Sunday, April 19, 2015



 By Nancy Condit

My original commentary of October 17, 2014 was very poorly researched. I apologize 
especially to Mr. Sparso, and to the Oklahoma City Ballet for such an omission.

Dress rehearsal for Oklahoma City Ballet's world premiere Cinderella, choreographed by Jacob Sparso, company ballet master, Thursday night at the Civic Center Music Hall, was a promising rehearsal of the coming performances, October 17-19.

Mr. Sparso's Cinderella is a very pleasant, pretty ballet, with lush music by Sergei Prokofiev -- premiered in 1945, with a much gentler scenario than the Eastern European ones of the popular fairy tale. Nobody died, for a change. No one deserved severe punishment for a change. 

Sparso trained and made his debut with the Royal Danish Ballet at the age of 10. August Bournonville, who created many ballets from 1836 on for the Royal Danish Ballet, already a choreographer, also followed the French school where he had advanced training. His romantic ballets were characterized by light, fleet footwork, and happy endings, which are different from the grand passions of the European story ballets. 
(Jack Anderson, Ballet & Modern Dance)

It is to be hoped that Sparso will bring more ballets from this school of thought to the Oklahoma City Ballet.

Of particular note were the dances of the fairies and their cavaliers, with their attendants of the four seasons: Spring, Amanda Herd-Popejoy and Walker Martin; Summer, Amy Potter and Daniel Handman; Autumn, DaYoung Jung and Gerald Pines; and Winter, Jeppe Jakobsen - the fairy, and Ryan Piper. The dancing and the choreography was very nice.

The Ugly Stepsisters are more comic or mad as characters danced by Robert Mills and Ronnie Underwood. These roles are traditionally played by men. It was to be wished that Mills cheated a little more, turning to the audience so that his outraged, screaming, wide open mouth could be appreciated by more of the audience.

Dress rehearsal is where you find out that a sprinkling of snow can accidentally become a blizzard, leaving the lead Winter dancers to lose their footing -- without injury.

Among other ballets, Sparso choreographed The Wizard of Oz and The Phantom of the Opera for the OKC Ballet. 

Guest conductor Kermit Poling directed the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, bringing live music to all performances. Also composed the scores for Beauty and the Beast, and Phantom of the Opera for the OKC Ballet.

Costume and scenic designer Alun Jones' early 19th century costumes and scenic designs were lovely, especially the added touch of a painted ceiling during the ball. The sets and costumes were courtesy of the Louisville Ballet, with additional costumes courtesy of Nashville Ballet.

Tickets start at $25, and are available through OKC Ballet at 405.848.TOES (8637), by going online at, by going to the ballet office at 7421 North Classen, open Monday - Friday from 9 to 5, and at the Civic Center Box Office, 405.297.2264, Monday-Friday  9 a.m.-5:00 and two hours before every show start time, or online at

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