When I started working with Tulsa Ballet 25 years ago I never imagined the world would find itself in such a precarious situation. During the past fifty years we have witnessed terror attacks, wars, major health situations like SARS and Ebola, and yet none of them paralyzed our planet to the extent the Coronavirus has. As someone very famous once said, “Forget about how things were in the past and how you hope them to be in the future. Focus on how things are right now.”
The present reality is a moving target, and a target we don’t have any control over. We all like to be in control of our lives, and yet this situation finds most of us in reactionary mode. All we can do is make appropriate decisions based on the information available to us at this particular time, knowing too well that by the time you read this letter, new information will surface that will require our plans to change. I kindly ask you to be patient with us and accept the changing nature of the present times.
Based on the latest directives from our Mayor, and the latest recommendations of the CDC, we have decided to postpone our upcoming performances of Vendetta, a Mafia Story. Our ultimate commitment is to the safety and wellbeing of audience members, dancers, and employees. Based on this commitment we believe postponing the shows until gatherings are safer is the only way to move forward. We set the opening night date of Vendetta for Friday, May 22nd with subsequent performances on May 23rd and May 24th matinee. Preview night will be held on Thursday, May 21. I hope the Coronavirus situation will be improved by then, and that we can all enjoy the U.S. premiere of this stunning piece of dance and theater.
Our upcoming performance of Peter and the Wolf, scheduled for April 3rd, will be postponed to the fall. And now some better news. We are exploring the possibility of live streaming the TBII Next Generation program. It will be a good first step in case we need to move more programs to electronic platforms. And maybe something good will come out of this situation. Maybe in the not too distant future, we will have the option of watching Tulsa Ballet’s performances in our living room, in our PJs while sipping a good glass of wine…
In an effort to protect our employees, Tulsa Ballet facilities will be closed to the general public effective today. With the same philosophy in mind, all events scheduled between today, March 16th and May 20th will be either canceled or postponed.
In regards to our Signature Series, we are not making any decisions at this point. Every day we learn of new factors that affect our decisions going forward. Changing the course for an event happening in two months is premature. Of course, we are exploring options if the shutdown is still in effect.
In regards to our Center for Dance Education, all our student body is on spring break this week and we will be following the lead of Tulsa Public Schools and canceling our classes through April 6th. We will keep everyone informed of any updates.
We are living through a very difficult chapter in world history. One thing we know for sure: we will come out of this crisis! By the same token, how your company looks by that time will depend on all of us. I hope our hard work and commitment to the community has earned your trust, and that your trust will translate in your continued support of Tulsa Ballet throughout this crisis. As my favorite Artistic Director, Ivan Nagy, used to say, “Everybody falls on stage at least once during their careers. What matters is not falling, but what you do after the fall.” You can trust that your Tulsa Ballet is determined not to lose its vibrancy, creativity, or relevancy. We, just like our friends at Philbrook, the TSO, the Tulsa Opera, and many other great arts organizations in town, need your support more than ever. Let’s remember that these times shall pass, but we will still be here to serve you, our audience, our patrons, our students, and our community!
– Artistic Director Marcello Angelini