Cornucopia of culture
After six years of performances at its former home, Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Choregus Productions has moved to its new location: Helmerich Performing Arts Center, 2600 S. Utica Ave., at Cascia Hall Preparatory School.
The 2012-2013 season opens Sept. 22-23 with a return engagement by Complexions Contemporary Ballet. The show has an 8 p.m. curtain on Saturday and a 3 p.m. curtain on Sunday. Complexion artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson were featured choreographers on the popular Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Complexions “was a (Choregus) crowd favorite” when it first appeared locally two years ago, says Ken Tracy, executive director and Choregus founder.
In a special Oct. 27 performance honoring American veterans, mezzo-soprano opera star Stephanie Blythe pays vocal tribute to the legendary musical icon Kate Smith in “We’ll Meet Again — The Songs of Kate Smith.” Blythe has been hailed by the New York Times as “in some ways an even better Kate Smith than Kate Smith,” and will be accompanied by pianist Craig Terry. Tickets range from $15-$45.
The award-winning Spectrum Dance Theater appears Nov. 10 and 11, at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, presenting a full-stage work that connects the Holocaust with present-day sufferings of the world that result from prejudice, oppression and persecution. Spectrum’s “The Theater of Needless Talents” uses a combination of dance, theatrical vignette and cabaret inspired by Jewish artists who were imprisoned in Nazi death camps. The performance will feature live music by Jewish-Czech composer Edwin Shulhoff, who died during the Holocaust. Tickets are $15-$50. Visit www.spectrumdance.org.
Internationally renowned a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock returns for one performance of holiday music and favorite songs at 8 p.m. Dec. 15 called “Celebrating the Holydays.” The group’s repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the black church, civil rights movement, and songs of struggles for justice — through blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, hip-hop, ancient lullabies and jazz improvisation. Tickets range from $15-$45. Visit www.sweethoney.com.
River North Dance Chicago appears at 8 p.m. Jan. 19 and 3 p.m. Jan. 20. Critically recognized all over the world, River North Dance Chicago features highly skilled dancers, stimulating music and bold, commanding choreography, performing a “gutsy, entertaining repertoire,” Tracy says. Tickets are $15-$50. Visit www.rivernorthchicago.com.
Choregus welcomes Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for two performances April 27-28, at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. Many have said the 11-year collaboration between Zane and Jones has changed the face of American dance. The company’s Oklahoma debut includes “D-Man in the Waters,” a genuine modern dance set to Mendelssohn’s “Octet in E Flat Major Opus 20,” as well as “Spent Days of Yonder,” a reflection of the second movement of Mozart’s “String Quartet No. 23 in F Major,” performed to live music. Tickets run $15-$50. Visit here for more details.
Choregus Productions ends the arts season with New York Polyphony at 8 p.m. May 13. National Public Radio praised the male quartet for its “rich, natural sound that is larger and more complex than the sum of its parts.” The chamber ensemble applies not only refined musicianship and interpretive detail, but also a modern sensibility to its repertoire, ranging from austere medieval melodies to cutting-edge contemporary works. Tickets are $15-$35. Visit www.newyorkpolyphony.com.
For more information on Choregus Productions, visit www.choregus.org, or call 918-361-6612.