For its 58th year, the Tulsa Ballet will present the Christmas classic, “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 12-14 and 19-21 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
Tulsa Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” brings a unique spin to the classic tale, setting the magical journey of young Marie Stahlbaum in 1920s Paris, as homage to Tulsa’s art deco history.
“While ‘Nutcracker’ productions have been declining nationwide, here at Tulsa Ballet we have seen two years of back to back records: 2012 was the best selling production in the history of Tulsa Ballet and 2013 was the second best selling production in our history,” said Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini.
This season marks Angelini’s 20th anniversary with the Tulsa Ballet and choreographing “The Nutcracker.” Bruce Wells also contributed to the production’s choreography.
The Tulsa Ballet is now considered one the top 10 ballet companies in the U.S., comprised of 28 highly skilled professional dancers representing 11 countries. The professionals rehearse eight hours a day, five days a week in preparation for the show.
The cast boasts more than one hundred local children who were selected through auditions and represent more than a dozen Oklahoma communities. The new opening party scene that premiered in 2012 will return for this year’s production. Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will perform the score composed by Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky.
The company will welcome back recently retired principal dancers and former Three Musketeer performers, Ma Cong, Alexandra Bergman and Alfonso Martin to appear in “The Nutcracker.” This performance will be the first onstage reunion for the three dancers since their retirement at the end of the 2012-2013 season.
“Martín and Ma Cong will be appearing as Drosselmeyers and Bergman in the role of the Head Maid,” said Angelini. “It will be wonderful to see dancers who have created this production, and performed it for over 100,000 audience members, share the stage with the new generation of Tulsa Ballet dancers.”
Former professional dancer, Roman Jasinski has taught dance courses at ORU since the program began. His parents, Roman Jasinski and Moscelyne Larkin founded the Tulsa Ballet in 1956.
Jasinski performed in a televised production of “The Nutcracker” with the American Ballet Theatre under the artistic direction of famous Russian dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov.
“I’ve danced in ‘The Nutcracker’ hundreds of times in my life,” Jasinski said. “’The Nutcracker’ is a fairytale ballet. It’s about happiness and Christmas. It’s probably the world’s most beloved ballet.”
Former Tulsa Ballet dancer, Allison Pringle also teaches ballet courses at ORU.
“As a professional dancer, ‘The Nutcracker’ is a ballet performed countless times, yet I never tired of this ballet or Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score,” Pringle said. “The sets are a winter wonderland. The costumes are exquisite and the live orchestra — it is a dream come true and a memory that I will always treasure.”
The Tulsa Ballet’s performances of “The Nutcracker” will be Dec. 13, 14, 20, 21 at 2:00 p.m., and Dec. 12, 19, 20, 21 at 7:00 p.m. Student tickets can be bought in advance for $20 by calling (918) 749-6006 or by visiting www.tulsaballet.org.