“Dinner and Dance” is the theme of this year’s annual SummerDance production presented by the University of Oklahoma School of Dance. The special program will be performed at 8:00 p.m. June 28 and 29 and at 3:00 p.m. June 30, in Studio 3002 of the Reynolds Performing Arts Center.
In a special format this year, a delicious gourmet box dinner by Legend’s restaurant will be offered prior to performances by Oklahoma Festival Ballet (OFB) and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma (CDO). The dinner, which begins one hour and fifteen minutes before each show, will include an informal chat with the choreographers. A champagne and dessert reception will follow each performance, offering dance-lovers an opportunity to meet and mingle with the performers and choreographers.
The program will include “Weill Songs” choreographed by OFB director Mary Margaret Holt to music by Kurt Weill. This ballet is set in Europe during World War II and is a tribute to the ability of the human spirit to celebrate and survive, even amidst the fear and destruction of war.
Holt has also choreographed a passionate ballet for six women and two men to the music of Astor Piazzolla. Pianist John Fry will play at each performance.
“Fragments” is a trio for three dancers by CDO director Austin Hartel, who originally choreographed this work in Hawaii for renowned dancer Betty Jones’ company. It explores the theme of a fragmented universe.
OU School of Dance alumnus Brett Young has returned to OU as a guest artist this summer and has choreographed a pas de deux to music of Erik Satie. “The music sets a mood of mystery and simplicity,” said Young who will perform the choreography with ballet performance sophomore Meredith Short.
Audiences will be able to enjoy these ballets and modern dance works in the intimate setting of a lovely, informal dance performance space equipped with a full stage lighting system.
“We are very excited about the new format we are exploring with our summer production this year! Bringing our audiences in for dinner prior to the performances will give them the opportunity to hear the choreographers’ insights to creating the works and the inspiration behind them. In addition, lighting designers Jerry Lewis and Adam Honore are taking full advantage of a new complement of lighting instruments to create a specific mood for each piece as well as exploring the use of this beautiful space in innovative ways. The addition of risers on loan from the School of Music will enhance audience enjoyment of the choreography and we look forward to celebrating the passion that is dance at OU at the reception following each performance,” said Holt.
Reservations for dinner must be received by June 24. Tickets for dinner, dance performance and reception are $43. Adult tickets for the performance and reception are $20, and student tickets for the performance and reception are $15. Reservations can be made by calling the Fine Arts College Ticket Service at (405) 325-4101 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The box office is located in the Catlett Music Center, 500 West Boyd. The Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center is located on the OU Norman campus at 560 Parrington Oval. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please call (405) 325-4101.
The University of Oklahoma’s program in dance was founded in 1963 by Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, former principal dancers with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. What had been a department became the School of Dance in 1998, with Mary Margaret Holt as Director. Undergraduate and graduate dance majors, along with general education students, total approximately 1000 enrollees in dance classes per semester. The School of Dance’s state-of-the-art facility in the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center was completed in 2005.