You are invited to witness an evening of grand and exquisite ballet performance to one of the beloved stories of love, grief, deception, and forgiveness: Giselle. To be performed by the world-class dancers of Oklahoma City Ballet, you will be transported to the Rhineland during the Middle Ages to witness how the love of an optimistic young girl, betrayed by deception, will unfold into a timeless tale of supernatural romance. As the harsh lies of individuals Giselle trusted break her pure heart, the ballet gracefully examines the themes of love and treachery in the most creative ways. With the artistic direction of Ryahn Jolicoeur-Nye, the ballet production will make waves this February at the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre. Catch Oklahoma City Ballet’s flawless rendition of Giselle!
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“The dancers were beautifully graceful, the sets, backdrops and costumes were beautiful and eye-catching.” – The Journal Record
“Nice blend of athletic, exciting, virtuoso dancing with some really elegant, beautiful Adagio quality dancing, and then we mix in a little bit of humor,” – The Gazette
With the mission to inspire audiences through classical and contemporary dance performances, a strong educational program, and community engagement, Oklahoma City Ballet has been the premier ballet company throughout central Oklahoma. Founded in 1963, the ballet company remained strong after four decades in the business. With a growing family of resident dancers and musicians, OCB has remained a formidable force in the ballet world in the South Central region of the United States. Over the years, Oklahoma City Ballet has achieved great heights and has performed for over 30,000 audience members. But like any other reputable dance company, the Oklahoma City Ballet had its humble beginnings.
It started with the name Oklahoma City Civic Ballet in 1963 and was established by the foundation’s civic ballet committee and chief benefactors, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Kirkpatrick. Four years later, the Oklahoma City Ballet Society was incorporated to support the company. In 1970, the Board of Trustees formed a new group, Oklahoma City Metropolitan Ballet Society, and with the support of Vernon Pellow, Sr., the company became the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Ballet. Yvonne Chouteau remained as the founding artistic director, with assistance from Maria Tallchief. In the 1970s, the New York City Ballet principal dancers Conrad and Joy Ludlow took over as directors. They founded the company’s affiliate school, which is now the Yvonne Chouteau School.
Over the years, many directors have managed the ballet company, including Bojan Spassoff and Stephanie Wolf-Spassoff in 1979, Edward Villella in 1983, Bryan Pitts and Laura Flagg-Pitts in 1986, and Robert Mills in 2008. They, among many others, served with dedication and utmost passion to make the Oklahoma City Ballet what it is today. Fast forward to 2024, the ballet company has not only performed in some of the most significant venues in the country but has helped improve the dance techniques of countless students through the Yvonne Chouteau School. Oklahoma City Ballet is proud to spend $200,000 in scholarships to enable students to develop their talent.
Moreover, over 10,000 Oklahomans enjoy free dance classes and community performances as part of their mission to engage in the community. Indeed, the dance company gives back to the people of Oklahoma — and this 2024, Oklahomans are sure to be delighted to know that the ballet company has exciting productions in store for everyone. One of these productions is the flawless rendition of the timeless ballet masterpiece Giselle. Originally titled “Giselle, ou les Wilis,” it is a famous romantic ballet divided into two acts with music by Adolphe Adam. It was first performed in 1841 by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris. With its unique and hauntingly beautiful story, the ballet became an instant favorite and massively popular — leading it to be staged at once across Europe, Russia, and the United States. Now, after nearly two centuries, the ballet is still widely performed all over the world. After all, its themes of love, deception, betrayal, and forgiveness are all timeless and universal. Not to mention the exquisite dance moves and impeccable choreography that go along with the beloved narrative — and these exquisite moves will surely be witnessed this February as the Oklahoma City Ballet brings the story of Giselle to the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre stage from February 9 to 11.
The enchanting dance moves of OCB dancers will transport you to the Rhineland in the Middle Ages, where the allure of that time period is palpable. This magical production is a tribute to the everlasting strength of love, and it promises to be an evening of profound emotion, stunning craftsmanship, and awe. Experience the magic of the Oklahoma City Ballet as its gifted dancers perform this classic story with elegance, passion, and accuracy. You will also have the option to opt for the sensory-friendly production, which will be shown on February 10. For these performances, various accommodations are in place to ensure a comfortable experience for all attendees. Adjustments include modified lighting and sound levels throughout the performance, with reduced strobe lighting and minimized audience-focused lighting. House lights will be maintained at a low level in the theatre auditorium, providing a welcoming atmosphere. Additionally, there will be no live orchestra or pyrotechnics during these shows. In adherence to relaxed theater rules, guests are encouraged to freely talk, leave their seats, and move around during the performance. A designated safe and quiet area will be available, equipped with fidgets and noise-canceling headphones. Attendees are also permitted to use iPads and other electronics for therapeutic purposes. These measures aim to create an inclusive and accessible environment for a diverse audience.
“Dancers are strong technicians, intelligently-focused, and ready for the challenge of such personally-inspired diversity.” – Glenda Rice Collins
However, if you are looking for a contemporary ballet production, Oklahoma City Ballet will also stage “Shorts.” In this production, which will be performed from May 10 to 12, three iconic ballets will be featured: Carmina Burana, Fancy Free, and Cacti. Choreographed by Oklahoma City Ballet’s resident choreographers, these ballets will surely delight all theatergoers. The Carmina Burana, the legendary piece based on a compilation of songs and poetry from the thirteenth century, will feature the Oklahoma City Ballet, more than fifty singers, and Canterbury Voices. Fancy Free, on the other hand, is the prequel to Broadway’s On the Town. In this ballet production, three sailors vie for the affections of two stunning women in a tavern in New York City, where the brief ballet takes place. Finally, Cacti features sixteen dancers who appear ensnared on giant Scrabble tiles. The affectations of dance are lovingly and sarcastically dismantled while being both knowing and joyfully parodied. All these are done while a string quartet plays. Through voiceovers, a lighthearted narration of what’s happening is provided while the dancers leap, stoop, and struggle to break free from their intangible chains. If you are looking for an evening of artistic diversity and captivating performances, “Shorts” by Oklahoma City Ballet promises to be a compelling experience.
Tickets to both Giselle and Shorts are now available. You can reserve yours by hitting the “Get Tickets” link. Hurry! Mark your calendars and buy one for you and your loved ones!