Tulsa, Okla. – Nov. 15, 2010 – Mischievous mice, a growing Christmas tree, Russian Acrobats and a young girl’s fantasy unfolds at the Performing Arts Center Dec. 11 – 23, 2010, as Tulsa Ballet brings the magic of The Nutcracker  to children young and old. 

This is a fast-paced, Broadway-like production with a story that remains true to its origin, incorporates difficult choreography, and stunning visuals that include a nod to Tulsa’s Art Deco heritage.

No cookie cutter production like many Nutcrackers performed across the country, Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini’s version stays close to the original novel by E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, rather than the more simplistic revision of this story by Alexandre Dumas. 

The Angelini production also revolves around dance itself -- its hallmark being its challenging choreography.  With big full company dances, romantic pas de deux and a scene dedicated to young dancers, each member of the cast has to perform at a high level of excellence. 

“This version of The Nutcracker is difficult for everybody to dance, but exciting for everyone to watch,” said Artistic Director Marcello Angelini.  “The complex choreography brings an electric energy to the stage when dancers perform at the edge of their technical abilities.” 

Soloist Soo Youn Cho makes her debut in the lead role of the adult Marie, and alternates the part with Soloist Ashley Blade-Martin.  Principals Alfonso Martin and Wang Yi dance the male lead roles of Marie’s prince.  Tulsa Ballet’s Center for Dance Education students, Bobbie Lynn Kandravi and Sage Engle-Laird, alternately dance the part of young Marie.  The cast rounds out with over 120 local children and dance students playing mice, toy soldiers, and children in scenes at a party and in a ballet studio.   

Set in1920s Paris and the Gardens of Versailles, Paris shares a very important element in common with Tulsa – its beautiful art deco architecture, evident in the lush sets designed by famed Italian designer Luisa Spinatelli. 

“Ms. Spinatelli works primarily with large European companies like The Royal Ballet in London, the Paris Opera Ballet in Paris, and La Scala in Milan, so it is an honor to work with her,” said Angelini.  “She has done a phenomenal job creating visuals that are both classy and stunning.”

The scenic design team includes Brancato Costumi Teatrali in Milan and Paolino Libralato in Venice, one of the world’s most talented scenic artists.  The costumes were also built by Brancato Costumi Teatrali, and have an Erté influence.

“I am a big fan of the artist Erté, so I shaped much of the choreography to suggest that look and time in the history of fashion,” said Angelini.

And the magic?

“We want The Nutcracker to open the hearts and minds of our audience to the possibilities of love, compassion, beauty and kindness,” said Angelini.  “If we accomplish our goal, our audience will be ready to enjoy the true meaning of the holidays with an open heart.”



Tickets are available by calling 918.749.6006, or by visiting www.tulsaballet.org.



Tulsa Ballet is a professional ballet company whose purpose is to serve as an essential asset of its extended community through internationally-acclaimed artistic excellence and exemplary education and outreach.  Regarded as one of the top ballet companies in North America and recognized as a leader in the field, Tulsa Ballet consistently brings the finest works of the classical and contemporary repertory to the Oklahoma stage, presenting the same works, and sharing the same world-renowned choreographers with the top dance organizations in the world. 



Melinda Gable, Marketing and Public Relations Director

918.392.5928 – melinda.gable@tulsaballet.org