The artistic director of any performing arts organization would be wise to model himself after Janus, the mythological Roman god who was able to see the past as well as the future. For while an arts organization must preserve its past, it should also seek to enrich its repertoire with new works.
For his fifth season as artistic director of the Oklahoma City Ballet, Robert Mills wanted to have an appropriate celebration to kick off the company's 2012-13 season. After mulling over several ideas, he ultimately decided to showcase his dancers in three works that are new to the company.
Titled “Director's Choice,” the grand opening will feature Anthony Tudor's “Lilac Garden,” a neoclassical ballet set in the Edwardian era, Nicolo Fonte's “Left Unsaid,” a ballet built on an undercurrent of implicit human relationships, and Margo Sappington's “Cobras,” a sultry work that blends the tango and ballet.
“Artistic directors usually deal with (choosing) works that will stretch their dancers, showcase the dancers' unique talents and what will sell tickets,” Mills said. “I really just wanted to do works that I love.
“I danced ‘Lilac Garden' and ‘Cobras' so those ballets are special to me because of that. And when I saw ‘Left Unsaid' in Denver, it brought me to tears. These three works couldn't be more different and are also new to this company. Audiences will get to see very different facets of ballet and what is possible with classically trained dancers.”
About the pieces
The British-born Anthony Tudor is known as one of the great choreographers of the 20th century. For many years, he was resident choreographer of American Ballet Theatre. “Lilac Garden,” which is set to Ernest Chausson's “Poeme,” was one of the first ballets that company asked him to restage and it remains one of his signature works.
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Audiences will get to see very different facets of ballet.”