Oklahoma Festival Ballet

Oklahoma Festival Ballet will include five ballets from April 8-11 on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus.

Five ballets comprise this year’s production of Oklahoma Festival Ballet, presented by University Theatre and School of Dance from April 8-11. Boyko Dossev serves as artistic director and choreographer of the production.

Oklahoma Festival Ballet will open at 8 p.m. Thursday, with additional performances set for 8 p.m. April 9 and 10 and 3 p.m. April 11. All performances will be in the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre, 563 Elm Ave. on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus. The production is suitable for all audiences.

The production will feature a new dance work by special guest choreographer Mariana Oliveira and repertoire from celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino. In addition, OU School of Dance faculty Michael Bearden, Boyko Dossev and Mary Margaret Holt have created a variety of dance works to complete the program.

Originally from Brazil, Oliveira studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and was a trainee dancer at the National Dance Company of Wales. At age 19 she was invited to perform with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. In 2009,she founded The Union Project Dance Company.

Oklahoma Festival Ballet will present excerpts from two of Arpino’s ballets staged by Glenn Edgerton. “Reflections” represents a straight pure mellow tone against a romantic background. The work features live music accompaniment by pianist Igor Lipinski and cellist Jonathan Ruck. Arpino’s second excerpt is “Viva Vivaldi,” a study in joyous abstraction.

Arpino was the co-founder and artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet, established in 1956. Arpino served as artistic director for many years, was a leading dancer with the company in its early years and choreographed his first works for The Joffrey in 1961.

Shortly thereafter, he became The Joffrey’s resident choreographer and, to date, has created more than one-third of the company’s original repertoire.

Bearden’s new dance work, “Bolero,” to Ravel’s music of the same name, is about the human spirit of persistence and determination in the face of challenges. The ballet is about working through difficulties and moving toward the future with hope and courage.

“Sadako” represents a race against time and depicts the ancient Japanese legend of the Thousand Cranes. Choreographed by Dossev, it is a celebration of the courage and love that made one young Japanese girl a symbol of hope.

In-person advance purchase tickets for Oklahoma Festival Ballet are $25 adult; $20 senior adult, OU employee and military; and $10 student, plus processing fee. Tickets at the door are $35 for adult and $15 for student.

Seating is limited according to social distancing requirements, and masks are required for audience members.

Tickets may be purchased at theatre.ou.edu, calling 325-4101 or visiting the OU Fine Arts Box Office in the Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd St. For accommodations, call the box office at 325-4101.

Video-on-demand will be available at a single view price is $10. Visit theatre.ou.edu for more information.

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