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Oklahoma City Ballet Has Kept on Dancing Despite the Pandemic

Oklahoma City Ballet found ways to bring the beauty of ballet safely to audiences in spite of the pandemic. And the organization has an exciting performance schedule planned for this season.

There’s something special about watching a ballet performance. The peace that it brings leaves a lasting impression. Throughout the pandemic, Oklahoma City Ballet dancers remained resilient and continued to safely provide audiences with their beautiful art during the most trying times.

Now that the pandemic is improving and folks are getting vaccinated, Oklahoma City Ballet has an exciting performance schedule planned for this season.

On YurView’s Doing More show, Stephanie Pitts, Community Engagement Manager with Oklahoma City Ballet, spoke about the past, present and future of this amazing organization. Watch the segment above, or read the transcript below. (lightly edited for clarity)

Oklahoma City Ballet
Photo Courtesy: Oklahoma City Ballet

Dancing Through the Pandemic

Stephanie Pitts, Community Engagement Manager (00:07) – 2020 affected Oklahoma City Ballet immensely. We had to cancel our remaining performances after March for our 2019-2020 season. We normally have a summer intensive. That all had to go virtual. A lot of our school activities, teaching students went virtual.

(00:26) – And then we had to reimagine our 2020-2021 season. We decided to keep our company dancers separated into two different pods. So they only interacted with the other dancers in their pod. And they were tested regularly and were required to wear masks.

(00:46) – In the Civic Center this past year, the capacity of the theater was limited to 30% in order to make sure it was safe for everyone, social distanced seating and masks required. However, with vaccines and things hopefully changing this next season, we will be back to 100% capacity.

Oklahoma City Ballet Performance Schedule

SP (01:22) – Our 2021 season is going to be amazing. We’re bringing back a ballet that was met by the community with such excitement a few years ago. We’re bringing back Alice in Wonderland, which will be great for families. Young and old will find something they love about this ballet. In December, we’ll be doing The Nutcracker again.

(01:45) – And then in February, we will be doing a mixed repertory bill. So four different ballets called Made in the U.S.A. – American choreographers that have made major contributions to ballet. And we will finish off the season with Sleeping Beauty. It is the epitome of classical ballet, all wrapped up into a wonderful season.

Community Engagement

SP (02:11) – ArtsReach is our arts education program. The ArtsReach program is open to students in any grade level, and at any school in Oklahoma. So that’s reaching rural areas and students that are right here in Oklahoma City. The major impact of this program is introducing students to ballet as a performing art, and hopefully creating an appreciation for the arts that becomes lifelong.

(02:37) – You can find out more about our ArtsReach program and all of our other community engagement programs through our website, www.okcballet.org. There you can find out ways to enroll in our programs, as well as help support our community engagement programs that are offered free to our participants.Oklahoma City Ballet