Tulsa Ballet presents Off the Floor: Creations in Studio K

Apr 11, 2012 in 11-12 Season Releases


Featuring Three World Premieres by Three Exciting Choreographers –
Ma Cong, Douglas Lee and Darrell Grand Moultrie

Tulsa Ballet Welcomes Local Dance Companies to Perform
as Openers at Select Performances

TULSA, Okla. – April 9, 2012 – From April 27 – May 6, 2012, Tulsa Ballet presents its final performance of the 2011 – 2012 season, Off the Floor: Creations in Studio K. Creations in Studio K provides choreographers and dancers alike the opportunity to be part of a remarkable creative process whose outcome is the creation of three brand new works for our audience. This year’s performances will feature World Premieres by Ma Cong, Douglas Lee and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Additionally Tulsa Ballet, in an effort to promote the local dance scene, will feature local dance companies half hour prior to the beginning of Creations in Studio K. Companies include Bell House Arts, Jennifer Mellor Dance Project, Living Water, Portico Dance Theater and TuMM. All performances will take place at Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K in Brookside (1212 East 45th Place South). For tickets, please call (918) 749-6006 or visit us online at www.tulsaballet.org.
Tulsa Ballet’s own Ma Cong was named one of the “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine for both his dancing and his choreography. The unique choreographic style of this Tulsa favorite dance maker is rooted in both in his classical and neo-classical experience with Tulsa Ballet as well as his early training in Chinese dance. This year, Cong was inspired by an oil painting he found in Portugal to create his piece Memorias del Viento, translated “Memories of the Wind.”

“I was immediately drawn to this image of a woman on a hill watching her husband down by the beach preparing to go fishing to support his family,” Cong said. “There was great physical distance between them, but you could see in her eyes that their love and emotional connection was strong. Tulsa audiences really appreciate different cultures so I wanted to bring that culture and that beautiful connection to life in my choreography.”

Four couples dance to Spanish music by Bia, Ojos de Brujo and Yesmin. The movements are inspired by Mediterranean folk dancing with an organic, earthy interpretation.

“Ma Cong has created another masterpiece for Tulsa Ballet,” Artistic Director Marcello Angelini said. “It has been so much fun seeing this dance maker come into his own, transforming his natural talent into the necessary skills to make a work coherent and captivating from beginning to end. His career as a choreographer is taking off. He is creating works for companies nationally and internationally. I am proud to have promoted his growth as a choreographer and to boast, in the repertory of Tulsa Ballet, a large body of work from this uniquely talented young choreographer.”

As a former principal dancer with Stuttgart Ballet, Douglas Lee made his choreographic debut in February 1999 for the Stuttgart-based Noverre Society's "Young Choreographers", upon which he was commissioned to create a new work for the Stuttgart Ballet. Since then, he has worked with many international ballet companies including the Norwegian Nation Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, New York City Ballet and Perm Opera Ballet Theater. Lee’s works received three Golden Mask Award nominations and he has twice been invited to the New York Choreographic Institute.
Through his consistent collaboration with the Stuttgart dancers, Lee has developed a distinct choreographic voice, which is characterized by stunning sculptural images created by the use of exquisite and complex partnering and a masterful use of the classical vocabulary. Highly aesthetic, each work is a carefully composed fusion of dance, light and space.

“Every year I receive more than 100 DVD’s from choreographers from all over the world,” Angelini said. “Some of them are good yet others manage to capture your mind and heart. That’s what happened in November of 2010 when I received a demo DVD from Douglas. I was very interested to see his work as Douglas is one of the resident choreographers of the Stuttgart Ballet, one of the top companies in the world. Stuttgart Ballet has a longstanding tradition of discovering and promoting the growth of some of the top choreographers in the world, a policy that started under the leadership of John Cranko and continues today with Reid Anderson, the company’s current artistic director. The DVD didn’t disappoint. Douglas’ work was enchanting, his vocabulary attractive and his musicality appealing. He has created a fascinating work for Tulsa Ballet, one that will capture the imagination of our audience.”

Lee’s work for Creations in K is titled Septet - a ballet for seven dancers on a theme of submission.

Juilliard graduate and 2007 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award recipient, Darrell Grand Moultrie is fast emerging as one of America's most sought after choreographers and master teachers. The New York Times writes, “Moultrie moves his dancers around the stage with remarkable authority…is obviously someone to watch.” Not one to be pigeonholed into any particular genre, Moultrie has carved out an impressive career that seamlessly weaves his distinctive and highly praised ballet and modern dance choreography, to on-stage Broadway performer (most recently seen in the original cast of Billy Elliot) and to television work.

“Darrell is a force of nature,” Angelini said. “His works are distilled energy, extremely dynamic and wonderfully entertaining. I remember talking, years ago, with an old friend and respected colleague, Gerard Charles, who has been leading BalletMet for many years. He asked me if I had seen any of Darrell’s works, which I hadn’t at that time. The same discussion took place with Victoria Morgan, the artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet, a year or so later. I researched him on line (what did we do before YouTube?) and was mesmerized by his choreography and ability to make works that are incredibly well structured. He is one of the most versatile choreographers of our time, able to create the choreography for Broadway shows and then create a piece on pointe shoes for a ballet company. His background in musical theater is evident though, not necessarily in the style of his choreography for ballet companies, but in his ability to energize an audience with his works.”

Moultrie presents Tulsa audiences with his new piece with the working title Box the Outside.

About Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K
Tulsa Ballet’s performance space, Studio K, opened in the heart of Brookside at the end of April 2008. Since then, it has become one of Tulsa’s most unique performance venues. With only 295 seats and a full sized stage, Studio K provides the opportunity for Tulsans to witness the power and athleticism of professional dancers up close and personal. A state-of-the-art sound system and comfortable stadium seating add to the entire experience.

Studio K was designed for the purpose of creating new ballet works in Tulsa to be shared with the world. Each season, Tulsa Ballet enlists the talents of rising choreographers to present premiere performances that will go on to be presented by other ballet companies all over the globe. Not only does this provide a truly unique experience for local audiences, but it helps put Tulsa on the map as an international leader in the world of professional dance. Thus, Tulsa Ballet also plays an active role in shaping the future of ballet and an art form and the next generation of dance enthusiasts.