January, 2024 – TULSA, OK – Tulsa Ballet is proud to announce the return of Strictly Gershwin to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center February 8-11, 2024. This epic ballet, a tribute to the classic American music of George and Ira Gershwin, will transport audiences to the golden age of Broadway and Hollywood. As the largest work Tulsa Ballet has ever produced, tap dancers, singers, and even roller skaters all share the stage with an orchestra of about 50 musicians. The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will accompany the performances under the baton of revered conductor and musical director Michael England.
Choreographed by award-winning choreographer Derek Deane, Strictly Gershwin embodies the distilled essence of America during the first part of the 20th century. It summarizes and encompasses the greatest contributions this country has made to the fields of music and dance, and the beginning of the worldwide phenomenon we now know as musical theater. Discussing the production, Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “Growing up in Italy, I was mesmerized by the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, awe-struck by Gene Kelly and all the big band music that was part of that era. While missing much of the dialogue when watching black and white movies (I didn’t speak English at the time), the music, dance and visuals would keep me glued to the TV screen for hours. George Gershwin’s music, and the dance style that emerged during that period, not only represent the artistic and innovative gifts of our country but also the spirit and resilience of the American people. Most of this music was composed either after World War I or during the Great Depression, and yet the music and dances of the time reflect the superb optimism of the American people for greater things to come.”
Originally created for the English National Ballet and conceived for the arena-like London theater The Royal Albert Hall, this successful merger of art and entertainment was only performed by the English National Ballet and the Queensland Ballet in Australia before its American debut in Tulsa in 2018. It was an immediate hit, and has since been one of the most requested ballets by Tulsa Ballet patrons and fans.
Strictly Gershwin combines ballet, tap dance, theater, songs, Broadway glamour and dazzling choreography to deliver a show that will get everybody dancing and singing in the theater, whether they are dance enthusiasts or first time theater goers. Angelini says, “Strictly Gershwin is a show with a wide appeal and I hope will become a tradition for our country.”
About the Choreographer
After his training at The Royal Ballet School, Derek Deane went on to join Royal Ballet Company in 1972. Deane was promoted to Soloist in 1977, Principal Dancer in 1980 and then to Senior Principal Dancer in 1982. There, Deane danced some of ballet’s most memorable roles, including Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake; Romeo, Benvolio and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet; and Prince Rudolf in Mayerling. Deane worked with some of the era’s most respected choreographers, including Macmillan, Ashton, Balanchine, Van Manen, Neumeier, Tetley, Nureyev, Wright and Bintley. After retiring from the stage, he went on to become the resident choreographer and Assistant to the Director of Teatro Del Opera Di Roma in 1990, before rising to Artistic Director of English National Ballet in 1993. Deane has twice been nominated for Laurence Olivier Awards, and was awarded the OBE in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Years honours list 2000.
WHEN AND WHERE:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center | 110 E 2nd St. Tulsa, OK 74103
Thursday, February 8 | 7:00 pm (Beer and Ballet Preview Night)
Friday, February 9 | 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 10 | 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 11 | 2:30 pm
TICKETS: Starting at $35
FOR MORE INFORMATION: tulsaballet.org or 918.749.6006
More hi-res images and interview opportunities are available:
Hilton Price | Marketing Manager
918.392.5949 | Hilton.Price@tulsaballet.org