Oklahoma City Ballet lures lovers to ‘Paris Rouge’ for Valentine’s weekend with romantic triple bill
The Oklahoma City Ballet will seduce audiences in an infamous Parisian nightclub with its third production of the 2012-2013 season, a romantic triple bill headlined by Paris Rouge at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave.
Paris Rouge is Artistic Director Robert Mills’ original adaptation of Gaite Parisienne, a ballet to the music of Jacques Offenbach originally choreographed by Leonide Massine in 1938. Inspired by the original ballet and two “Moulin Rouge” films, the 2001 musical starring Nicole Kidman and John Huston’s 1952 classic, Paris Rouge captures the spirited and boisterous night life of 1900 Paris.
The leading role of Louise, a role that mirrors Satine, the character Nicole Kidman plays in the movie, is alternately danced by new company member Ezlimar Dortolina from Caracas, Venezuela and veteran company dancer Stephanie Foraker Pitts.
“They dance the role of a courtesan, who is the star of the nightclub,” Artistic Director Robert Mills said. “All the men adore her but only one young poet has managed to secure her returned affections.”
The young poet is danced alternately by Ryan Piper and Josh Crespo.
The triple bill production will open with the Oklahoma premiere of Napoli Divertissements, a series of dances from August Bournonville’s full-length ballet “Napoli (The Fisherman and His Bride),” which premiered with the Royal Danish Ballet in 1842. Mills describes the dance as “a classic, pure dance piece from one of the greatest influences of the romantic era.”
Pushing Pennies will be the second ballet of the evening, an original work by Robert Mills using the music of Philip Glass that he describes as an experiment in controlled randomness.
The dancers entrances, exits and where they dance on stage were selected by drawing a number from 1-20. Each number represented a quadrant onstage or a wing leading to the offstage. Their movement phrases were then manipulated depending on where the number they drew told them to go.
Mills and Ballet Master Jacob Sparso will offer a lecture prior to the Saturday evening show at 7:15 p.m. in the south lobby of the Civic Center Music Hall. Sparso performed in Napoli Divertissements during his time with the Royal Danish Ballet.
A .25 carat diamond solitaire necklace will be given away to one audience member during intermission at the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon performances, and all attendees can get free photos with their date at the interactive Paris Rouge-themed photo booth in the lobby prior to both shows.
Individual ticket prices range from $33 to $55 depending on section. Online ticketing is available at Oklahmoa City Balleet’s website, by phone at 405.848.TOES (8637) or at the Civic Center Box Office.
“I think many people don’t understand how much they would enjoy a performance like this one,” Mills said. “Three completely different ballets, one classic, one modern, and one that tells a fun, romantic story, and each is separated by an intermission where you can enjoy a refreshment in the lobby and talk with your friends or date. Our triple bills are our most talked about and enjoyed performances and this one creates the perfect opportunity to get dressed-up and enjoy a special performance with your Valentine.”
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About the Oklahoma City Ballet
Founded in 1972, the Oklahoma City Ballet boasts 25 dancers from around the world. It is the resident dance company of the Civic Center Music Hall and tours as part of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s touring program, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, and the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Touring Program. It is the only U.S. ballet company of its size to regularly debut world premier full-length ballets with original commissioned scores and new works from the industry’s leading choreographers. For more information, please visit Oklahoma City Ballet’s website or call 405.848.TOES.