Tulsa Ballet celebrates 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring

Sep 9, 2013 in 13-14 Season Releases

Mixed bill celebrates 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring
Plus Paul Taylor’s WWII send up Company B and an Oklahoma premiere from Jorma Elo

TULSA, Okla. – August 23, 2013 – Tulsa Ballet opens its 2013/14 season September 27-29 with the mixed repertory evening Rite of Spring. The performance includes Paul Taylor’s stirring reminiscence on WWII, Company B, and the Oklahoma premiere of Jorma Elo’s One/End/One. All performances are at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. For tickets please call (918) 749-6006 or visit us online at www.tulsaballet.org.

“Originally created by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballet Russe, 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring,” Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini said. “Tulsa Ballet’s roots are deeply entrenched in the Ballet Russe heritage, so I thought it imperative that Tulsa Ballet celebrate this milestone anniversary.”

“Tulsa Ballet draws from its rich Ballet Russe heritage to build the future of dance.  Exploring the meaning and power of historical works like Rite, while allowing new voices to ‘rewrite’ the actual choreography, fits perfectly with our philosophy.  At the same time, companies all over the world are celebrating the 100 anniversary of this landmark work by performing various versions of the piece.  Tulsa Ballet could not miss this opportunity to rejoice its heritage while glancing at its future.”


Rite of Spring   VIDEO
Choreography by Adam Hougland, Music by Igor Stravinsky

“Unforgettable.” – Tulsa World

Rite of Spring holds an iconic place in the world of ballet, famously inciting riots when it first appeared in 1913. Adam Hougland, named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” choreographers in 2011, has accomplished the challenging feat of modernizing the language of this historical work without compromising its essence.  His Rite of Spring is accessible to today’s audience without depriving it of its punch. Staged in 2012 by Tulsa Ballet, Hougland’s Spring became the most buzzed about piece of Tulsa Ballet’s 2011/12 season.

“Adam Hougland’s Rite of Spring returns by popular demand following its Tulsa premiere a year ago,” Angelini said. “It’s only fitting that we celebrate Rite of Spring’s 100th anniversary with an encore performance of Hougland’s moving and modernized staging.”

Company B    VIDEO
Choreography by Paul Taylor, Music by The Andrews Sisters

“[A] profound piece of choreography to a groovy beat.” – The New York Times

“Evokes the exuberant rhythms of the '40's as well as the grim and persistent shadow of war…Some of the most glorious dancing to be seen anywhere…” – Newsweek

In Company B, lighthearted tunes and elements from popular dances of the 1940s like the jitterbug and lindy hop are juxtaposed with stark images of war and its impact on those left behind. Premiering in 1991, Company B instantly became a signature in the expansive cannon of Paul Taylor, who has enjoyed a place as an icon of American dance since he began dancing with Martha Graham in the 1950’s.

“Paul Taylor is considered one of the pillars of American dance with the likes of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Martha Graham,” Angelini said. “This work is one of Mr. Taylor’s masterpieces. Using the Andrews Sisters’ playful and now kitschy World War II anthem to make a strong statement about American idealism and the harsh realities of war is a testament to Mr. Taylor’s genius.”

One/End/One   VIDEO
Choreography by Jorma Elo, Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“…pressure-filled musicality with a complex Mozart score that can only be accomplished through flawless technical execution.” – DancePulp

“… non-stop virtuoso ballet…” – Dance Magazine

Set to Mozart’s stunning Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo drew inspiration for One/End/One from the rhythmic pulses of the music and of life, using his signature style of combining classical steps and structure with highly articulated non-classical movements. Elo, resident choreographer of Boston Ballet, conceived One/End/One in 2011 with a grant from the first-ever Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance.  This marks the work's Oklahoma premiere.

“Mr. Elo’s choreography is playful and capricious, with a sense of aesthetics that mixes pure classicism with contemporary dance movements. This work is light and charming – classical, yet with an unquestionable twist,” Angelini said.