Tulsa Ballet balances tradition, fresh spirit

The Tulsa Ballet, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, began its season on September 16th with a production entitled Creations in Studio K. The show featured three exciting performances that were written especially for the Tulsa Ballet and which premiered for the first time in the world right here in town. This show was presented at Brookside’s Studio K, a small theater where audiences can feel intimately connected to the dancers and music. Later performances will be held at the Tulsa PAC and the final show happens right here on campus at the Lorton Performance Center from May 11th to the 14th.

The show opens with the bright, energetic, and colorful Flight of Fancy. “Think of hummingbirds,” its choreographer, Ma Cong, suggests. “Freshly cut grass. Butterflies. Snowball fights. Summertime splash pads. First kisses. Trust falls. A wink from across the room. First day of school. Something new. That feeling is the flight of fancy.” This easy intro leads into something much gloomier. Second to Last features ghostly figures dancing in the dark, sending chills up viewers’ spines, while Love Notes explores ideas of passion and “raw emotion”.

I personally thought the show was amazing and poignant. I was entranced not only by the elegance and incredible strength of the dancers, but also by the masterful use of light and shadow. It played almost like a movie across the stage, invoking feelings of both wonder and unease. I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to marvel at what people can do and create. Tickets for these performances will be available for this weekend, September 22nd through the 25th, for anybody who missed the first round and wants to be one of the first people in the world to see these shows.

The Tulsa Ballet was founded in 1956 by Roman Jasinski and Moscelyne Larkin with the mission of conserving the art and appreciation of ballet through performance and education. Since then, it has grown to become a nationally ranked studio, giving performers the opportunity to travel all over the world.

I had the privilege of talking to one of them, Regina Montgomery, before the show to discuss the vitality of art in relating to people and creating a balanced life. “Art inspires us,” the dancer told me, “and it brings us together. No matter your race, religion, or class… you understand.” Regina also expressed the challenges of dancing for a living while also taking business classes at TCC. As many of us here at TU know, it can be difficult to survive when you’ve got that much on your plate. She says that she wouldn’t change anything, though — “It made me who I am today.”

Tulsa Ballet offers college students with valid ID massive discounts on tickets: 60% off for single performances and 75% for season passes. The company is eager to spread its appreciation for the arts, especially in times like these when fine arts in public schools are taking the biggest hits in budget crises. Students who attend shows will have the opportunity to see performances ranging from classic to contemporary, joyful to melancholy, funny to eerie. There will be several shows this season, including, of course, The Nutcracker in December and Swan Lake in March. There really is something for everybody.

Post Author: tucollegian

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