If you are like Daniela and me, you have been spending pretty much every waking hour of your day, and most likely every evening, pondering on the events of the last few weeks. And now that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across Oklahoma, the sense of urgency to protect our health, and understand the consequences of this pandemic on our businesses, has escalated dramatically.
Based on the upward trends in our area, as well as the recommendations from the CDC, our Mayor’s directives and the latest Executive Order issued by Governor Stitt, we came to the conclusion that resuming artistic operations at this time is not only unsafe for our dancers and administrators but also irresponsible. Our first and foremost obligation is for the safety and well-being of every Tulsa Ballet family member, a family that includes our patrons, our dancers, our administrators and everybody who interacts with our employees. We are therefore rescheduling our two upcoming programs, and some of the upcoming works, to a later time.
For those of you who were excited about the upcoming shows of Vendetta, A Mafia Story, you will be happy to know that you can still see this spectacular piece of dance and theater next season. Vendetta will see its U.S. premiere on October 29th through November 1st, 2020, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center!
I can already hear some of you wondering about Ma Cong’s World Premiere of Carmen. I can reassure you it will be part of the season, as well. In fact, Carmen will close our upcoming season at the Lorton Performing Arts Center on May 6th through 9th, 2021. As for the triple bill scheduled in that slot, it will be postponed to a later season.
I know some of you were very excited to revisit Andy Blankenbuehler’s Remember our Song. You will be able to enjoy this unique work by the three-time Tony Award-winning choreographer of, among others, the sensational Broadway hit Hamilton, in our own Studio K September 17th through 27th, 2020. The only thing better than seeing Remember our Song is seeing it up close and personal in Studio K. I am confident that your 2020|21 Ballet season will be even more exciting, engaging, endearing and groundbreaking as ever.
As for our Center for Dance Education, we will be suspending live classes at both campuses till the beginning of the new school year. Our students will, however, be able to continue training in the safety of their own homes, with their favorite teachers, through electronic mediums.
Work continues in anticipation of the world premiere of Jack and the Beanstalk, a children’s ballet that will open our TBII season in August. With sets and costumes by Tracy Grant Lord, designer of Tchaikovsky, The Man Behind The Music, and brand-new choreography by Ma Cong, this new work will be the second in a series of four made possible by the generosity of the Hardesty Foundation.
All of us at Tulsa Ballet are as apprehensive as you are about the present situation. By the same token, the true test of an organization is how it responds in times of crisis. Observing the reaction of our Board and staff during this crisis clearly showed that, in spite of the distress we are all experiencing, every stakeholder is determined to come out of this tunnel stronger than ever. This crisis will define who we are as people, organizations, local communities and as a global society. We will be back stronger, more focused, more creative, more entertaining and more alive than ever!