OKC Ballet springs into action

OKC Ballet artistic director, Robert Mills, stands in front of their newly acquired building, located at 6800 N. Classen Blvd. in OKC. Photo by Robin Dorner.

by Kevin Jones
Contributing Writer

As the new year swings into motion so does the second half of the Oklahoma City Ballet's 2016-2017 season. During the current season the company has spent countless hours perfecting the four performances in their current line-up.

The first half of the season opened with Rodeo: A Triple Bill. The renowned Nutcracker ushered in the holiday season. The second half opened in February with The Sleeping Beauty. Next, the ballet will spring into action again with their upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a performance you won’t want to miss.

Robert Mills, Artistic Director for the Oklahoma City Ballet said they have had a busy year. “I think the building acquisition is the biggest thing for us in the past year,” Mills said. “With the announcement of our new future home and our acquisition of our current space, I am also excited about the possibilities ahead of us.”

As for the current season, Mills said, "We are doing very well.

“The company dancers are performing at an incredibly high level. Our school is flourishing with classes full of happy students progressing beautifully and our community outreach is touching thousands of lives per year.”

On the horizon for the ballet, Mills said they will begin moving into their new building. June brings the Summer Intensive Training program for aspiring ballet dancers from all over the U.S. and abroad.

“In September, we will begin our 2017-2018 season performances,” Mills added with enthusiasm. “The ballet is a family friendly environment great for any audience.”

Mills said people do not need to know anything about how the ballet is produced to enjoy it.

“I could not tell you how many times someone has said to me, ‘But I don't know anything about ballet. I won't enjoy myself.’ The idea that there is something to understand beyond taking in a performance never makes sense to me. You do not need to know how to paint to be able to appreciate the work of master painters and you don't need to know how to shoot and direct a film to be able to enjoy one.

“Ballet is a performing art. You need only observe its many facets.”

The Oklahoma City ballet continues its tradition of excellence maintained since their earliest iteration as the Oklahoma City Civic Ballet in 1963. Mills along with his talented staff and highly trained professional artists continue to provide breathtaking spectacular performances at regular intervals throughout the year.

Next up: “We will begin the process of moving into our new building, located at 6800 N. Classen Blvd., and we will produce a new version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.”

The show will be directed by Mills, who has served as the artistic director for OKC Ballet since 2008. Under his guidance, the number of performances have doubled and the annual budget for the ballet has tripled.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, a Shakespearean comedy, portrays a marriage in the making from four days prior to the wedding. Prior to each performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, choreographer Sarah Tallman of Denver, Colorado will kick off the show with the world premiere performance of If These Walls Could Talk.

Performances will be April 21 and 22 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m.

For ticket information and information, classes and other upcoming OKC Ballet events, call (405) 843-9898 or visit www.okcballet.org.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly - 3/18/2017 @ 1:46 p.m. CDT