesday, October 8 at 1:00 p.m. – Edmond Library, 341-9282
Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. – Midwest City Library, 732-4828
Thursday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. – Choctaw Library, 390-8418
Thursday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m. – Belle Isle Library, 843-9601
Friday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. – The Village Library, 755-0710
Friday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. – Del City Library, 672-1377
            For more information about this or any Metropolitan Library System program, visit the
MLS website,
From press sources.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


By Nancy Condit

Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet will open the 2013-2014 OKC Ballet season. Photo courtesy of Eugene Ballet

Oklahoma City Ballet will open its 2013-14 season, "From the Page to the Stage," with the Southwest Premiere of Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic story The Jungle Book, this full-length ballet is sure to captivate fans of theater and dance of all ages. After its World Premiere in Eugene, Oregon this past April, OKC Ballet is proud to welcome this new innovative ballet to Oklahoma October 11-13 at the Civic Center Music Hall in downtown Oklahoma City.
Stephanie Foraker Pitts displays the costume of Mao the Peacock. Image provided.

"The choreography is innovative because of its use of classical East Indian dance combined with classical ballet. People may forget that the Jungle Book stories written by Kipling take place in the Jungle's of India. The choreographer, Toni Pimble, studied East Indian classical dance while she trained at England's Elmhurst Ballet School. She uses positions, hand gestures, head and eye positions and a very specific way of walking within some of the dances of the ballet. Much of the choreography, set and costume designs takes its inspiration from that," wrote Robert Mills, artistic director, to
Eugene Ballet Company artistic director Toni Pimble’s work has been performed by many ballet companies in the United States including the New York City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Washington Ballet, Nevada Dance Theatre, Oregon Ballet Theater, and Kansas City Ballet. Her original choreography for Mowgli is set to a mingled compilation of East Indian and World Fusion music.

The dancers will be enveloped in an elaborate jungle created by Emmy award-winning set and puppet designer Gregory Crane of GRC Designs. Extravagant and embellished costumes designed by Jonna Hayden feature authentic Indian fabrics in a vibrant array of colors and textures. Many of the featured characters will wear intricate headpieces created by mask designer Lynn Bowers. There are two giant puppets designed by Crane, including Shere Khan the Tiger - requiring multiple dancers to maneuver them. Mowgli will be a visual feast for the eyes with dazzling special effects, and rhythmic music that recreates the many moods of jungle life.

Yui Sato dances the role of Mowgli in the season opener ballet bearing his character's name. Image provided.
Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet will be performed Friday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday October 12 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, October 13 at 2:00 p.m. Children’s activities will include jungle animal mask coloring before all performances in the South Lobby. OKC Ballet’s lecture series will be hosted by Artistic Director Robert Mills and Mowgli choreographer Toni Pimble at 6:15 p.m. prior to Friday’s performance in the South Lobby. Dancer Meet and Greet with refreshments courtesy of Braum’s will occur in the main lobby following Sunday’s matinee. 

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased in person at OKC Ballet offices, 7421 N. Classen Blvd., OKC, by phone at (405) 848-8637 or online at Season subscriptions are also available for the 2013-14 season “From the Page to the Stage.” Tickets may also be purchased at T.H.E. Box Office at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker, OKC, (405) 297-2264. Single tickets range from $25 to $61.

Also from the press release. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


            Charlie Christian Reloaded, the concert series rescheduled, takes aim at providing a great time for music lovers everywhere on October 12th and November 16th at Frederick A. Douglass Auditorium according to Mark Temple, 2013 Festival Chairman.  “Chris Arnold, the voice of the Dallas Mavericks and now the voice of AT&T Stadium (formerly known as Texas Stadium) will host the event on October 12th that features internationally renowned saxophonist Kirk Whalum,” Temple stated.  “Holding to tradition, attendees will have opportunities to visit vendor booths for food, beverages, t-shirts and many other fun festival items,” he concluded.

 Chris Arnold, the voice of the Dallas Mavericks, will host the event on October 12th. Photo provided.
            The October concert will open with Tulsa’s saxophonist Grady Nichols, a long time favorite of the festival at 4:30 p.m.  Nichols is remembered well for his passionate rendering of Amazing Grace and his interactive audience participation in his performances.  Grady will be followed by the Robert Banks Band.
            Banks has garnered national and international recognition as a jazz bassist.  He has a gift of musical versatility that has allowed him to establish a commanding reputation in several musical styles.  He has performed and recorded as a studio musician with other great musicians.  With a unique style of his own, Robert is one of the hottest bass players around with a stage presence and performance energy that is second to none.  In the Oklahoma City Area, he and his band, Positive Productions, have established a performance style that is molded to perfection.
            All Funk Radio Show of Dallas, Texas will open for Kirk Whalum.  The nine piece band includes professionally experienced musicians and three vocalists.  Their repertoire of Old School, R&B, Motown, Pop and Hip Hop will entertain ages from 8-80.  The group led by Bassist Thad Jackson has more than 150 songs in their repertoire. Mark Temple said “They are a crowd pleaser!”
            Kirk Whalum, gifted smooth jazz saxophonist, who just completed a month long international tour and jazz cruise, will round out the first of the two concert series.  Whalum takes the stage as 9:30 p.m.  The Grammy Award Winning Saxophonist and Recording Artist is well known for his recording of Falling in Love With Jesus and is remembered in Memphis, TN from his early days of playing in his father’s church choir.Kirk established the national tradition of “The Gospel According to Jazz” several years ago that has grown to mammoth proportions.
            For several years, he toured as the opening act for Vocalist Whitney Houston and later soloed in her recording of the single, I will Always Love You.  Whalum had always encouraged fellow saxophonists by conducting innovative national workshops that culminated with a concert of the Saxophone Choir.  
            Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, Hopkins HairCare, Learning Tree Toys, Books & Games and BLAC, Inc.  For more information, call (405)524-3800 or see
            Sponsors include BancFirst, Oklahoma Arts Council, Brand Talkers, Phillips66, KFOR-43, Downtown OKC, Inc. Temple & Sons Funeral Directors, KSBI, 605 Loans,
Tinker Federal Credit Union, KSBI, H&J Management, OG&E, and the City of OKC.

From the press release



As heard on NPR - see the acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling live Thursday at 7:30 PM - Rose State College. Call 297.2264 or go to for tickets $25 to $55.