Tulsa Ballet Opens 2012-2013 Season with a Mixed Repertory Evening

Aug 16, 2012 in 12-13 Season Releases

TULSA, Okla. – August 16, 2012 – From September 14 – 16, 2012, Tulsa Ballet opens the 2012 – 2013 season with the mixed repertory evening Age of Innocence featuring three works by three of today’s most sought-after choreographers. The performance includes the U.S. Premiere of Wayne McGregor’s PreSentient, the return of Jorma Elo’s Slice to Sharp and, after his very successful world premiere of his Romeo and Juliet in Tulsa Ballet’s 2011 – 2012 season, Edwaard Liang brings his Age of Innocence to Oklahoma audiences. All performances are at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. For tickets please call (918) 749 – 6006 or visit us online at www.tulsaballet.org.

“The program that opens each season is probably the most important one of the year,” Artistic Director Marcello Angelini said. “After a few months apart, both our audience and our dancers can’t wait to find themselves again at the PAC, to share in the unique joy that an evening of dance can provide to the human soul. This particular program embodies the excitement of seeing each other again, the energy of starting a new year and the renewed passion for our art form. This program also sets the standards for the rest of the season as far as the quality of the works that will follow. Age of Innocence will rank among the best season openers of my 18 years’ tenure, showcasing three ‘tier one’ dance makers, three celebrated works and a host of exceptionally talented and accomplished dancers.”

Jorma Elo is the current Resident Choreographer for Boston Ballet and has created works around the world for companies including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Finnish National Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Basel Ballet, and Norwegian National Ballet, among others. His training began in the Finnish National Ballet School and Kirov Ballet School. His professional dancing career included Finnish National Ballet, Cullberg Ballet and 15 years with the Netherlands Dance Theater.

Originally choreographed on the dancers of New York City Ballet in the 2006 Diamond Project, Slice to Sharp is a “blast of high energy” said The New York Times and “…provoked the loudest cheering and the longest string of curtain calls seen at the New York State Theater in some time.” When Elo brought the work to Tulsa Ballet in early 2011, audiences were impressed with the company dancers’ ease of displaying such extreme physicality.

Slice to Sharp is an astoundingly difficult work, originally created for eight stars of the New York City Ballet,” Angelini said. “It pushes the dancers to the limit of their technical abilities, their speed, precision and musicality. The bypass product of ‘dancing on the edge of a scalpel’ is the pure energy and joy this piece radiates. The fact that Jorma seldom allows companies around the world to perform it is no coincidence. I know our dancers will master this piece as well, if not better, than they did two years ago”

Artistic Director of Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet Wayne McGregor is perhaps one of the biggest names in the dance world known for his ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He has created works for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet and New York City Ballet. His work can also be found in film such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, music video such as Radiohead’s Lotus Flower and most recently, the 2012 Big Dance Trafalgar Square in celebration of the 2012 London Olympics.

Dedicated to the former Artistic Director of Rambert Dance Company Christopher Bruce, PreSentient drives dancers through Steve Reich’s relentless Triple Quartet providing a sense of edginess and urgency to the movements. Twelve dancers are pushed to their physical extremes in a frenzied pace as blasts of white light fill the space just as fast as they jump and turn across the stage.

“Having Wayne here is a real treat for Tulsa and the entire state of Oklahoma.,” Angelini said. “I first saw one of his works, Chroma, three years’ ago and I knew immediately that I had to share this unique dance maker with our audience in Tulsa. Wayne works most exclusively with the top ballet companies of the world, as a choreographer of his status can afford to be extremely choosy about which organization presents his works. The fact that he not only allowed Tulsa Ballet to perform one of his dances, but actually decided to give us an American Premiere, is a testament of where Tulsa Ballet is in the dance world’s pecking order. Be ready to be intrigued and energized by the fast and intricate movements that are the trademark of this dance maker”

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Edwaard Liang trained at the School of American Ballet before joining New York City Ballet in 1993. After a professional dance career that took him to Norwegian Nation Ballet, Complexions and even Broadway’s production of Fosse, he began his choreographic career at Netherlands Dance Theater’s workshop Flight of Angels. Since then, he has created works for New York City Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, National Ballet of Novosibirsk and Singapore Dance Theatre. During Tulsa Ballet’s 2011 – 2012 Season, Liang debuted his successful world premiere of Romeo and Juliet with sold-out shows at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center – the first full-length commissioned ballet in the company’s history.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s novels, Liang created Age of Innocence in honor of the women from a time of arranged marriages, social graces and gender inequality. His lyrical movements and seamless choreographic language communicates his interpretation of the joys and despairs of the early 18th century woman. Soft movements emulate the social ballroom dances of the time and the innocence, temptations and secrets behind each gesture.

Age of Innocence is the first piece I ever saw of Edwaard and is the work that made me fall in love for his choreography,” Angelini said. “His way of moving the human body, surprising you with new movements and ingenious duets to touch your heart and soul, is both innovative and truly inspired. If you liked Romeo and Juliet you will love Age of Innocence!”