Oklahoma City, OK - As part of their 50th anniversary season, Oklahoma City Ballet will present Made in the U.S.A., A Mixed Bill at the Civic Center Music Hall for three performances February 18-20, 2022.
Made in the U.S.A. is a “mixed bill” production, meaning several shorter works are presented in one program. In the case of Made in the U.S.A., Oklahoma City Ballet will present four ballets created in the United States by American Choreographers including, Jerome Robbins, Nicolo Fonte, Jessica Lang, and former Oklahoma City Ballet Artistic Director Bryan Pitts.
“We want to showcase the talent of American choreographers. Not only are all choreographers in this production American, but each ballet was created in the U.S. That includes a World Premiere that was created right here in Oklahoma City by Nicolo Fonte, one of today’s most in demand choreographers, and this company’s first ballet from the iconic Jerome Robbins,” says Oklahoma City Ballet Rehearsal Director Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye.
In honor of Oklahoma City Ballet’s 50th Anniversary, the opening of Made in the U.S.A. will feature a Grand Défilé (pronounced day-fil-a), a tradition of Paris Opera Ballet. The Grand Défilé is essentially a parade that will start with the youngest students from the Yvonne Chouteau School and continue upward to the principal dancers of the company.
Each ballet is 15-25 minutes in length, with intermissions in between each work. Two of the four works will feature live music accompaniment.
Following the Grand Défilé, the first work will be 2 & 3 Part Inventions by Jerome Robbins, featuring live, onstage piano music by Johann Sebastian Bach. Robbins, best known for his work on Broadway including West Side Story, also served as choreographer and Ballet Master and Chief for New York City Ballet where 2 & 3 Part Inventions first made its premiere. Oklahoma City Ballet is the first company to dance this work outside of New York City Ballet.
Next will be Bryan Pitts’ Variations for Six, featuring the complex Igor Stravinsky Duo Concertant score for piano and violin. The name is derived from the four dancers and two musicians performing onstage together. It was originally created for Dallas Ballet in 1983, but performed in Oklahoma City several times, including in 1994 when now-Artistic Director Robert Mills was a featured dancer in the piece. Pitts, alongside his wife Laura Flagg-Pitts, served as Artistic Director of Oklahoma City Ballet from 1986 through 2008.
Jessica Lang’s To Familiar Spaces in Dream, an Oklahoma Premiere, will be presented next. Originally created in 2005 for Richmond Ballet, To Familiar Spaces in Dream will feature eight dancers and music by Craig Armstrong, Philip Glass, and John Cage. The piece has been described as hypnotic, lush, architectural, and emotional.
Made in the U.S.A. will conclude with a world premiere by Nicolo Fonte entitled Of Dreams and Dice. This brand-new work was created just for Oklahoma City Ballet over six weeks while Fonte was in residence. Of Dreams and Dice features 12 dancers, and music by Heather Christian.
In honor of this patriotic celebration, deep discounts are being offered to U.S. Veterans and military families through various organizations. To learn more, call the Oklahoma City Ballet Box Office Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (405) 848-8637.
One hour prior to each performance, guests can learn more about Made in the U.S.A. at Behind the Ballet, a free informative program held in the South Lobby of the Civic Center Music Hall. Friday’s Behind the Ballet will include a lecture Q&A with Artistic Director Robert Mills, choreographers Nicolo Fonte and Jessica Lang, and 2 & 3 Part Inventions repetiteur Jennifer Ringer. The lobby will also include an interactive photo booth and the Oklahoma City Ballet boutique.
Audiences at Oklahoma City Ballet performances will be required to wear masks while inside the Civic Center Music Hall, but are not required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
Performances take place on Friday, February 18 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. Single tickets start at $30 and may be purchased by calling Oklahoma City Ballet at 405-848-TOES (8637) or online at www.okcballet.org or by calling the Civic Center Box office at 405-297-2264. All performances take place at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 North Walker, Oklahoma City.
For more information, tickets, and to learn about other performances, call 405-838-TOES (8637), visit okcballet.org, or follow Oklahoma City Ballet on social media @okcballet.
About Oklahoma City Ballet: Founded in 1972 by Ballet Russe dancers Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, Oklahoma City Ballet has been the city’s professional ballet company for 50 years. Oklahoma City Ballet’s professional company of dancers from around the world perform four productions each season at the Civic Center Music Hall, plus additional venues around the region. Additionally, the Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School offers dance training for all ages in the same facility where the professional company trains. Oklahoma City Ballet also conducts free community engagement classes for kids, adults, and senior adults that benefit nearly 6,000 Oklahomans each year.