Featuring the choreography of John Cranko
Music performed by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra


TULSA, Okla. – September 25, 2015 – Tulsa Ballet presents Shakespeare’s classic story of a fiery woman and her overconfident suitor, The Taming of the Shrew, October 23-25 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The story is told through masterful choreography by the legendary John Cranko with music by Domenico Scarlatti freely arranged by Kurt-Heinz Stolze. This critically acclaimed production sheds a hysterical light on the path to the couple’s stormy relationship and the multiple bumps and bruises along the way. Stunning scenery and remarkable costumes bring the Elizabethan period to life for a side-splitting examination of love and marriage. Tulsa Ballet presented the Oklahoma premiere of the show in 2011 and is excited to bring this fast-paced comedic work back to Tulsa.

Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “I knew I wanted to present The Taming of the Shrew again even before it opened here in Tulsa in 2011.  The reason is simple:  its premiere coincided with the worst snowstorm on the Oklahoma history books! I remember driving downtown, on my way to the PAC, and seeing cars in ditches everywhere, stalled and covered in snow.  Even for the performances, we were missing a third of the orchestra, most of the dancers lost power at their houses and we had to organize carpools with friends who had big, 4X4 vehicles to go pick them up.  Yet everybody here at Tulsa Ballet was determined to perform, after all this is one of the top five story ballets created during the past sixty years.”

Angelini says of choreographer John Cranko,  “He was one of the most influential choreographers of the second part of the 20th century, and his works are in the repertory of only the most exclusive, prominent ballet companies in the world. John Cranko belongs to a very small, elite group of dance makers of the past century that were able and willing to put their supreme creative and choreographic skills at the service of telling a story.  That ability started to dwindle in the 1980s and continued to decline throughout the next two decades.  I love abstract and contemporary works…yet developing a storytelling through steps is an art of its own.  Narrative works have made a comeback in the past ten years, as audiences look for an programming that provides the right balance between abstract, edgy, contemporary works and pieces with recognizable story lines that are communicative in nature.”

In the U.S., The Taming of the Shrew has been performed only by American Ballet Theater in New York, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and Boston Ballet.  Cranko’s ballets are in the custody of his trust.  This trust decides which companies are up to the technical and artistic standards necessary to perform the works of Mr. Cranko.  Tulsa Ballet is honored to be considered worthy of his works and delighted to share this great piece of dance theater with Oklahoma for the second time.

Alfonso Martin was the principal dancer in the role of Petruchio during the first premiere of Taming and is now Ballet Master and Tulsa Ballet II’s Artistic Manager. He remembers the performance and says, “Dancing Petruchio was one of the highlights of my career.  Technically the role consists of very challenging pas de deux and complicated fast solos all pieced together by an abundant dose of comedy.  This is the full-length story ballet that every male dancer wants to have under his belt. It is a romantic masterpiece in disguise, and one of the greatest full-length works that any audience in the world can be exposed to.”

This comedic look at love and marriage presents the battle of the sexes in a way that only Shakespeare can.  Marcello Angelini says, “The Taming of the Shrew has all the right ingredients necessary to entertain an audience:  humor, romance, a bit of drama and a narrative that flow seamlessly beginning to the end.  When it comes to Taming, humor is the glue that makes the piece work.”

Tulsa Ballet’s The Taming of the Shrew Fact Sheet

What: The Taming of the Shrew
William Shakespeare’s famous comedy springs to life with spectacular choreography and hilarious, fast paced action. John Cranko’s witty and touching masterpiece is set to a delightful score by Domenico Scarlatti freely arranged by Kurt-Heinz Stolze.

Where: Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St, Tulsa, OK 74103

Dates: Friday, October 23, 8pm
Saturday, October 24, 8pm
Sunday, October 25, 3pm

Showtimes and Ticket Information:
Call (918) 749-6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org.

Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:
Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager
918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org