Lorrie Keller believes in the magic that music, dance and art can conjure in the lives of children.
For the founder and creative director of Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan, that belief is based on her own girlhood experiences and led to the creation of the Paseo Arts District's popular Fairy Ball.
“When dusk descends upon the ball and the lights start to make a glow and the dancing begins, it is beautiful. It really does have a sense of the extraordinary,” Keller said.
Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan, a nonprofit dance company based in the Paseo, will present its 13th annual Fairy Ball from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the “Fairy Green,” an open field at Dewey and NW 28, just west of Paseo Grill.
The whimsical all-ages event invites children to take part in hands-on visual arts activities followed by free-form dancing to live music by Oklahoma City electronic musician/composer Steve McLinn.
Plus, Keller is adding some particularly personal magic to this year's welcoming performance by the StarDanceSwan dancers.
“The costumes that they'll be wearing were created in the late '40s, and they were worn by a group called The Gypsies that my father and mother were in. Herbert Bagwell was the director and founder of the group; he owned Inter-City Violin Studios ... and he instigated and was very prominent and active in helping the music programs throughout Oklahoma as well as our symphony,” Keller said.
“I was born into this group and attended all their Gypsies jobs when they were in Oklahoma, but they performed in 36 states. And I started performing when I was about 14 ... but I really had my first performance when I was 4, because they couldn't keep me down. I would be on the sidelines copying all the dancers. It's really why I am who I am.”
Keller opted to keep the fairy-tale narrative of the Fairy Ball opening dance a secret. But McLinn said Oklahoma City violinist Kyle Dillingham, who also has family ties to The Gypsies, will help set the mood for the welcoming performance.
Fairy Ball attendees are invited, but not required, to dress as fairies, elves, bugs, blossoms or other whimsical creatures or to don festive attire. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. with Flower Magic, during which youngsters use palm fronds to create fairy wings and real flowers to craft crowns or other embellishments to their costumes.