Tulsa Ballet to Perform in Washington DC
This June, Tulsa Ballet will travel to Washington DC to perform at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of a 5-day festival called Ballet Across America. On Friday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 20 at 1:30 p.m., Tulsa Ballet will perform Nacho Duato’s “Por Vos Muero.”
The Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America returns to the Opera House after a successful debut in 2008. The biennial program is an exploration of the breadth and depth of the art form, showcasing companies from across the nation. Along with Tulsa Ballet, the festival will also feature Ballet Memphis, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre.
Artistic director Marcello Angelini states, “We are excited to represent our state in our nation’s capital. It is a real honor for Tulsa Ballet to be invited to perform at the Kennedy Center among our country’s major ballet companies.”
Tulsa Ballet was named an Oklahoma Cultural Ambassador in a 2007 proclamation by Governor Brad Henry. In addition to representing the quality of the arts in Oklahoma, Tulsa Ballet hopes to bring additional economic resources to the state.
Tulsa Ballet board president Jackie Kouri recalls the company’s 2002 tour to Portugal. “Governor Keating and other state officials accompanied us on that trip and used the opportunity as an economic development tool. The trip resulted in 400 jobs in the Tulsa area.”
According to Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, studies show that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is a strong economic driver in communities—a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.
Jim Fram, senior vice president for economic development at the Tulsa Metro Chamber agrees. The Chamber, along with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, will invite Washington area corporate representatives and potential business partners to join them at the performance and reception.
“Last summer, the Chamber sponsored Tulsa Ballet’s tour to New York City,” Fram said. “We invited site location consultants and corporate real estate executives in New York to attend the performance and experience one of Tulsa’s great treasures. The results were so positive, we wanted to continue to support the company’s touring efforts.”
Tickets for Ballet Across America are available at kennedy-center.org or (800) 444-1324.
Gala to Support Tulsa Ballet’s Tour to Washington
As a fundraiser for Tulsa Ballet’s touring efforts, a gala will be held June 3 at Southern Hills Country Club. The event, which begins with cocktails at 6:30, is chaired by Erin and Don Chappel. Based on the ballet to be performed in Washington, Por Vos Muero, the gala has a Spanish theme. The Williams Companies, Tulsa Metro Chamber, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and American Airlines are presenting sponsors.
“Erin and I are excited to chair this event and offer our support to Tulsa Ballet,” said Don Chappel, chief financial officer for the Williams Companies and Tulsa Ballet advisory director. “We feel strongly that having access to world-class arts is a vital aspect our community. Showcasing this cultural gem in Washington will promote awareness of our city and strengthen Tulsa’s reputation as a great place to live and do business.”
Honorary Chairs are First Lady Kim and Governor Brad Henry; Honorary Hosts are Victoria and Mayor Dewey Bartlett; advisors for the tour include Jacqueline Kouri and Gary Paxton, Betty and Steve Pirnat, Billie and Howard Barnett, Kathy Taylor and Bill Lobeck, Kathy and Frank Keating, Marian and Jim McCarthy, Jana and Mike Neal and Kelli and Jim Fram.
Patron packages start at $500 and single tickets are $250.
About Tulsa Ballet
The purpose of Tulsa Ballet is best stated in its mission: To serve as an essential asset of our extended community through internationally-acclaimed artistic excellence and exemplary education and outreach. Tulsa Ballet was founded in 1956 by husband and wife, Roman Jasinski and Moscelyne Larkin, dancers internationally known for their style in the grand Ballet Russe tradition, and musician Rosalie Talbot. From humble beginnings with a single performance and a box office in a shoe-store, the company, now Tulsa Ballet Theatre, celebrates its 53rd anniversary this season.
Tulsa Ballet annually reaches more than 40,000 individuals across Oklahoma, and serves as an official Cultural Ambassador for the state locally, nationally and internationally. In the past few years, Tulsa Ballet has performed in such prestigious venues as the Joyce Theater in New York, at the Belgrade Dance Festival in Serbia and at the National Dance Exposition in Seoul, South Korea. This June, the company will perform in the second Ballet Across America Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The company consistently brings the finest works in classical and contemporary dance to the Oklahoma stage, giving audiences an opportunity to view world-class ballet in the heartland of America. Tulsa Ballet features a multi-cultural roster of 28 highly-skilled dancers representing 9 U.S. states and 14 foreign countries, attracted by the challenging and varied repertoire and the company’s reputation for engaging the world’s best choreographers.
In order to provide dance training and educational programs, Tulsa Ballet opened the doors of the Center for Dance Education () in 2003. The is a place where students who enjoy dance as a form of recreation and those who aspire to become professional ballet dancers find a class to fit their level of experience and interest. Since its inception, annual enrollment at the has increased six-fold to 365 students in spring of 2009. Last summer, 152 aspiring ballet students traveled to the from 17 different states, Canada, Mexico and Italy for the twelfth annual Pointe to the Future, four weeks of high-quality intensive study at Tulsa Ballet’s state-of-the-art learning facility.
For more information about Tulsa Ballet visit www.tulsaballet.org.