Tulsa Ballet joins roster of the highest esteemed international and national dance companies to present classic Russian love story

TULSA, Okla. – September 2016 – For their 60th Anniversary Season, Tulsa Ballet is honored to present one of the story ballet masterpieces of the 20th century with John Cranko’s Onegin. The company presented Cranko’s other masterwork, The Taming of the Shrew, last season to rave reviews. While Taming showcased John Cranko’s ability for humor, Onegin is considered his best dramatic work. Both pieces highlight his unparalleled storytelling abilities and emphasize why he is considered to be one of the top masters of the 20th century. The greatest dance companies in the world have had the honor to present the work including Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, La Scala in Milan, The Australian Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Dutch National Ballet…and now, Tulsa Ballet!

The story is based on Russian master poet Alexander Pushkin’s most famous novel, Eugene Onegin, which has been translated over two dozen times across the globe. The ballet tells the story of the arrogant and world weary aristocrat Onegin who rejects the love of the naïve country girl Tatiana only to realize – upon meeting her again years later – that in her he threw away the only woman who ever truly loved him and who was ever worth loving. Tatiana, by now matured and married to Prince Gremin, must battle with her emotions when Onegin seeks her out to confess his love. In one of the most heart wrenching scenes in all of classical ballet, Tatiana rejects Onegin although she secretly still loves him. The audience will find itself hopelessly caught up in the protagonists’ emotional turmoil.

The ballet features stunning sets and costumes by Elisabeth Dalton and the music of Tchaikovsky, but it is John Cranko’s unique ability to translate words and feelings into movement which makes the work stand the test of time. Cranko used a variety of dance styles to create different societal hierarchies throughout the tale including folk dances and ballroom dances.

Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “Onegin is as relevant today as it was in 1837 when the book was published. The lesson I seem to take from it is how much the pressure society imposes upon us, the narcissistic tendencies embodied in wealth and power, and how our ever growing ambitions as individuals can obfuscate not only our mind but our hearts.” The powerful narrative is not only on display through Cranko’s unique choreography but also through the brilliant new sets and costumes from the Polish National Ballet in Warsaw, which is the birthplace of Tulsa Ballet founder Roman Jasinski. Angelini says, “This year is our 60th anniversary season. This is my personal thank you to Mr. Jasinski for founding this organization and to the Polish National for generating such good dancers!”

Being able to perform Cranko’s Onegin was a journey that started for Mr. Angelini seventeen years ago. He says, “There were two works I wanted to bring to Tulsa from this master of the 20th century: The Taming of the Shrew and Onegin. It took twelve years to grow the company technically, artistically and numerically to earn the rights to perform Taming. It has taken ever longer to ‘conquer’ Onegin. And now this masterpiece will be in Tulsa for our community to enjoy.”




Based on Alexander Pushkin’s verse-novel Eugene Onegin, this full-length ballet tells the love story of Tatiana and Onegin (pronounced Un-YAY-gin with a hard g). A dramatic tale of unrequited romance, your heart will be moved by this passionate ballet. Featuring music from the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.

Note: Pre-performance discussions are held in the Westby Pavilion on the Promenade level 30 minutes prior to curtain. Discussions are led by Tulsa Ballet artistic staff and visiting artists, and topics may include the choreography, musical score, costuming, or other subjects related to the performance. Pre-performance discussions are free and all ticket holders are invited to attend.


Tulsa Performing Arts Center

110 E 2nd St, Tulsa, OK 74103


October 28-30, 2016:

Friday, October 28 at 8pm

Saturday, October 29 at 8pm

Sunday, October 30 at 3pm

Show-times and Ticket Information: Call (918) 749-6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org. Tickets to Onegin start at $25 for select performance dates.


Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:

Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager

918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org