Tulsa Ballet News


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October 31-November 3, 2019
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
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Would you die for love?

One of ballet’s greatest love stories, the haunting Giselle arrives this October to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. When a young woman is betrayed by her fiancé and dies brokenhearted, she rises from the grave to save her beloved from the revenge of other scorned women.

Accompanied live by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Ballet presents Giselle for the first time in 15 years. You won’t want to miss this stunning tale of the power of love!


Giselle, an innocent peasant girl, has her heart fatally broken when she discovers the man she fell in love with is the disguised Duke Albrecht, who is betrothed to another. As moonlight settles on Giselle’s grave she is summoned by Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis.

These female spirits, all abandoned before their wedding day, rise from their graves at night to seek revenge upon men by dancing them to death. Giselle must decide to either join the Wilis in their eternal search for vengeance, or allow her love to forgive Albrecht.

Eerie and tragically romantic, this masterwork ballet was instantly popular when it debuted in 1841, and continues to be one of the most often performed classical ballets in the world.

Enhance your experience!

Pre-performance discussions are held in the Westby Pavilion on the Promenade level 30 minutes prior to curtain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances. Discussions are led by Tulsa Ballet artistic staff and visiting artists, and topics may include the choreography, musical score, costuming, or other subjects related to the performance. Pre-performance discussions are free and all ticket holders are invited to attend.


You can save on tickets to Giselle and our fantastic season by becoming a subscriber! Click here for details.

Thurs. October 31: Preview Night 7:00pm

A limited number of tickets are available for Preview Night. Be the first to see the show when you purchase your tickets to our special dress rehearsal. Arrive one hour early get a behind-the-scenes look as the dancers warm up before the show. Please note that Preview Night is a dress rehearsal performance. There may be extra pauses in the performance and noise from the technical staff.

Fri. November 1 7:30pm
Sat. November 2 7:30pm
Sun. November 3 2:30pm


Tulsa Performing Arts Center

Have questions about attending a Tulsa Ballet performance? Visit this helpful guide.

Traveling to Tulsa? Stay with our preferred hotel partners! Click the links below for a special rate for Tulsa Ballet supporters.


TULSA, OK – After a 15 year absence, Tulsa Ballet brings the ballet masterpiece Giselle back to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center October 31st – November 3rd. For tickets and information, call (918) 749-6006 or visit tulsaballet.org.

Not seen in Tulsa since 2002, Artistic Director Marcello Angelini brings to life this haunting tale of hope, love, revenge, and forgiveness, one that has thrilled audiences for over 150 years.

This beautiful and romantic story features Giselle, a peasant girl whose heart is broken after discovering that Albrecht, the man she is in love with, is a deceitful nobleman engaged to be married to Countess Bathilde. When Giselle finds out of the deception, she dies of a broken heart. Realizing Giselle is his true love, Albrecht goes to visit her grave in the village’s cemetery in the middle of the night where he finds himself surrounded by the Wilis, the spirits of maidens who have also died of broken hearts before wedding. They then take revenge on the men who have betrayed their love by dancing them to death.

With haunting scenes, beautiful choreography, and breathtaking scenery and costumes, Giselle represents, together with Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, the pinnacle of classical ballet. It is also one of the most challenging pieces in the classical repertoire, both artistically and technically. The Mad Scene, at the end of act one, is the ultimate dramatic scene for a Ballerina in the 19th century repertoire, while the role of Albrecht requires both technical prowess and athletic vigor, as well as well as an extensive artistic maturity. Giselle has beguiled audiences for over 150 years.

Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “…Giselle is the ultimate classical ballet, and one that will always come alive when the curtain goes up.  The story, even if told in 19th century social form, is part of the human experience that transcends time, one of love, deceit, tragedy, reflection and ultimate forgiveness.

In regards to adding the classic to the 19|20 Season, Angelini continues, “I am so happy to bring it back to the Tulsa stage and share it with our audience.  After all, Giselle is not only the most performed ballet around the world but also the most performed by Tulsa Ballet, if the one that I only programmed once in my 25 years with the company.  Time to remedy that!”



Tulsa Performing Arts Center | 110 E 2nd St, Tulsa OK 74103

Thursday, October 31, 2019 | 7:00 p.m. (Preview Night)

Friday, November 1, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 2, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 3, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.


TICKETS: Start at $25 | Call the Tulsa Ballet Box Office at 918.749.6006 or visit tulsaballet.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:  tulsaballet.org or 918.749.6006

Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:
Bethany Kirby | Marketing Manager
918.392.5949 | Bethany.kirby@tulsaballet.org

Peter and the Wolf

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September 27 (Tulsa)
September 28 (Tulsa)
November 8 (Broken Arrow)
January 17 & 18, 2020 (Broken Arrow)
April 3, 2020 (Tulsa)

Studio K in Tulsa | 1212 E. 45th Place
Zarrow Studio in Broken Arrow | 1901 W. New Orleans Street
see below for directions

Purchase single tickets here. For group sales, contact Marissa Mitchell at 918-392-5914 or marissa.mitchell@tulsaballet.org.

The children’s classic comes alive on stage







Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow.

The Hardesty Family Foundation Children’s Series matinee performances of Ma Cong’s Peter & the Wolf are perfect for ballet’s youngest fans and features a cast of characters children know and love, amazing sets and costumes, plus an on-stage narrator to help guide them through the story.

With tickets priced as low as $10 and a total run time of 45 minutes, this performance is a fun way to learn about ballet, music, and theater and perfect for both the young and young at heart!

Schools & Groups

Our Friday performance times make for great field trips for school and youth groups. Reserve your space now for your group of eight or more! To order group tickets click HERE or contact Marissa Mitchell at 918-392-5914 or marissa.mitchell@tulsaballet.org.

$10 ticket price for tax-exempt organizations. Proof of exemption required. All other tickets are $15.

Underwriting support for Peter and the Wolf generously provided by the Hardesty Family Foundation and the Stinson Family.


Studio K | Tulsa

Fri. September 27, 2019 10:00am
Sat. September 28, 2019 2:00pm
Fri. April 3, 2020 10:00am
Fri. April 3, 2020 11:45am

Zarrow Studio | Broken Arrow

Fri. November 8, 2019 10:00am
Fri. November 8, 2019 11:45am
Fri. January 17, 2020 10:00am
Fri. January 17, 2020 11:45am
Sat. January 18, 2020 2:00pm


Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K Theater in Tulsa

Anne & Henry Zarrow Performance Studio, Tulsa Ballet Hardesty Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow

Have questions about attending a Tulsa Ballet performance? Visit this helpful guide.
Traveling to Tulsa? Stay with our preferred hotel partners! Click the links below for a special rate for Tulsa Ballet supporters.

2019 Ballet on the Green: Free Public Event

Experience the Power of Tulsa Ballet

Friday, October 4, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Tulsa Ballet returns to Guthrie Green with a live, free and open to the public performance during The Tulsa Arts District’s popular First Friday Art Crawl!

You’ll see exciting and innovative dance works performed by both Tulsa Ballet’s Main Company and Tulsa Ballet II.

Pack a picnic dinner, spread a blanket on the lawn, and get ready to experience the power of dance! Enter our free drawing to win tickets to Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker. A perfect event to bring your family, friends, and co-workers!

Register now to win a Tulsa Ballet The Nutcracker prize package! Two packages will be drawn only from online entries. Enter to win here: http://bit.ly/BalletontheGreen19.

For questions, call Tulsa Ballet at (918) 392-5905.

Stay up to date on Ballet on the Green announcements by following our Facebook event.

Special thanks to our media sponsor KOTV Channel 6.

2019 Open House: Free Event

Explore the Power of Tulsa Ballet

Saturday, August 10, 9:30 a.m.- 3:00 pm.

Thanks to all who joined us. We look forward to seeing you next year!

We’re opening our studio doors to the Tulsa community for an exciting day at the ballet! If you’ve ever wondered what a day in the life of a professional dancer is like, then you don’t want to miss this. Perfect for dance fans of all ages!

Join us on Saturday, August 10th, from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm, and attend dancer rehearsals, visit our amazing costume shop, see pointe shoes up-close, meet the Tulsa Ballet dancers, and participate in some dance fun! You are welcome to stop in throughout the day and stay as little or as long as you like.

Admission is free with plenty of free parking.

While RSVPs are not required, you can sign-up in advance to receive quick admission and also be entered to win a fantastic Tulsa Ballet Nutcracker Package! RSVP here.

For questions, call Tulsa Ballet at (918) 392-5905.

Stay up to date on Open House announcements by following our Facebook event on Facebook.

Tulsa Ballet Announces Completion of $25 Million Integrated Campaign

Tulsa Ballet closes one of its most successful seasons with the announcement that it has achieved its $25 million Defining the Future Campaign – the largest fundraising initiative in the history of the company.

The integrated campaign exceeded its goal by raising a total of $25.2 million, thanks to a $450,000 major gift from the Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation and trustees Kirk Clausing and Max Vowel.

Funds raised from the campaign are being used to:

  • Broaden the reach of the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education.
  • Build and create new productions.
  • Increase the Tulsa Ballet endowment to provide for the long‐term sustainability of the organization.

The campaign, first chaired by Kayla Vaughn, began in 2015. Billie Barnett assumed the chair role in 2017. Hannah Robson served as Honorary Chair.

“We are especially grateful for the Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation’s gift, which has helped us reach the finish line for this campaign,” says Scott Black, Tulsa Ballet’s Managing Director. “As a World War II veteran, Lou Miller became an entrepreneur establishing L&M Office Furniture as a successful Tulsa-owned business and finding continued success through real estate investments. I am sure that Mr. Miller would be pleased that his legacy of philanthropy is being carried out by the trustees of his foundation.”

Marcello Angelini, Tulsa Ballet’s Artistic Director, says, “The Defining the Future Campaign was developed to substantiate the relevance of dance in our community for decades to come, through audience growth and education, and the long-term artistic and financial health of Tulsa Ballet. We are thankful to every individual who contributed to this campaign, and for their investment in the future of the arts, culture and quality of life of our community.”

About Defining the Future – An Integrated Campaign for Tulsa Ballet

Completion of Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow
The Tulsa Ballet Defining the Future Campaign consists of multiple funding areas, the first being capital funds to build The Hardesty Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow, the result of a generous gift of 13.72 acres from the Hardesty Family Foundation and its founders, Roger and Donna Hardesty.

This facility, designed by Bob Schaefer of Selser Schaefer Architects, opened in 2016 as part of Tulsa Ballet’s 60th anniversary season to support the growing needs for ballet training, education and outreach programs.

The school houses the Ann and Jack Graves Studios and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Performance Studio, a state-of-the-art, in-house theater with a seating capacity of 160. Additional funding came from the JE and LE Mabee Foundation in the form of a challenge grant, and the Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation, along with multiple individuals, corporations and foundations.

Creation of New Productions
Mollie Williford provided the lead gift to support capital funds for new productions, including this past April’s world premiere of Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music by resident choreographer Ma Cong and the world premiere of Dorothy and the Prince of Oz by Edwaard Liang in collaboration with BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio, that debuted in 2016.

Additional capital funds from the HA and Mary K Chapman Charitable Foundations and the Suzanne and Jim Kneale Family Foundation have been raised to support an all-new production of The Nutcracker to premiere in a future season.

Endowment Growth

Gifts to the Tulsa Ballet endowment have been established to support essential programs in perpetuity.

Lead gifts have been committed by:

  • Bonnie Klein, who has established the Audience Favorite Endowment Fund, providing support for productions with mass audience appeal.
  • Kathy and Bob West World Premiere Endowment Fund, providing support for productions that foster the creation of new works.
  • Margery Mayo Bird Classical Masterpiece Endowment Fund, providing support for productions that preserve the tradition of classical ballet.
  • Judith and Jean Pape Adams Artistic Excellence Endowment Fund, providing support for Tulsa Ballet’s commitment to uncompromising artistic quality.
  • Sanford and Irene Burnstein Arts Access Endowment Fund, providing access to ballet performances for at-risk youth
  • Hannah and Joe Robson Endowment Fund for general support.

Sustaining the level of excellence for annual operations during the campaign has been critical to Tulsa Ballet’s success. Major campaign gifts from George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation are just a few who have made increased gifts to support Tulsa Ballet’s annual performances and educational outreach programs.

Major gifts and donors
Providing a combined $21 million in major gift commitments for Defining the Future are: The Hardesty Family Foundation; E. Ann Graves; Margery Mayo Bird Foundation; Rita Willis Trust; George Kaiser Family Foundation; Bonnie Klein; The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation; H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Charitable Foundations; Mollie Williford; The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation; Judith and Jean Pape Adams Charitable Foundation; Kathy and Bob West; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Lou and Connie Miller Charitable Foundation; Suzanne and Jim Kneale Family Foundation; Janet Selser and Bob Schaefer/Selser Schaefer Architects; Bobbye Ruth and Dewitt L. Potter; and Hannah and Joe Robson.

Major gift donors pledging a combined $2.4 million in contributions include: Billie and Howard Barnett and the Barnett Family Foundation; The Albert and Hete Barthelmes Foundation; SemGroup; Monica Williford and Steve Bayles; Kayla and Scott Vaughn; Katrine and Ramez Hakim; The Maurice DeVinna Charitable Trust; The Mervin Bovaird Foundation; Meinig Family Foundation; Oxley Foundation; Sanford and Irene Burnstein Foundation; Wendy and Gentner Drummond/Blue Sky Bank; Jill and Robert Thomas; Susan and Bill Thomas; Jo and Jack Babbitt; KKT Architects; GlobalHealth; David O. Hogan; IBC Bank; Jackie Kouri and Gary Paxton; Betty and Steve Pirnat; Susan Parrott; Patsy Savage; Will Smith; Charles and Marion Weber Foundation; and Karen Young.

About Tulsa Ballet
Since 1956, Tulsa Ballet has evolved from a small regional ballet company to a nationally and internationally recognized arts organization. For 24 years, the organization has thrived under the leadership of Artistic Director Marcello Angelini.

Today, Tulsa Ballet consistently attracts the finest choreographers in the world, employs around 30 professional dancers from around the world, 25 full‐time artistic and administrative staff members and a pre‐professional ensemble composed of 12 American and international young dancers, all graduates from the top ballet academies of the world.

This year, Tulsa Ballet fulfilled its role as an Oklahoma cultural ambassador by representing the city and state in Italy, Switzerland and Spain on the company’s first three-country tour.

Performing to sold out crowds in six of the top venues, Tulsa Ballet received standing ovations and was called by the European press, “without a doubt, within the Top Ten American ballet companies,” and “one that, for decades continues to enrich the international landscape of our field” and “a company made up of 30 dancers from 14 countries, dancers who are absolutely extraordinary for their technique and versatility … Tulsa Ballet’s work was truly exceptional.”

The recently completed season also saw some of the company’s greatest successes to date, including the highest subscription sales ever, the highest selling run of The Nutcracker in the history of Tulsa Ballet, the largest enrollment in the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education, and the highest grossing special event, Icons & Idols 2019, in the history of Tulsa Ballet.

View the Campaign Celebration book here.

Tulsa Ballet, Dance is an interior journey

A translated review in Spettacoli by Silvia Allegri

Photo by Vincenzo Siniscalco – at Teatro Rossini, Civitanova Marche.

Synchrony, polished technique and great physical expressiveness were welcomed with enthusiasm and warmth from the audience.  Tulsa Ballet’s Masters of Dance, the fifth engagement in the Teatro Ristori’s dance season, conquers the audience with a program of noticeable depth, where dance transforms in an art-form capable of accompanying the audience member in an introspective journey, thanks to pieces of choreography that have achieved legendary status.

What most surprised us was the continuous, palpable emotional escalation, partly due to the change in the order of the program that allowed Shibuya Blues by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. This piece is an abstract work of great impact inspired by the Tokyo intersection that bares the same name, known for being the busiest in the world.

There, during the peak hours of the day, thousands of people move from one side of the intersection to the other, and on stage we relive the frenetic pace through the classical virtuosity of the piece melted together with contemporary movements, all with an incessant and pressing pace that unlashes an energy that engages the audience.

And then we are presented with the lightness and innocence of Who Cares?, by George Balanchine, a work that blends the refined music of Gershwin, composed between 1924 and 1931, to the beauty of neoclassical solos and duets, where the smart use of lighting effects beautifully highlights the female dancers and their pastel costumes against the dark skyline of the backdrop.

To close the program with its hypnotic circular structure was Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table, ‘a dance macabre in eight scenes’ as the subtitle express:  diplomats wearing masks altercate around a green table and shoot their guns in the air to symbolize the declaration of war, which segues into dramatic sections that illustrate the conflict and its inherent stupidity with the presence of Death, depicted like a skeleton moving like a robot, perennially thirsty for victims.

Tulsa Ballet confirms itself, without a doubt, within the Top Ten American ballet companies, one that, for decades continues to enrich the international landscape of our field. To make this engagement even more precious was the presence of Marcello Angelini at the gathering, organized Saturday by the Associazione Evgenij Polyakov- dancer, choreographer, ballet master- in collaboration with the Liceo Coreutico “Michelangelo Buonarroti” and Immagine Danza Asd, in Verona.  Angelini, who has lead the organization for the past 24 years, talked about his experience working with Maestro Polyakov, as his pupil, as a dancer and as a choreographer.  

Three lessons in eclecticism from Tulsa Ballet

The American company performed Sunday for the south stage of LAC

A review in Corriere Del Ticino by Antonio Mariotti

“The Green Table” of Kurt Jooss interpreted by Tulsa

LUGANO – An “American perspective” of extreme interest the one offered by Lugano Scena over six appointments (two engagements dedicated to theater and four to dance), one that reached its final performance Sunday night at LAC with Eclectic Stories presented by Tulsa Ballet directed by Marcello Angelini. The three works are surely eclectic, as the title of the program suggests, and showcased the versatility of all the artists involved, and the sometimes educational essence of this institution born more than 60 years’ ago in Oklahoma.

A successfully eclectic spirit that was already evident in the first work of the program, Shibuya Blues, a very recent dance by choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa on diverse musical scores, among them a famous tune from one of the most celebrated composers of this genre:  Rene’ Aubry.  After this high class “aperitif”, the show entered its core, offering to the Lugano’s large and attentive audience two works of total contrast.  First we witnessed the light and carefree Who Cares? a piece created by George Balanchine in 1970 on music by George Gershwin. A series of short dances (mostly pas de deux and solos) from which transpires the typical American attitude of looking at life in a positive way, lulled by catching melodies that seem out of a Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers’ movie.  

This work is diametrically opposite from the one that followed, The Green Table by Kurt Jooss (1932), with music by Fritz Cohen played live on pianos by Andew Lahti and Joseph McNamara.  This last work occupies a very important place in the twentieth century’s dance history, one hand foreshadowing the advent of Nazis and the inevitability of the war that ensued, while on the other pointing its finger in an accusatory way to political intrigues.  Those are the political intrigues that prefer to play with human destiny around a green table, one just like the ones of the Roulette table, instead of looking for solutions that can satisfy the needs of the majority.   A discourse with strong political tones, one that has its roots in the aesthetic styles of German expressionism and in the Brecht’s theater form, brining to life well defined characters, with caricatural tones (like the one personified by the character of Death) that become the protagonists of a true narrative, making The Green Table an extremely actual prototipe of the dance-theater that will bloom after the first half of the twentieth century.

Tulsa Ballet has proved to be a high-level ballet company, capable of developing an amazing philological work on several fronts. An approach that the LAC public has truly enjoyed .