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Tulsa Ballet hip-hops forward for season finale

Tulsa Ballet rehearsal
Posted at 4:00 AM, Apr 22, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — An upcoming announcement is expected this Friday from Tulsa Ballet as the company prepares for its final and biggest show of this season.

The Tulsa Ballet got creative this past year, and they're ending this season with a twist.

"The dancers at the Tulsa Ballet are some of the best dancers I have worked with," says choreographic Jennifer Weber.

Weber's career stretches all the way from the World of Disney to London's West End. Now, she is putting her unique spin on the Tulsa Ballet.

"This is my first time really back in a studio with dancers, creating something live in person," said Weber. "It's amazing."

Recent rehearsals mark the first time the company is on the same stage at the same time since the pandemic started last year.

SEE MORE: Photos from Tulsa Ballet rehearsal

“Every single piece so far, it’s been choreographed via zoom," says Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director for Tulsa Ballet. “The dancers were divided into 4 different pods and four different studios and connected via video conferencing.”

All the dancers are fully vaccinated and physicians cleared the dancers to be together. Weber is going to be the first choreographer working with them in person, but that's not the only first she brings to the stage.

“I met Marcello through a cousin who danced with Marcello back in the day," said Weber. "And he was like would you want to come create a hip-hop piece for these dancers? And I was like that is the craziest ask ever. And yes. Absolutely.”

Weber is in Tulsa to help the ballerinas take the leap into hip-hop which is something Tulsa Ballet has never done.

“It’s been really cool to see where our styles overlap and where they are different," said Weber. "Like you know hip hop is very down and ballet is very up, but then you know you find all this amazing space in between.”

Weber's upcoming 12-minute piece has a remix of music by Outkast called "The Ghostlight." The piece will have a single ghost light as the sole light left on the stage when the rest of the theatre goes dark.

“I was thinking about how all the theatres are dark across American and all these ghosts lights are left on for maybe a whole year instead of an evening and what these ghosts would create if they had a whole year to put together a performance,” said Weber.

"The Ghostlight" will be the finale of Tulsa Ballet's upcoming production of "The Celebration." The performance highlights Tulsa Ballet's past, present, and future.

“We’re going from pointed shoes to classical ballet, tutus, all the way again to hip hop,” said Angelini. "It tells everybody we are not standing still."

The future is looking brighter for dark theatres as a sign of hope for audiences and the performers waiting in the wings.

“I think in this moment, it’s such a special opportunity to see a live performance, to be part of a live performance," said Weber. "I wanted to make sure that when people leave the theatre they feel inspired and just feel like anything is possible.”

"The Celebration" is the Tulsa Ballet's final production of this season. Performances will be held on May 13 and 16 at the Cox Convention Center Grand Hall. There will also be an option to watch a performance via live stream on May 14. To order tickets, head to the Tulsa Ballet's website for more details.

See the company's reunion and learn more about the season finale on 2News Today in the 6 a.m. hour.

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