The Emerging Choreographers Showcase will feature three exciting World Premiere works inspired by the TBII dancers and created by up and coming choreographers  

TULSA, Okla. – March 2018 – Tulsa Ballet II, the second company of Tulsa Ballet, is comprised of some of the most promising young dancers from around the globe, hired upon graduation from the top academies of the world and groomed to become members of Tulsa Ballet’s main company. This group has gathered not only artistic momentum, as 11 of the main company members are TBII graduates, but also its own faithful audience. Their energy and eagerness to impress whoever is watching them exudes an infectious vitality and passion. Audiences will have the opportunity to see them in three new dance works, created on these rising stars this coming April 13-15. The Friday and Sunday shows will be held in Tulsa Ballet’s intimate Studio K Theater, and the Saturday show in the Zarrow Performance Studio at the Hardesty Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow.

This is the fourth year TBII will present the Emerging Choreographers Showcase, which is designed to provide a wonderful opportunity for both young choreographers and dancers to be part of a unique creative process. This latest collaboration will feature three brand new contemporary works: Joshua A. Stayton’s As Told by Kristin, Daniel van de Laar’s Generation Y (both dancers in Tulsa Ballet’s main company), and Sur le Fil (By a Hair’s Breadth), by guest choreographer Penny Saunders.

TBII has been an integral program in the mission of Tulsa Ballet for over ten years. The Emerging Choreographers Showcase triple-bill program is one of two annual performances that provide the young ensemble with the opportunity to have new works created on them, and their audience with the opportunity to see young rising stars both in the field of performing and choreography. Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “The Emerging Choreographers Showcase is one of the many initiatives that make Tulsa Ballet the great organization we are proud to be, and one with a mission of serving our community in many different ways.  It allows young voices to craft the necessary skills to transform creativity into dance, and provides a stage for choreographers already established in their professional career with a venue to showcase their work. The culmination of this creative process comes as the proverbial curtains opens on their last program of the year, a time when both the dancers and the choreographers get the opportunity to share their artistry with you, their audience. ”

“Overall,” Angelini continues, “Emerging Choreographers Showcase is fulfilling its role within the spectrum of offerings of Tulsa Ballet. As a dancer, you begin your training in our Center for Dance Education when you are 3 years old, upon graduation you can be invited to join TBII, and upon graduating from the second company you are among the first in the audition process to be considered for a contract with Tulsa Ballet’s main company. Once in the main company you have opportunities to share your artistry both as a dancer and as a choreographer, setting the stage for a career after performing.  Tulsa Ballet aims to empower dancers at every stage of their career and provide innovation within the dance industry.”


About the Choreographers

Penny Saunders – Penny Saunders, originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995, and began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre. She went on to dance with Ballet Arizona, MOMIX Dance Theater, Cedar Lake Ensemble and in 2004 she joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2011, Saunders won the International Commissioning Project, which launched her choreographic career, creating pieces for Hubbard Streets’ main and second company, Whim W’Him, SFDanceworks, Neos Dance Theater, Owen Cox Dance Group, and The Nexus Project. Saunders is honored to be the choreographer in residence at The Grand Rapids Ballet, receiving support from The New York City Ballet Choreographic Commissions Initiative, and to be the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. In the 2017-2018 season, Saunders is excited to be collaborating with The Cincinnati Ballet, BalletX, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, SFDanceworks, Tulsa Ballet II, as well as making her first full length for The Grand Rapids Ballet. Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “Penny is one to watch.  She has done plenty of works for major American dance institutions to more edgy companies…She is definitely one that we could see working with the main company.”

Joshua A. Stayton, Tulsa Ballet Demi-Soloist – Originally from Ohio, Joshua began his training at the Performing Arts school in Cincinnati. He then continued with the Orlando Ballet School (Peter Stark) and Houston Ballet II (Claudio Muñoz). Joshua has been a Demi-Soloist with both Tulsa Ballet and Sarasota Ballet. Some of his repertoire includes leading roles in Concerto (MacMillian), Mirror Walkers (Sir Wright), Age of Innocence (Liang), Bolero (Fonte), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wheeldon), One/end/One (Elo), The Nutcracker (Angelini), The Sleeping Beauty (Angelini), Romeo & Juliet (Liang), Extremely Close (Cerrudo), and more. Joshua has performed internationally in Budapest and previously at the Helsinki IBC. He has also had the opportunity to choreograph for Tulsa Ballet’s second company and for Helsinki IBC in 2016. Angelini says, “Josh is a talented storyteller, one that uses the steps as a mean to an end.  His works are very approachable and connect well with the audience.  His new work, As Told by Kristin shows his development as a dance maker and as a story teller.”

Daniel van de Laar, Tulsa Ballet Corps de Ballet – Daniel studied for ten years at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands. He danced with Nederlands Dans Theater 2 before joining Scapino Ballet in Rotterdam. With these two companies he had the opportunity to work with well-known choreographers such as Kylián, Lightfoot & León, Pite, Goecke, and others. He is excited to take the next step in his dance career by dancing in the USA with Tulsa Ballet! This is his second season with the Company. Angelini says of Daniel, “Daniel’s expressiveness is rooted in physicality.  We loved seeing him in Helen Picket’s Meoal, a role for which he was cheered and applauded by the New York audiences as well.  His approach to choreography is more European, his work more about energy and adrenaline with the storylines embedded in the movement value of the choreography.”

About TBII

The 2017/18 Season will mark the fourth year Tulsa Ballet II performs a stand-alone mini-season, separate from the main company. Tulsa Ballet II was founded in 2005 as a paid program designed to provide a bridge between the student phase of an aspiring classical ballet dancer and the professional career.  Through an international audition search, the most talented and committed young men and women are invited to Tulsa to refine their artistic and technical skills by working on their own and alongside the professional company.  This is accomplished through performances of repertoire ranging from pure classical ballets to the cutting edge of contemporary works.  Tulsa Ballet II provides new dancers for the main company each year, and has promoted more than a dozen dancers since 2010. Tulsa Ballet II offers its members multiple additional performance opportunities throughout the year, including their own mini-season with two triple-bill shows, education outreach performances (Backstage at the Ballet) which includes a partnership with Any Given Child-Tulsa, as well as providing support to Tulsa Ballet’s Main Company performances at the discretion of the Artistic Director Marcello Angelini. Of the TBII program he says, “Our goal from the very beginning was to create a program that would afford young, talented dancers the tools to bridge the gap between the academic studies of ballet and the expectations of a professional career. As it usually happens here at Tulsa Ballet, a small experiment has become a large, exciting and largely promising project. What was then a small experiment, TBII is now one of the most stimulating undertakings of our organization.”


TULSA BALLET II Emerging Choreographers Showcase


Tickets for Emerging Choreographers Showcase start at just $25. For tickets call (918) 749-6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org.


Emerging Choreographers Showcase, a triple bill ballet featuring new works:


As Told by Kristin by Joshua A. Stayton


                                   Generation Y by Daniel van de Laar


                                   Sur le Fil (By a Hair’s Breadth) by Penny Saunders


WHEN & WHERE:                  

7:00 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2018 at Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K Theater, 1212 E. 45th in Brookside Tulsa.


7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Zarrow Performance Studio, 1901 W. New Orleans St in     Broken Arrow.


3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K Theater, 1212 E. 45th in Brookside Tulsa.


Visit www.tulsaballet.org for more information about upcoming performances. Tickets start at $25.


Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:

Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager

918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org