Tulsa, OKLA. – March 30, 2016 – On Friday, April 22 at 7:00pm and Sunday, April 24 at 3:00pm, Tulsa Ballet will present its pre-professional ensemble Tulsa Ballet II with Emerging Choreographers Showcase. The program features ten talented young dancers and will be composed of three original works including Cessation of Aspiration by Tulsa Ballet Principal Dancer Hyonjun Rhee, Little Pieces of Fear by Tulsa Ballet Soloist Rodrigo Hermesmeyer, and Symbiosis by Assistant Professor of Dance at Oklahoma University Ilya Kozadayev.
The program will take place in Tulsa Ballet’s intimate Studio K, which provides opportunities for audiences to experience new creations up-close. This is the second year the company has launched their Emerging Choreographers Showcase which provides both the choreographers and dancers the opportunity to be part of a remarkable creative process. The outcome of this collaboration is the creation of three brand new contemporary works fellow dancers and choreographers.
Artistic Director Marcello Angelini describes new creation performances as some of “the most important programing of the season” as it focuses on the future of the art form as well as new and energetic dancers. Angelini says, “We commit to present the classics of the past, the best works of the present-day leading dance makers, as well as giving opportunities to new choreographers and young dancers. Creations are essential for the future of dance as they represent the evolution of the art form.”
“Emerging Choreographers Showcase is the perfect platform for company dancers to experiment in the choreographic world,” says TBII Artistic Manager Alfonso Martin. “Many choreographers come from around the world to create for our Main Company dancers, and now it’s the dancers who are creating ballets themselves…and what better setting than with our own Second Company; it’s a perfect match.”
About the Choreographers
Hyonjun Rhee, Tulsa Ballet Principal Dancer – Hyonjun was born in Seoul, Korea. He studied at the Sun-hwa Art School and the Korea National University of Arts. He was awarded “Danseur Nobre” in 2009 by the Korean Dance Association. Hyonjun joined Universal Ballet in 2007, and was promoted to Principal after one year. He joined Tulsa Ballet in 2013. He choreographed Relations, Panorama for TBII, and his first solo work Toccata and Fugue was chosen as the compulsory piece for the Female Senior Division in the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition in New York, 2015. This will be the third time Hyonjun has choreographed for TBII. He says, “The TBII dancers give me so much positive energy and inspiration. I try to not have too clear of an image before I give the steps to the dancers for the first time. I try to see the movement through their own personalities. These young dancers are like a sponge and their pure passion creates the atmosphere in the studio to create. It’s such a great opportunity to experience both sides of being both a choreographer and a dancer.”
Rodrigo Hermesmeyer, Tulsa Ballet Soloist – From Joinville, Brazil, Rodrigo began his studies in classical dance at age 11 under the care of Marcos Sage. In 2006, he joined the Brazilian Conservatory of Dance in Rio de Janeiro. In the same year he joined the Cia Brasileira de Ballet, Jorge Texeira, where he played leading roles in important ballets and contemporary repertoire. Dancing with Tulsa Ballet since 2010, he has been featured in different productions and worked with major choreographers. This will be the second year in a row Rodrigo has choreographed for TBII. He says, “I have an outline of what I want to see on stage but the dancers make all the magic work. For this particular creation, I’m exploring how fear can change our lives, even in a positive way. I want to explore how we learn from fear and how strong we can become. I want to bring people joy and peace. The city of Tulsa is very fortunate to have these programs available to the public and what Tulsa Ballet is creating is truly unbelievable in the arts world.”
Ilya Kozadayev, Assistant Professor of Dance at Oklahoma University – Born in St. Petersburg, Russia to a family of professional ballet dancers, Ilya Kozadayev began his training at the famous Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. After immigrating to the United States, he continued his dance training at the School of American Ballet in New York City. After studying at the Academy of Colorado Ballet in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Kozadayev completed his dance training by graduating from the John Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been a teacher and choreographer with the Houston Ballet and at various summer programs and workshops around the country. While Ilya has not previously worked with TBII, he is looking forward to creating with them and says, “My process is individual with every group of dancers; however, the dynamic of the work is usually dictated by the music. I tend to draw the concept and the vocabulary form the initial inspiration even if the work is very abstract. My goal is to present a work that challenges the dancers and engages the observer visually or aesthetically. “
The 2015/16 Season will mark the second year Tulsa Ballet II performs a stand-alone mini-season, separate from the main company. Tulsa Ballet II was founded ten years ago 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. TBII dancers receive a monthly stipend to help offset living expenses. 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. Of the TBII program, Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “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, our Pre-Professional Ensemble or TBII, is now one of the most stimulating undertakings of our organization.”
Tulsa Ballet II offers its members multiple additional performance opportunities throughout the year, including their own mini-season with two shows, Backstage at the Ballet (Tulsa Ballet’s education outreach performances, 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 Artistic Director Marcello Angelini. 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. The tools we gave them were the opportunity to supplement the ranks of the main company for the large scale works of our seasons, dancing side by side with the seasoned pros; the chance to dance their own performances, working with their own choreographers; and the opportunity to perform just as much as the main company, through their own season and educational programs. Ten years later, dozens of graduates from this program are dancing professionally in our company and in other professional groups across the country and the world. Mission accomplished!”
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.
WHAT Emerging Choreographers Showcase, a triple bill ballet featuring new works:
Cessation of Aspiration by Hyonjun Rhee
Little Pieces of Fear by Rodrigo Hermesmeyer
Symbiosis by Llya Kozodayev
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 22, 2016 & 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2016
WHERE: The performance will take place at Studio K at the Tulsa Ballet, 1212 E. 45th in Brookside Tulsa.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit Tulsa Ballet at www.tulsaballet.org.
Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:
Ryan Allen, Community & Public Relations Manager