Just back from performances at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, “Wahzhazhe” will have three performances in Bartlesville and three performances in Tulsa in August.
The ballet will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10, and at 2 p.m. Aug. 11, at the Bartlesville Community Center. Tulsa performances are Aug. 16-18 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
Osage member Margie Burkhart, said, “Dance is a common language that unites us all on some level and the contemporary ballet, ‘Wahzhazhe,’ does just that by depicting the history and culture of the Osage people. ‘Wahzhazhe’ ballet combines aesthetics with an educational history lesson that could easily be understood by all. Osages take great pride in their connection to the ballet world through two revered Osage ballerinas, Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief. Depicting Osage history and culture through ballet continues this tradition.”
With help from the National Endowment for the Arts, Osage Foundation, Spyglass Energy Group, Michael Grave, Nadel and Gussman, Osage LLC and many others, “Wahzhazhe” premiered in August 2012. With the resounding success of the 2012 debut, NMAI invited them to perform in Washington, D.C. in March 2013.
As the excitement grew about “Wahzhazhe” performances, people had to be turned away because there was no more room in the theater. This powerful production draws the audience completely into the rich history of the Osage American Indians. Osage heritage and traditions are captured in a stunning stage performance using traditional drums, costumes and dance. Through creative set design, the stage has been transformed into accurate depictions of Osage life during the last 400 years.
“Wahzhazhe” was produced by Randy Tinker Smith and choreographed by Jenna Smith, both of Osage descent. Roman Jasinski acted as adviser on the project. Original music for “Wahzhazhe” was written by Osage composer Lou Brock and by Dr. Joseph Rivers, chairman of the Tulsa University Film and Cinematography Department, who also arranged the music. Well known Osage artists Wendy Ponca and Terry Wann designed costumes for the ballet, and Alexandra Ponca designed the sets.
Tickets to the Osage ballet, “Wahzhazhe,” are on sale for the Tulsa PAC performances online at http://tulsapac.com/events.asp?id=92&eventid=2578&task=display and soon will be on sale for Bartlesville performances online at www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the Bartlesville Community Center Box Office. Ticket prices are adults, $18, children and seniors, $12.
For more information contact “Wahzhazhe” at 918-704-4668 or go to www.osageballet.com.