Wed October 27, 2010
Tulsa Ballet Explores Works by George Balanchine and Others
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's show, we're looking ahead to a triple-billed Tulsa Ballet performance that will happen at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on October 29th, 30th, and 31st. Three promising works are on the program, as follows: "Theme and Variations" (choreography by George Balanchine; score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky); "there, below" (choreography by James Kudelka; score by Ralph Vaughan Williams); and "Amade" (choreography by Massimiliano Volpini; score by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). The Balanchine work is an exciting combination of 19th-century classical ballet and more recent movements and styles (thereby reminding us that the celebrated modernist known to some as "Mr. B" originally hailed from St. Petersburg, Russia). The second piece, "there, below," employs dance to invoke moods and images of spirituality and the afterlife. And Volpini's "Amade" was created for Tulsa Ballet in 2008 as a vibrant tribute to the musical legacy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. On our show today, we hear from Victoria Simon, who's long served as one of the Balanchine Trust's repetiteurs, setting the master's ballets on dance companies located all over the world. Simon is currently in town to help Tulsa Ballet stage "Theme and Variations" --- and, as we learn on today's show, she herself actually danced for Balanchine (when she was a child; in a "Nutcracker" production).