The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

November 7, 2013

Ballet classic to be performed with Oklahoma twist

NORMAN — Celebrating the great Sooner State, the Norman Ballet Company is performing “The Oklahoma Nutcracker” 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Arts, 1809 N. Stubbeman.

In it’s 12th year, “The Oklahoma Nutcracker” is the company’s unique version of “The Nutcracker,” taking its cues from Oklahoma history and nature.

“Our adaptation encourages pride in our state, set in the familiar sight of the Overholser Mansion drawing room,” said Marjorie Kovich, Norman Ballet Company artistic director and choreographer. “The concept is that an early Oklahoma family would be having their neighborhood Christmas Eve party within the framework of a classical ballet performance. It is a ballet for all Oklahomans performed by young aspiring Oklahoman dancers.”

The ballet is set during Christmas Eve in 1907 at the Overholser Mansion in Oklahoma City, where Henry and Anna Overholser and their children, Henry Ione and Henry Samuel, are hosting the neighborhood’s holiday party. Family friend and Opera Impresario Sam Shubert soon arrives, delighting the children with candy and magic tricks. Sam Shubert presents a special gift to Henry Ione — a wooden nutcracker dressed as a soldier.

As the festivities end, Henry Ione cradles her beloved nutcracker and drifts to sleep. At the stroke of midnight, she awakes to a strange new world and is led by her nutcracker prince on a journey through an Oklahoma winterscape, arriving at the Oklahoma prairie as the sun sets. There she meets the Sand Plum Fairy who invites Henry Ione to sit atop a Rose Rock Throne while characters drawn from Oklahoma wildlife — the scissortail flycatcher, king snake, tall prairie grass, Indian paintbrushes, and a Mama Armadillo and her babies — dance to the Tchaikovsky score in her honor.

Returning as guest artists this year are Madalina Stoica and Ovidiu Ianco, senior soloists from the Tulsa Ballet Theatre. They will dance the leading roles as the Sand Plum Fairy and her Prince.

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