Tulsa Ballet will return to the Tulsa PAC for the first time in nearly two years for a special production that features the world premiere of “Breakin’ Bricks,” a multimedia dance work inspired by Tulsa’s Greenwood community.
Choreographed by Jennifer Archibald, the piece combines dance, dialogue and video to address issues of racism, resilience and reconciliation.
Archibald conducted videotaped interviews with a broad spectrum of Tulsans as part of her research for this piece. “The conversation with members of the community gave me a deeper understanding of the city and its citizens,” she said. “There was a significant shift in my creative process while interviewing Tulsans from different cultural backgrounds. Their voices are the spine of the work.”
Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini said the reason behind commissioning “Breakin’ Bricks” was because “Our commitment to the community goes beyond the presentation of dance. We have an obligation to present, without passing judgment or necessarily offering a solution, works that are pertinent to the cultural issues of the past and present. We are a Tulsa cultural institution and it’s unthinkable that we don’t use our platform to reflect on the most transformational event of the past 100 years for our community, and how it has affected our lives in the present.”
Joining the dancers of Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Ballet II will be seven African-American guest artists, who have performed with such companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Memphis and BalletMet.
The program will also feature the return of “Flight of Fancy,” a fast-paced and lively piece by former resident choreographer Ma Cong, which he said was created “to impart a feeling of curiosity and playfulness to the audience.”
Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 29-30, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Tulsa PAC, 101 E. Third St. Tickets are $25-$108. 918-749-6006, tulsapac.com.
Return of ‘Nanyehi’
“Nanyehi — The Story of Nancy Ward” makes its Tulsa return for two shows, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29-30, at Hard Rock Live inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 777 W. Cherokee Ave., Catoosa.
Tickets are $15. A $5 discount is available for Cherokee Nation citizens and children 12-under. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 918-384-ROCK or by going online to the entertainment section of hardrockcasinotulsa.com.
“Nanyehi,” written by award-winning songwriter and recording artist Becky Hobbs and freelance director and co-playwright Nick Sweet, is the story of Ward, a legendary woman who was first honored in the 18th century as a Cherokee war woman, but then as a peacemaker during the American Revolution.
New York-based actress Michelle Honaker returns to play the title role along with Tahlequah native Travis Fite as Dragging Canoe. This production will feature a special guest star, Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Perdue, as elder Nanyehi.
Hobbs, whose songs have been covered by many of the top country artists, is a Cherokee Nation citizen, Bartlesville native and a direct descendant of Ward. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in October 2015, and the “Nanyehi” short film was inducted into the Oklahoma Movie Hall of Fame in April 2019.
Halloween at the Abbey
The Abbey Mausoleum at Rose Hill Memorial Park, 4161 E. Admiral Blvd., will host two special events in keeping with this spirited season.
It will host the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture’s “Uniquely Haunting Halloween Bash,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28. The evening will be a costume party featuring live music by jazz artist Clark Gibson and a string quartet of students from the bART Center for Music, hors d’oeuvres, tarot card readings and libations, including a signature cocktail dubbed “The Corpse Reviver.“
All activities will be outdoors, so as not to disturb anyone’s eternal rest.
Tickets are $40-$50, with proceeds going to benefit the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture and the historic Abbey Mausoleum. To purchase: eventbrite.com.
The Abbey will also host “A Night at the Mausoleum: A Celebration of El Dia de los Muertos,” 4-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. The evening will feature contests for best altar display and best costume, with cash prizes awarded, along with live music by such artists as Ana Berry & Bossa, Michael Bremo, Edwin Garcia & Mezclave featuring Madalina, and a showing of the film “Beetlejuice.”
Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the event. To purchase and more information: theabbeyatrosehill.com.