Let's say you have a theater company that has its own building. And let's say that building needs regular maintenance, and occasional capital improvements. And let's also say that you don't have tons of money to do that stuff. What do you do?
The Nightingale Theater has decided that what it would do in this situation is hold Baconfest Tulsa 2013.
What exactly is a bacon festival? Well, apparently, it's exactly what it sounds like. There will be tons of food based around bacon prepared by local chefs. Just a little bit of cogitation on that last sentence will probably bring you to the conclusion that this is not a place where there will just be a plate of bacon for you to eat.
Expect bacon-esque takes on all sorts of foods. Like, I'd be there will be a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. Maybe a bacon cupcake.
It's an outdoor event held on E. 4th Street between Peoria and Utica -- outside the Nightingale and smack-dab in the middle of the Pearl District -- so it's a good bet that wafting smells will bring curious passersby.
Once you get in (tickets are $20 or $25 at the door), you've got an all-access pass to bacon-themed foods, contests, and swag. Ever wanted to write a haiku about bacon? There's a contest for that. Think you look like bacon? There's a contest for that.
Vendors for the event include Andolini's Pizzeria, Ann's Bakery, The Phoenix, and Fassler Hall to name but a scant few.
You'd be well served to show up to this hungry.
Get your advance tickets online at brownpapertickets.com.
Rite of Spring
The onset of fall brings a lot of things to which people look forward: the beginning of the Crimson Tide's annual march to the national championship, the fair, Jenks-Union. But it also brings the Tulsa Ballet's Fall Trilogy.
This fall is no different, as director Marcello Angelini and company present Rite of Spring, including the ballet of the same name, Company B, and One/End/One. Rite might seem familiar to ballet watchers, and it should be, since TBT performed the show last year.
"2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring," Angelini said of revisiting the work so soon after its last performance. "I thought it imperative that Tulsa Ballet celebrate this milestone anniversary."
Choreographer Adam Hougland arrived in town earlier this week to put the finishing touches on Rite, and talked about the company revisiting the work.
"It had a really tremendous response," he said. "All the people that I saw at the performances said, 'We've just never seen anything like this here. It's so different.' And the company, they really danced the heck out of it."
Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky and originally choreographed by Vaslav Nijinski in 1913 in Paris, was controversial from the beginning, even causing a riot in the theater on its premiere night.
"There was fighting in the theater, because it wasn't anything people had thought of as classical ballet," Hougland said. "There was this tribal, archaic element to it, and it was not very much ballet."
Aside from the fact that Stravinski's music is challenging to listen to, as it contains many experiments with tonality, meter, and rhythm, not to mention its overall dissonance, the story is a brutal one.
"You basically have a society who's sort of detached from anything that's living and natural and human and beautiful," Hougland said. "They're sort of alienated and not very happy people. And then you have this woman who represents everything that they've lost, everything that is good, everything that is beautiful and fragile."
It is important to remember Rite of Spring's subtitle: "Pictures of Pagan Russia in Two Parts."
"They decide to take her and dance her to death," Hougland continued. "So she's trying to escape them, trying to mesmerize them, trying to plead for her life sort of, but in the end, things don't work out that well for her. It's the tragic, fatal beauty getting killed by the group."
While every choreographer has a different approach, there are some universal aspects.
"I think every choreographer that tackles it -- they don't always do it in the same way, but it has a very ritualistic feel," he said. "You can't do Rite of Spring and not have it have some sort of ritualistic, pagan feel about it. I've seen programs where they equate it to something like prom night, or another sort of coming-of-age ritual."
Part of the power of this ballet lies in its set and costume designs, Hougland said. He often collaborates with Marion Williams of the Cincinnati Ballet, and he said that Rite of Spring is a good representation of what the pair can accomplish.
"We work very collaboratively. We'll start talking about ideas for the way a piece will look or feel long before we're ever in the studio," he said. "And I think this is a really great example of the evolution of our creative relationship."
But more than that, Williams' work packs a visual punch that draws audiences in.
"The curtain comes up, and you feel like you're in another place," Hougland said. "It feels so real. It's like a movie almost. There's so much atmosphere and texture, and the lighting is really cool. It's not like a pretty ballet with a backdrop. It's more like a play or an opera."
He is as satisfied with his dancers, as well.
"It's a visually very arresting kind of piece," he said. "And the dancers look really incredible. The two women that I have doing the role of The Chosen One are both very interesting and both really different."
In diametric opposition to the violent, unsettling music of Stravinsky's masterpiece is the music for Company B, provided by The Andrews Sisters. Paul Taylor's ballet has been a hit since its 1991 premiere and builds on popular dances from the 1940s like the jitterbug.
And as if Stravinsky and 1940s pop couldn't be more different, there's a third musician far removed from the others -- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose Fourth Concerto forms the basis of One/End/One. Choreographer Jorma Elo's work has never been performed in Oklahoma, and he has created a ballet Angelini calls "light and charming -- classical, yet with an unquestionable twist."
Rite of Spring runs in the Chapman Music Hall at the PAC this weekend, September 27-29. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8pm; Sunday's production is at 3pm. Tickets are available through myticketoffice.com or at 918-596-7111.
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Second Annual Living Arts Animation Festival
A screening of the chosen entries for this intriguing festival will run at the Guthrie Green on Friday, Sept. 27 starting at 8pm.
The free event will show varying styles of animated works that were submitted to curator Mery McNett, including stop-motion, claymation, 2- and 3-D animation, and a baffling piece called Gary Busey's Tulsa.
Billed as "a one-act play with frequent interruptions," Phone Whore is a one-woman show by Cameryn Moore and takes a look at sex and sexuality through the eyes of a phone sex operator--which Moore is in real life.
The show has toured North America for three years and made a name for itself this year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and now it connects in Tulsa for one performance on Tuesday, October 1 at 8pm. Doors open at 7:30pm, and tickets are $10 at the door. The Nightingale is located at 1416 E. 4th St.
Blue Glass Group
Wrapping up a month-long run, this show, presented by the Tulsa Glassblowing School, presents glass art with a blue tint in honor of the Blue Man Group, which recently performed its stunning show for Tulsa audiences. The artists on display are students and staff from TGS, including one 13-year-old glassblower. And the art is for sale, with proceeds benefitting programming at TGS. On display through September 29 from 10am-5pm and during Chapman Music Hall events.
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