Tulsa Ballet celebrates women choreographers, new creations, classic story ballets, and presents the American premiere of Strictly Gershwin

Tulsa, OKLA. – March 15, 2017 – Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini proudly announces the 2017/18 Season and says, “There are many factors that influence the crafting of a season. We need to consider the entertainment, cultural and artistic value of each work. We need to make sure those works allow our company to grow. We need to consider the ratio between innovation and tradition. We need to consider the ratio between fun, light entertaining works and ballets with more political and cultural weight. I hope you will join me for each program to experience the energy of new works, the excitement of American premieres and the provocative message of our Signature Series. All seamed together by one essential element: excellence.”


Creations in Studio K

September 15-24th at the Tulsa Ballet Studio K Theater

While many acclaimed dance companies start their season with traditional classic ballets, Tulsa Ballet launches their season with a triple bill program totally dedicated to innovation through the creation of new works. Next season this program will celebrate the artistry, sensitivity and accomplishments of women choreographers. The performances will take place in Tulsa Ballet’s own intimate Studio K Theater and will feature three world premiere works from some of the most world-renowned dance makers.


Helen Pickett – Mr. Angelini calls Helen Pickett “the quintessential American choreographer”. Born in San Diego, and trained at the San Francisco Ballet School, she has created more than 30 works for companies around the world during the past decade or so, and currently serves as the Resident Choreographer of Atlanta Ballet. Pickett danced for twelve years with Ballet Frankfurt under the direction of William Forsythe and continues to teach Forsythe-based improvisation through creative workshops. This will be her first creation for Tulsa Ballet.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa – Ms. Ochoa, of Belgian-Columbian heritage, completed her dance training at the Royal Ballet School Antwerp in Belgium and has been described as the “rising star of the Dutch dance scene” (NRC newspaper). Angelini says of Ochoa, “She is probably the most edgy choreographer of the program. Her works are very contemporary and thought provoking.” Ochoa has created works for more than forty dance companies around the world and is probably the most in-demand female choreographer of our time. This will be the first work of Ms. Ochoa for Tulsa Ballet.

Young Soon Hue – South Korean Young Soon Hue returns to Tulsa after having created three world premieres for Tulsa Ballet. She has created works for Queensland Ballet, National Ballet of Korea, National Ballet of Ankara/Turkey, among others. She is currently based in Dusseldorf, Germany, where she serves as Ballet Mistress and Choreographer in Residence for Ballet am Rhein (Dusseldorf Ballet company). Mr. Angelini says, “Hue uses dance to send a deep message and she is not afraid to shake things up a little in order to get it through.”

Don Quixote

Choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes – November 3-5th

Tradition will follow innovation with one of the most celebrated classical ballets of the 19th century Don Quixote. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus, Don Quixote was first presented by the Ballet of the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, Russia in December of 1869. The production is crafted by the ultimate authority in classical ballet Anna-Marie Holmes. Angelini says, “She successfully takes a five act ballet and reduces in three short acts, keeping all of the action, adventure and humor of the story while doing away with the redundant scenes.”

The Nutcracker

Choreography by Marcello Angelini, Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – December 19-23rd

A young girl’s fantasy unfolds in this remarkable production that mixes the visuals of a Broadway show with the heartwarming story of a fairytale Christmas. More than 100 local children join the professional company to help the larger-than-life Mouse King battle the Nutcracker Prince and his toy soldier brigade. Mr. Angelini says, “There is nothing that pleases me more than seeing families and little children leave the theater with big smiles on their faces, happy to have seen this wonderful piece of dance theater.”

Strictly Gershwin

Choreography by Derek Deane – February 9-11th

The year 2018 will start off with a big bang…and a big band! Tulsa Ballet will present the American premiere of Strictly Gershwin, a phenomenally entertainng piece of dance, music, song and theater. Choreographed by former English National Ballet’s Artistic Director Derek Deane, Strictly Gershwin is a cross-over between a Broadway show and a ballet. Angelini says, “Just imagine, 40 dancers, 14 tappers, 4 singers and 45 musicians all sharing the stage at the same time, dancing, singing and tapping on the music of George and Ira Gershwin. This is show you will not want to miss!”


Choreography by Ben Stevenson – March 16-18th

Cinderella is one of the most successful marriages of dance, music, theatrics and humor to ever grace the stage of any theater during the past century. Ben Stevenson’s version is probably the most performed around the world, and not by fate or fortune. Angelini says, “Ben distills the essential elements of the story and strikes the perfect balance between storytelling, romance and humor. What glues together all the elements of his version is Ben’s unique ability to create magic on stage.” Originally choreographed for the National Ballet of Washington in 1970, and danced by the likes of Margot Fonteyni and Ivan Nagy, critics have cited his version of Cinderella as his ultimate masterpiece.

Signature Series – May 3-6th

Tulsa Ballet once again closes out their Season by importing some of the greatest works of the past and present from around the world to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr. Angelini describes his favorite program of the year as one geared “…to maintain the right balance between pure entertainment and the cultural and artistic relevance of our art form.” He adds “we’re going to close our season with a thought provoking program.” 

An Untitled World Premiere Work

Choreography by Ma Cong

Ma Cong – Tulsa Ballet’s own Resident Choreographer Ma Cong was named one of the “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine for both his dancing and his choreography. The unique style of one of Tulsa’s favorite choreographers is rooted in both his classical and neoclassical experience with Tulsa Ballet as well as his early training in Chinese dance. Angelini says, “Ma Cong has created close to a dozen works for our company. He continues to grow as a choreographer and his engagements to create works for other national as well as international organizations increase each year. Ma gets better with each work. I can’t wait to see what he creates for Signature Series.”


Choreography by Nacho Duato

Nacho Duato is one of the most influential voices of the 20th century. Tulsa Ballet has performed many of his works, as Mr. Duato is one of the audiences’ favorite contemporary dance makers. Tulsa Ballet last presented Duato’s Remansos in 2015, and this will be the second time the company brings Rassemblement to Tulsa. Rassemblement is a work choreographed on slave songs inspired by the voodoo cults. The work explores the daily lives of slaves and their longing for Africa and for freedom. The score is from Haitian musician Toto Bissainthe who says of Nacho Duato’s creation, “Rassemblement is a creation which gradually, through the liberating powers of music and dance, proves to be an impressive, thrilling, and audience-affecting human rights appeal.”

The Green Table

Choreography by Kurt Jooss

The Green Table is one of the most famous dance pieces of the twentieth century. Subtitled ‘A dance of death in eight scenes,’ the work is a commentary on the futility of war and the horrors it causes. The Green Table starts with an assembly of politicians gathered around a green clothed table. At the end of the scene guns are fired in the air and war is declared. For the next six scenes the audience will experience the various phases of war, from the fight on the battlefield to the separation from loved ones, from the gloomy lives of the refugees to the destruction and the aftermath of war. The constant figure throughout these scenes is the character of Death. Angelini says, “The Green Table was created in 1932 just as Adolf Hitler was rising to power in Germany. The Green Table is definitely most poignant piece of anti-war dance, establishing the figure of death as the only winner in each and every conflict.”


Tulsa Ballet II, the pre-professional company of Tulsa Ballet, will have its own season of two productions: “On Your Radar,” August 25th and 27th, and “Emerging Choreographers Showcase,” April 13th and 15th, held at Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K Theater as well as August 26th and April 14th at the Zarrow Performance Studio in Broken Arrow.

Quick Facts

Tulsa Ballet 2017/18 Season

Creations in Studio K

Three World Premiere pieces from women choreographers Helen Pickett, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Young Son Hue in our intimate 300 seat Studio K Theater.

September 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 8:00pm and September 16, 17, 23, 24 at 3:00pm

Don Quixote

Choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes

At the Tulsa Performing Arts Center featuring live music from Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
November 3, 4 at 8pm and November 5 at 3pm

The Nutcracker

Choreography by Marcello Angelini, Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

At the Tulsa Performing Arts Center featuring live music from Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
December 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 at 2:00pm and December 15, 16, 22 at 7:00pm

Strictly Gershwin

Choreography by Derek Deane

At the Tulsa Performing Arts Center featuring live music from Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
February 9, 10, at 8:00pm and February 11 at 3:00pm


Choreography by Ben Stevenson

At the Tulsa Performing Arts Center featuring live music from Tulsa Symphony Orchestra

March 16, 17 at 8:00pm and March 18 at 3:00pm

Signature Series
An Untitled World Premiere – Choreography by Ma Cong

Rassemblement – Choreography by Nacho Duato

The Green Table – Choreography by Kurt Jooss

At the Lorton Performance Center on The University of Tulsa campus
May 3, 4, 5, 6 at 8:00pm and May 5, 6 at 3:00pm


Ticket Information:                                    

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

Season Tickets are on sale now. Single Tickets will go on sale August 1, 2017. For more information on the Tulsa Ballet season, visit www.tulsaballet.org.


Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:

Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager

918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org