Tulsa Ballet launches their 60th Anniversary Season with ‘Creations in Studio K’

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Triple Bill performance features two world premiere works created for Tulsa Ballet and an Oklahoma premiere by an audience favorite dance maker

TULSA, Okla. – August 2016 – Tulsa Ballet is proud to announce the opening of its 60th Anniversary Season with Creations in Studio K. Eight years ago, Tulsa Ballet constructed a theater with the specific purpose of creating new art in Tulsa to export to the world. Today, Studio K has been an integral part of the operations and vision of Tulsa Ballet. This year will mark the 10th annual Creations in Studio K series, where Tulsa audiences are the first to see brand new contemporary works by accomplished choreographers before they take a life of their own and start traveling around the globe.

The dance makers for this year’s program include Resident Choreographer Ma Cong, Ballet West Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte and Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.

The choreographers were brought to Tulsa to craft what Artistic Director Marcello Angelini calls “the most important program of the season” as it focuses on the future of the art form. “I am a strong believer that evolution exists at the intersection between tradition and innovation.  Without a deep knowledge and appreciation for tradition you can’t innovate, as innovation is the natural evolution of existing concepts.  Yet without innovation tradition dies, as it becomes redundant and boring.  Lack of interest makes anything obsolete” says Angelini. “Our aim and hope for the creation series is to create works of relevance for our times that will eventually become tomorrow’s tradition.”

Nicolo Fonte’s world premiere work, Love-Notes, features songs by the great Nina Simone with a collage of lively group work, rhythmic clapping, and intimate duets. Angelini says, “Nicolo has always been a talented choreographer, able to make inventive and original works with an inventive and personal language. He has now reached a level of maturity with his work that combines his talent for movement and structure for a dance with a strong, well-articulated and impactful message. His Love-Notes is powerful, sensual, entertaining and plain fun to watch.”

Tulsa Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Ma Cong, whom Angelini describes as Tulsa Ballet’s “innovator in residence,” will premiere Flight of Fancy, featuring music from Oliver Davis. The piece explores the joyful feelings of first time experiences and positive memories, which he hopes the audience will transport to through the dance. “Ma has done it again! Flight of Fancy is a fast paced, technically challenging, visually stunning and adrenaline pumping work. While watching its first run-through, I found myself dancing in my chair during the piece and exhilarated afterward” says Angelini.

This program originally advertised a world premiere by Joshua L. Peugh, whose work Slump was performed last year by Tulsa Ballet II. Unfortunately, Joshua sustained a significant knee injury two weeks prior to beginning rehearsals. Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says “I am very sad to announce that Mr. Peugh will not be able to come to Tulsa and create a new work for us this year. His creation will be postponed to a future season. Alejandro Cerrudo, whose Extremely Close was recently performed by Tulsa Ballet to great audience and critical success, will return with his existing work Second to Last. Angelini says “Given the extremely short time between Joshua’s injury and the beginning of the rehearsal process, it was unreasonable to commission a new work from him. Creating something new is a process that starts months in advance of the first day in the studio. The first step is the choice of music, which takes weeks. Next, there is the choice of a designer and the establishment of a concept which is followed by preliminary designs. Then, there are the final designs and the construction of the costumes. All of that has to happen before the first rehearsal day.” Second to Last will be an Oklahoma premiere from a dance maker that, in just a few years, went from being one of the most promising young choreographers of his generation to one of the most accomplished authors of dance in our times.

Mr. Cerrudo is eager to create a new work for the company in the future. Cerrudo says, “From the very start, I felt this energy, attention, and willingness to learn from the dancers. That is something priceless for a choreographer; to have dancers that are open minded and willing to transform themselves. It’s also a great way for dancers to grow as well. Perhaps that is why the dancers at Tulsa Ballet are so good; they are willing to learn and to grow.”

Creations in Studio K opens September 16 at Tulsa Ballet’s Brookside facility with performances through September 25 and all performances will include a complimentary reception during the first intermission. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling (918) 749-6006 or online at www.tulsaballet.org.

Tulsa Ballet will host the second annual performance of Kaleidoscope: A Celebration of Local Dance on the evening of Sunday, September 25th. This special performance will feature new works by Bell House Arts, Tulsa Modern Movement, Portico Dans Theatre and Nina Madsen Dance. This performance will be free and open to the public.

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About the Choreographers

Ma Cong started his dance career at the Beijing Dance Academy danced with The National Ballet of China. In 1999 he joined Tulsa Ballet as a Demi-Soloist and rose through the ranks to become Principal Dancer.  In this capacity, he danced the works of some of the top choreographers of past and present times, including Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, Sir Kenneth McMillan, John Cranko, Paul Taylor and George Balanchine among others. Mr. Cong was given his first opportunity to choreograph in 2004 by Mr. Angelini.  Since then, Tulsa Ballet commissioned from him over a dozen new works. His work with the company has allowed Mr. Cong to develop into an internationally renowned choreographer. Today Mr. Cong works with many companies, both in the US and abroad, starting from the Richmond Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Smuin Ballet San Francisco, Queensland Ballet and The National Ballet of China. His latest work to premiere in Creations in Studio K features music from Oliver Davis and is entitled Flight of Fancy. The piece explores the joyful feelings of first time experiences and positive memories, which he hopes the audience will transport to through the dance.

Alejandro Cerrudo was born in Madrid, Spain and trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid. His professional career began in 1998 and includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, was named Choreographic Fellow in 2008, and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011), and a Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first evening-length work, One Thousand Pieces. Cerrudo is one of four choreographers invited by New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for Restless Creature and he was recently announced the 2014 USA Donnelley Fellow by United States Artists. Second to Last is a kinetic and luscious modern work filled with five duets and features music from Phillip Glass and Arvo Pärt. Cerrudo writes the entire dance was conceived as a study, to explore “choreographic possibilities within the duet form,” and that it wasn’t his intention to explore relationships. “It was movement research, rather than trying to look for that specific feeling.”

Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to dance. His work has been noted by critics for a unique movement language as well as a highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design. Born in Brooklyn New York, Fonte started dancing at the age of 14. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York as well as at the San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet Schools while completing a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. Upon graduation he danced with Peridance in NYC and later joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, dancing in the works of Balanchine, Tudor, Kudelka and Spaniard Nacho Duato. Fonte subsequently joined Duato’s Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid and forged a strong identity in the Spanish company for seven years – for both his dancing and his choreography. In 2000 Fonte retired from performing to devote himself full-time to his choreographic career. From 2002 to 2006 Nicolo enjoyed an ongoing creative partnership with The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden, creating and staging numerous works that helped establish the company’s distinct profile. Fonte has also played an important role in the ongoing development of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as one of that company’s most popular guest choreographers. To date he has created eight highly successful works for ASFB that have toured throughout the US and overseas. Nicolo Fonte is currently the Resident Choreographer for Ballet West, in Salt Lake City, which began with the 2012-2013 season. Fonte’s world premiere work for Creations in Studio K features various songs by the great Nina Simone with a collage of lively group work, rhythmic clapping, and intimate duets.

Kaleidoscope: A Celebration of Local Dance

Local Dance Companies to Perform in Studio K Sunday September 25th

Tulsa Ballet continues its endeavor to be a catalyst for the development of dance in the City of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma.  Following the Creations in Studio K final performance on Sunday, September 25th the company will offer the theater to local dance companies to showcase the creativity in the field within the community.  Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says “Since the inception of Studio K, our goal has been to create dance in Tulsa and export it all over the world as well as to make this space relevant for the development of local dance and dance companies.  The purpose of Studio K is to be the center for dance creativity in the State of Oklahoma.”

Tulsa Ballet started inviting local modern dance organizations to perform in Studio K five years ago in an effort to champion and promote the growth of the field of dance in the city and the state. The purpose was to expose other dance organizations in the city to our audience, thus helping our peers in the community experience growth through increased audience development. The intention was to give the guest companies their own performance and hopefully to grow this project into a series of multiple performances for the future.

“I feel we have reached the critical mass in this project.” says Angelini.  “With each season I witnessed the number of audience members coming early to see our guest companies grow steadily. I believe we are ready to let our friends perform alone and hope for a sold out performance. My goal is to continue adding performances for this creation series, by our own company and by our colleagues in the community.”

This special performance will feature new works by Bell House Arts, Tulsa Modern Movement, Portico Dans Theatre and Nina Madsen Dance. This show will be free and open to the public.

All performances will take place at Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K in Brookside (1212 East 45th Place South).

Tulsa Ballet’s Creations in Studio K Fact Sheet

What:                        Creations in Studio K

A mixed repertory evening of three world premiere ballets featuring choreography by Ma Cong, Alejandro Cerrudo, and Nicolo Fonte

Note: All performances will include a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres during intermission to celebrate the season kick-off!

 

Where:                  Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K

1212 East 45th Place, Tulsa, OK 74105

 

Dates:                    Shows from September 16-18 and September 22-25:

Friday, September 16 at 8pm

Saturday, September 17 at 3pm & 8pm

Sunday, September 18 at 3pm

Thursday, September 22 at 8pm

Friday, September 23 at 8pm

Saturday, September 24 at 3pm & 8pm

Sunday, September 25 at 3pm

 

Show-times and Ticket Information:

Call (918) 749-6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org.

Tickets to Creations in Studio K start at $25 for select performance dates.

Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:

Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager

918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org