The Edmond Sun

January 10, 2014

Oklahoma City Ballet to present triple bill


Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma City Ballet will present a triple bill evening of dance featuring Jacob Sparso’s “Carmen,” the Oklahoma premiere of George Balanchine’s “Rubies,” and a world premiere ballet by award-winning choreographer, Matthew Neenan. OKC Ballet performs this program Feb. 7-9 at the Civic Center Music Hall in downtown Oklahoma City.

The triple bill program is headlined by a new world premiere ballet “Carmen.” Inspired by the Prosper Mérimée novella and using the famous “ballet suite” Rodion Shchedrin arranged from the Bizet opera of the same name, Carmen tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naive soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen.

Ballet Master Jacob Sparso brings his unique ability to weave intricate stories into exciting choreography for this dramatic ballet.

Also on the program is 20th century master choreographer George Balanchine’s “Rubies.”

 Danced to the music of Stravinsky, which epitomizes the long-term artistic relationship between Igor Stravinsky and George Balanchine, Rubies is inspired by the work of jewelry designer Claude Arpels. Rubies reveals the spirit, color and fundamental nature of the jewel itself through dazzling choreography and music.

Rounding out the performance is a world premiere from Pennsylvania Ballet resident choreographer, Matthew Neenan.

Neenan has received numerous awards for his choreography including the National Endowment of the Arts and the Choo San Goh Foundation. His work has been featured by the Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, The Washington Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute.

“This is the performance to see this season and it is the one I am most excited about,” says Oklahoma City Ballet’s Artistic Director Robert Mills. “Matthew Neenan is brilliant in his ability to push the boundaries of classical ballet to create new work, our aquisition of Balanchine’s Rubies speaks to the technical prowess of our dancers, and I am confident that our own Jacob Sparso will provide us with yet another engaging story ballet with Carmen. Our triple bills always provide a variety of choreographic ideas and music, and this program is no exception.”

Oklahoma City Ballet’s triple bill performance of Carmen, Rubies and Matthew Neenan’s new ballet opens at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 with additional performances at 8 p.m. Feb. 8 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 9.

Single tickets start at $25 which are now on sale and can be purchased in person at OKC Ballet offices, 7421 N. Classen Blvd., OKC, by phone at 848-8637 or online at okcballet.com/tickets. Two performance Mini-Season Subscription Packs are also available for these remaining performances of 2013-14 season “From the Page to the Stage.”

Single tickets also may be purchased at the Box Office at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker in Oklahoma City or by calling 297-2264.

 Founded in 1972 by Ballet Russe dancers Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, Oklahoma City Ballet has been the city’s professional ballet company for more than 40 years.  It is the resident dance company of the Civic Center Music Hall and currently boasts 30 dancers from around the world.  Led by Artistic Director Robert Mills, the company produces four main stage productions per season in Oklahoma City and tours across Oklahoma and the surrounding states.

 It is the only ballet company of its size to regularly debut world premiere story ballets with original commissioned scores and also commission’s new works from the industry’s leading choreographers.