The first was Napoli, choreographed by August Bournonville, which had a fun, yet historical feel for the Italian themed story. The dancing was spot on and amazing to watch. The dancers had a way of drawing you in and the costumes were gorgeous.
The second was Fourth Wall, choreographed by Norbert De La Cruz III, and this one was just spectacular to witness. It was unlike any of the ballets I have witnessed thus far in our 8 years as season ticket holders with Tulsa Ballet, but I was very excited to see this contemporary, fun and intelligent ballet spring to life in front of us. When the curtain lifted and you saw chairs stacked up on one another, I instantly knew this was going to be something interesting.
To me it was a look into the life of a dancer/performer where for the most part you see very poised dancers in gorgeous costumes giving you their rendition of a classical ballet. But it had a mixture of fun, spirited and witty satire to it that made you remember that these dancers are human beings first, giving you a performance meant to entertain you. After hearing the question and answer session afterwards hosted by Alfonso Martin, with the guests being able to ask questions of choreographers Ma Cong and Norbert De La Cruz III, that you got the true sense of what Mr. De La Cruz was thinking when he created this ballet.
De La Cruz, a graduate of Juilliard School of Dance, had created this as his solo for the school. It was here in Tulsa, that he added the second act which had people on the edge of their seats. He explained that he struggled with extreme stage fright and for him the Fourth Wall could be anything to anyone, a way of protecting oneself and still be the artist you were created to be. Bravo!
The third ballet In Formation, choreographed by Tulsa Ballet veteran Ma Cong, held true to form for this brilliant dancer and Tulsa Ballet resident choreographer. It was beautiful, intense and driven by the haunting music which fueled the ballet. I can honestly say I have never been to a ballet created by Ma Cong that I didn't fall in love with. He is a genius, contemporary, but still true to the art of ballet. A must see.
This season looks as if Tulsa Ballet is going to be yet another wonderful, amazing and ground breaking season. Even thought TBII is a Pre-Professional Ensemble created by the Tulsa Ballet, they have filled it with some amazing dancers who are under the direction of Tulsa's very own Alfonso Martin, who along with Ma Cong, retired from the Tulsa Ballet after the 2012-13 season.
Tulsa is very lucky to have such remarkable culture thriving in our city and if you have not bought your tickets for this show, TBII: On Your Radar, or any of the upcoming season of Tulsa Ballet, you had better get on it. This is a world class ballet company and one not to be missed.
You can visit TulsaBallet.org for more information.