If Tulsa's population seems to be light a few folks this weekend -- say, a dozen or so lithe, nimble folks -- it's because Tulsa Ballet is on tour in New York City, making its debut at the Joyce Theater in Chelsea.
The trip is long in coming; TB's Artistic Director Marcello Angelini told Urban Tulsa Weekly last spring that the company had been invited to dance at the Joyce in 2005. Scheduling conflicts prevented Tulsa Ballet from appearing at the theater until now.
"I received a ... message from Mr. (Martin) Wechsler (the Joyce's programming director) saying, 'I won't take no for an answer. New York needs to see Tulsa Ballet.' They asked us which dates would work for us and freed them for our company," Angelini said.
Angelini said he chose the ballets TB will present at the Joyce with care, aiming to choose works that will exemplify the company's "highly eclectic repertory" and "exceptional ability to excel in multiple styles of dance."
Angelini told UTW, "I wanted to take works that show the company at its best, works that show the versatility of the company, works that show our ladies both on pointe and on soft shoes, works of the top dance makers of the world that are usually off limits to companies our size, and works that were created in Tulsa for Tulsa Ballet."
The program includes Kenneth MacMillan's Elite Syncopations, Nacho Duato's Por Vos Muero and Young Soon Hue's This is Your Life.
Elite Syncopations was part of last season's "Carnival" program; Por Vos Muero was presented as part of TB's 2007-2008 season; and This is Your Life received its world premiere in Studio K last year. That ballet has since been performed by the Aalto Theater in Essen, Germany, and the National Ballet of Ankara, Turkey.
Reason to Dance
The three works were chosen for specific purposes: Elite Syncopations, which will open the program, exhibits the classical technique and quality of the company's dancers; Por Vos Muero will demonstrate TB's contemporary ability; and This is Your Life will serve as an example of the types of works being created specifically for the company.
Tulsa Ballet will perform at the Joyce Aug. 10-15, with Mayor Kathy Taylor, Gov. Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry in attendance as local dignitaries on opening night. TB will offer seven performances during the week, Monday through Wednesday at 7pm, Thursday through Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $19, $29 and $39 at www.joyce.org.
Before they depart, TB dancers will present a "Big Apple Preview Night" on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6:30pm at Studio K, 1212 E. 45th Place. Following wine and hors d'ouevres, TB will present its New York program. Tickets to the event are available by calling Amy Miller at 392-5933.
Tulsa Ballet opens its 2009-2010 season in October with the Oklahoma premiere of Ben Stevenson's Dracula. In June, TB will go on the road again, performing in Washington, D.C., at The Kennedy Center's Ballet Across America II festival alongside Morphoses, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre.
What to See Thursday
On Thursday, two galleries will exhibit works by local, contemporary young artists.
Aberson Exhibits, 3524 S. Peoria Ave., presents "10/2 Watch," an exhibition of graphic art designs by 10 young artists selected by a panel of judges.
Each artist has printed 30 limited-edition t-shirts with original work, available for sale. The exhibit opens with a reception from 6 to 8pm and will hang through the month of August. For more, go to www.abersonexhibits.com. The exhibit and opening are free and open to the public.
From 6 to 9pm, Oklahomans for Equality opens an exhibit of new works by local artist Nicholas K. Clark in the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center's gallery at 621 E. Fourth St. Clark is a painter who works in acrylics and oils, embracing vivid, optimistic colors.
According to his artist's statement, "I pull my inspiration from fashion and music, and I love working with figures because they are always so challenging -- the detail of a hand, the curves of a body and the capturing of natural movement and expression."
The exhibit is free and open to the public and will hang though the month of August. For gallery hours and other information, go to www.okeq.org.
What to See Friday
The Brady Arts District once again celebrates the first Friday of the month with a gallery walk, inviting locals to venture downtown and peruse the artistic offerings of the vendors who call Brady home, including Club 209, Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, Tulsa Glassblowing Studio, CFC Chocolatier and the Visual Arts Center.
TAC Gallery, 9 E. Brady, offers an exhibit of new work by photographer Krystal L. Pigg titled "Those Days Are Gone," opening at 6pm.
The collection of photos documents the contents of an abandoned house somewhere in the panhandle of Oklahoma. Pigg drove past the house on a trip to Colorado and couldn't help, despite its ominous, foreboding exterior, to wonder about the history of the house, the family that once occupied it.
"It was the contents of the house that I found truly fascinating. I have seen many beautiful things in my life, but, ironically, what I saw inside this abandoned, decaying house still stands as the most picturesque," said Pigg via artist's statement.
Her exhibit will hang through August and is free and open to the public. Gallery hours and more at www.tacgallery.com.
As has been tradition the last few months with the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, the non-profit (winner of Best Arts Organization for Absolute Best of Tulsa last month) will open the bay doors to the Mathews Building at Brady and Boston and exhibit the work of local guerrilla artists who set up there.
The "baywalk," as it's been dubbed, serves to offer local artists an opportunity to freely and easily exhibit work and to allow AHCT to spread the word about its coming Visual Arts Center. Head over at about 6pm to see what's happening there.
This Friday, Chris Wollard will be the featured artist, displaying a kinetic piece of art -- a 200-pound metal ball connected to a remote control.
Artists interested in displaying work at the baywalk can e-mail email@example.com to get in on the fun.
Find out what else is going down on Brady when you get there.
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