REVIEW: Contemporary Dance Oklahoma brings music to life in ‘electric’ Carmina Burana; Norman Phil & OMTA Up Next

By Glenda Rice Collins

Norman, Okla., USA — Powered by  a 160-voice chorus, 40 exuberant members of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, a chamber orchestra with two concert grand pianos, and University of Oklahoma School of Music distinguished faculty soloists:
Lori Ernest, soprano, Joel Burcham, tenor and Leslie Flanagan, bass-baritone, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana spectacular soared to new heights with extraordinary synergy at the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall at OU’s Catlett Music Center April 28. Bravo!!!

UP NEXT, June 1, the Norman Philharmonic presents a concert of “sublime music” by Beethoven and Mozart, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) State Conference, June 2 – 3, 2023: “Music for Life,” at Catlett Music Center in the OU Arts District. Pre-registration deadline is May 24. Details follow later in this Review.

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Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette Dazzles at OU with Contemporary Flair

By Glenda Rice Collins

Norman, Okla., USA — Portraying the iconic royal who was “…not raised, but built to be this thing,” Elyssa Armenta mesmerizes with details of Marie’s teenage marriage into the realms of whimsical 1770’s-1790’s French customs and expectations, in David Adjmi’s contemporary spin on history, as his Marie Antoinette continues this weekend at the University of Oklahoma. Evan Wolfe uniquely captures the essence of the somewhat befuddled, and sexually reluctant Louis XVI, as final OU University Theatre performances evolve April 27 – 29 at 8 p.m. and April 30 at 3 p.m. in the Weitzenhoffer Theatre, 563 Elm Ave. in the OU Arts District.

At-home viewing will be available with video-on-demand. To learn more and to purchase tickets please visit

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On Scene at OU: Oklahoma Festival Ballet, from early Balanchine to Yanowsky’s ‘Train of Thought,’ a tribute to Hope — Stellar musicians and vocals featured on program

By Glenda Rice Collins

Norman, Okla., USA — A uniquely fulfilling opportunity to compare the early works of both New York City Ballet choreographic icons George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins continues on stage at the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center this weekend at the University of Oklahoma, with final Oklahoma Festival Ballet performances at 8 P.M. April 7, and 3 p.m., Saturday, April 8. Performances will be held in the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre, 563 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus.

This production, like a breath of springtime, is suitable for all audiences.

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Bountiful Ballet Footnotes Unmasked, Part 1: Tulsa Ballet Revives ‘Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music’ this weekend

By Glenda Rice Collins

Tulsa, Okla., USA – Just three years ago, in March 2020, as the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown went into full effect, Tulsa Ballet employees geared up to make and widely share much-needed health-protective (and scarce) masks made from humanitarian efforts in their costume department.

Now, following recently dazzling 2022-23 season world premieres of unmasked, seductive Carmen and elaborately-staged Cinderella productions, Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini brings us Ma Cong‘s poignant and beautiful masterpiece, Tchaikovsky, the Man Behind the Music, March 23-26 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Cong’s brilliant-tribute ballet made its World Premiere just four years ago on March 29, 2019 here. the performance then called “…simply, a triumph,” by the Tulsa World, just a year before the pandemic lockdown. Creative genius now prevails once again!

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The Frida Effect: Final Days at Philbrook for Kahlo-Rivera Mexican Modernism exhibits

*Community Dialogue Opportunity Scheduled for September 10:

How Frida Taught us to Paint Our Realities — Details follow.

By Glenda Rice Collins (Updated September 2, 2022)

Tulsa, Okla., USA — Last call: FRIDA KAHLO, DIEGO RIVERA, AND MEXICAN MODERNISM continues through September 11, 2022 at Philbrook Museum of Art, featuring: exemplary originals of iconic Frida’s paintings, videos of her beloved Casa Azul residence, and garden (as shown in banner image above), examples of her authentic, heritage-inspired attire, wall-sized reproductions of Rivera’s famed murals, and the couple’s unique Mexican garden-inspired influences visible throughout Philbrook’s vast gardens this summer.

The Philbrook gardens currently bloom with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera-inspired plantings, and quotes. Photo by Glenda Rice Collins.

Born into a privileged Mexican lifestyle, the well-educated Frida Kahlo studied to be a doctor, but suffered severe injuries and life-long pain from a traffic accident in her youth, becoming broken, at times bedridden, and yet determined to express herself through her groundbreaking paintings, activism and political involvements. (See also:

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Ballet: Where Have all the Tutus Gone?

By Glenda Rice Collins

Oklahoma City, Okla., USA – Oklahoma City Ballet’s recent Future Voices choreographic showcase world premieres responded to familiar pop music history, as well as the classics, for inspiration.

The short, dramatic works were inspired by such themes as: sudden death, Analog Form, and jukebox memories, all in contemporary mode, up-close and personal in the same studio where they rehearse – the Inasmuch Foundation Theater at their home base. –Has spare costuming created a ‘tutu dilemma?’ 

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Oklahoma City Ballet, at 50, spins ‘Future Voices’ this week at Inasmuch Theatre

By Glenda Rice Collins

Oklahoma City, Okla., USA — Oklahoma City Ballet’s upcoming Future Voices public performances, March 17-20, 2022, will showcase inspired new work from talented young choreographers, “up close” in the 190-seat Inasmuch Foundation Theater at the Susan E. Brackett Dance Center, the company’s architecturally-noteworthy Classen Blvd. headquarters.

The showcased new works provide a transitional program in which to reflect on recent contemporary ballet premieres, current company progress, and preparations to contrast and celebrate a few iconic classics soon across Oklahoma this spring. —A Unique Opportunity for Choreographic Study continues! Continue reading

Ansel Adams in Our Time: New Views Reflected Politically

Iconic images illuminate current social issues through a contemporary lens.

By Glenda Rice Collins

Bentonville, Ark., USA — With memorable images of vast American landscapes now threatened with climate change and exploitation, Ansel Adams in Our Time continues at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, through January 3, 2021. The changing landscapes are now reflected among works by his notable peers, past and present.

“All Art is Political” –Hank Willis Thomas

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Children’s Musical Theatre of Bartlesville celebrates 20th Year

By Glenda Rice Collins, For Bartlesville Magazine, Winter 2020.*  Updated 3-18-20.

Bartlesville, Okla., USA– “Part of the worldwide availability of service that comes with being a diplomat is being able to adapt to new scenarios, to quickly learn new skills, and to work with all kinds of people. These are all things I first learned from CMT.”Clint Shoemake, foreign service officer at U. S. Department of State. Continue reading

Review: From Athens to Tulsa Opera, Turandot endures; ends here today

By Glenda Rice Collins

Tulsa, Okla., USA — Bursting with passion, lust and torture, magnetic characters, and centered in an exotic, fairy-tale setting in Peking legendary times, Tulsa Opera’s 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee, April 29th presentation of Puccini’s Turandot at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center marks the final main stage production of the company’s impressive 70th Anniversary Season. Continue reading