RISK YOUR BLISS // Artist Denise Duong on Adventure

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Denise Duong and I worked at Kamp’s together in OKC for a brief stint in 1999. I had just returned from the near year long adventure of living in Europe and was having trouble with the re-entry (quite possibly might still might be 16 years later) and culture shock that comes from traveling the globe in flip flops to serving juice and cappies on Classen. Denise was a delightful breath of fresh air and her creative talent impacted me immediately all those years ago with it’s fascinating intensity. And today her work is even more captivating and originally expressive. Besides her beautiful spirit, Denise has an amazing laugh and sense of humor, but really we are here to address the girl’s mad skills with a pen (or brush or pencil or scissors). 

 

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 OM: Tell us a little bit about this show DENISE DUONG 2015?
DENISE: “This show is like a diary, if you are able to read it you’ll know exactly how my life has been going.  Its the most intimate show I’ve had —its’ pure emotion.  Of course, spiced up with my deepest love. travel and adventure. I’ve spent a majority of the year in and out of houses, states, and countries, which is a lifestyle that comes very natural for me and I have never known to live any other way.  People have told me to slow down, I say –‘ catch me if you can.’  I’ve been emotionally tested so much in life, but I’ve been blessed with the mantra “it’s ALL good”.  And yes, I’m definitely spreading my wings and flying, with a smile on my face. “
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OM: “What words of insight do you hope the audience will takeaway from the JRB show?
 
DENISE: “Take a risk and follow your bliss. Listen to your inner voice. When you talk to yourself, answer honestly. Then follow.”
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December 4th at JRB on the Elms, you have the chance to meet this cool girl and her creations from a year of following her bliss for adventure.

EMBRACE + RELEASE // A Little Bohogypsy Wisdom

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You know those kismet encounters wherein you meet someone who says exactly what you’ve been thinking? A couple of months ago, after a first introduction (2012) when we both began our ambitious pursuits, hers in jewelry and accessories, myself in publishing –we met again. After a discussion over the phone which felt like our energy was literally mirroring one another, we decided to meet for a quick editorial opp.

Both being truth-seeking Sagittarius, we dove into the normal Archer ways with rapid fire inquisitiveness, while simultaneously divulging expressive positions on broad cultural topics. Some of those being the trite and seeming ridiculousness of self obsessed social over-sharing, the “real deal” behind ditching that “meek inherits the earth” belief and ignoring the fact that being “everywhere” can actually cause people around you to tune out of your channel. I know– a mouthful AND a news flash?!

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After shooting with every last bit of available light, we decided to carry our conversation further and grab a quick bite. Annah Chakola, is the inspired beauty behind mindfully crafted — BohoGypsy. A Sagittarius, as i mentioned before, she spends most of her time now in initial land of origin -Kerala, India. Having built a network of support for her brand and talents in OKC, while living abroad, she keeps one foot in Oklahoma, while operating as a global boutique. Offering both online sales, and commissioning her pieces thru stores in Chicago, New York, London, Austin, Oklahoma City and upcoming collections in Los Angeles, she is following her Indie Designer dream pursuit– straight to the bulls-eye.

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While discussing the world problems at large, we spoke candidly on which issues we saw flourishing upon the Oklahoma front. What truth-seekers know is that change and progress are brought about via discussion, awareness and action to make things better. Annah spoke of a dear friend in India who had provided her with the recent wisdom of, “Embrace then release”. With the recent universal themes of “Let it go”, being played over and over in our social reality, we went a little deeper. If something bothers us, if someone bothers us, embrace the issue, mirror it for it’s inner lesson, hold it near and analyze it. If one can learn from it, do that and then — release. By embracing and releasing, we can sit with things as they come, address them with intention then move forward with trust. In releasing concerns, we find our clarity in how we proceed with a joyful perspective.

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Annah’s tattoo reads: A Prayer for the Wild At Heart Kept in Cages.

 

In doing a quick research on the topic, I came across a book that is used for people who may be seeking treatment in disease related crisis, and it gave this simple advice, and offered further wisdom I found in alignment. Modern times prove challenging to step away from the media and the ills of global society to exact change in one’s individual perspective. Learning to be connected in a healthy way is a very good thing, to see oneness in the collective, but failing to realize your own needs to step away and “disconnect” at times is not. We often wait until we are sick or in a state of healing before being proactive with our energetic and emotional self.

Take a few moments today to think about how you can stay afloat or tuned in to those things that are important to your life’s moving trajectory, but also call to action– healthy habits to detach. For when we detach from the mass “unconsciousness”, we can find our happiness and bring strength and hope when returning to bring aid.

Check out Annah’s bohemian inspired brand HERE. Read more about Annah’s mindful and stylish creations in upcoming Issue4 — The Beauty Within.

Find more inspiration on how to remain joyful during difficult times via an excerpt from the book Embrace Release Heal HERE.

Photography and Writing by Aimee Tietze Adams, Editor.

 

HOME // An Artful Representation of Oklahoma Icons

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Come “HOME” with talented Tulsa Photographer Jamie Alsabrook and Stylist Stacy Suvino in their edgy artistic representation of Oklahoma Icons of the past.

What was the basic “inspo for the show”: Oklahoma Enthusiast –Mary Beth Babcock (Owner of Dwelling Spaces) saw the fashion blog images Stacy and I have done on Stacy’s fashion blog and contacted us about doing a show together. She said she wanted to feature more female artists. We decided what Stacy and I do best is fashion, and what Dwelling Spaces does best is Oklahoma. So we knew it needed to incorporate the two. That is how we decided on doing fashion portraits of famous Oklahomans. I kept thinking about how Mary Beth said she wanted to feature more women. I thought it might be fun to do mostly male characters played by females, therefore androgyny arose as another goal. The characters are: Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie, The Outsiders, Lee Hazelwood, Brad Pitt, Mickey Mantle, and Wanda Jackson (yes, there is one female).
What did you hope to Achieve: Hope to achieve a likeness of the character but also keep an element of that woman’s femininity. I suppose its a bit of an empowerment thing.
Who was involved? Stacy and I have done all of the planning, styling, etc. We’ve had Jordan Best, Tony Li, and Dana Ferguson involved in make up and hair. And we’ve had a total of 9 models- some professional and some friends.
What have you learned in putting this together? Making someone look masculine is very easy, making someone look feminine is very easy. A combination of the two is tricky. Also, I have learned that women aren’t a huge fan of stripping their femininity away (big eyes, big hair, tight clothes).
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Join the Tulsa creative community in celebrating the edge these Creatives are bringing to the scene at Dwelling Spaces in Tulsa Saturday August 16 (6:00pm) -Sunday August 17th (8:00pm).
You can join the Facebook invite here.

FLYIN LIKE WILEY // OK HISTORY MURAL

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Surely by now– you’ve heard of Modern Abstract Artist– Matt Goad.

A talent whose unique creations are gracing the private walls of Oklahoma’s influencing population, the time is now to buy into the hype! Because the hype is real, and super creative and giving our culture an edge captured in a way that is blessed to be showcased with his mod style methods and inspired linear perception. We were delighted to have a personal tour of the piece which spans a working commercial garage, and covers the beginning of native dwelling — to the oil boom, down the line to statehood with personal touchstones of Wiley Post and Will Rogers, along with the Dust Bowl, tornadoes, graced with the presence of the Golden Driller and the OKC Thunder. Spend a hot minute with Matt below hearing about how the project took flight like Wiley and mark your calendar to head out and see it for yourself this weekend.

How did the mural come about?

Charlie Trujillo and Lettering Express had been helping me with stencils for my paintings for a couple years. They’re the absolute best at what they do! A year or so ago Charlie started having art events in one of the bays at Lettering Express, with artists and bands and the like. He called these event “Just An OK Art Show” for the Oklahoma artists and musicians at the shows. He’d asked if I’d do a mural in their main bay to have one wall covered in art year around. I said let’s do it! He and the team at Lettering Express helped me with stencils and painting the final mural! It was definitely a team effort!

Was this your first mural project to put together?
I work as a designer/creative director for Funnel Design Group and have designed some things at the Science Museum before. But nothing this large.
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What are some of your inspirations for shapes used and worked into the design? 
All the art I create has a very graphic hard edge feel to it. I’ve always been turned on by artists that use flat colors such as Stuart Davis, Charley Harper, Roy Lichtenstein, even Picasso. The shapes are just a result of sketches and doodles I do, in this case to illustrate Oklahoma’s history (For Just an OK Art Show). The shapes often are representational designs broken down to their most basic outlines. Some more conceptual, for example I have a giant hand shape with red dots coming out of the sky representing the dustbowl. I like to design elements overlapping one another, this way things aren’t always evident at first and take some deciphering. People seem to respond well when they discover what is what.
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How can the public view it?
Look up and like “Just An OK Art Show” on Facebook to see upcoming events. They have four to six events a year. This Saturday August 16 will be the first event with the mural. Everyone is invited! There will be other artists on display plus live music by the Wurly Birds and Feel Spectres! The event is located at 2130 W Reno in Oklahoma City (South bay entrance of Lettering Express) from 9 until midnight or so. I’ll have limited edition prints for sale of the mural as well as other pieces.
Matt will have killer prints of the mural available at a discounted rate for those who grace the party presence for purchase. Trust us folks, if you haven’t started your GOAD collection yet, this is the piece to begin building your locally rad wall.
One of Oklahoma’s finest Modern Artists of the time.

FASHION INSIDER // Stylist Stacy Suvino at NYFW

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We all hear about New York Fashion Week, but few of us get a chance to experience it. We have compiled a little Insider series to get a glimpse behind the NY minutes of local Style gals hanging NYFW-side.  With Stacy’s background in editorials and set design, she definitely has the Insider Scoop for set sourcing and cool designers. Enjoy!

nyfw9Name: Stacy Suvino

            Occupation: Set Decorator /Stylist / Blogger

First time at Fashion Week NYC:
My first time at NYFW was in 2007 when I was a volunteer while a student at FIT.

I attended several shows when I worked for Bergdorf Goodman.

This season, I attended Rebecca Taylor.

 Favorite moment + Shows/Studios attended:
There are too many great moments! I was able to meet Lola the designer of Lola Hats who I’ve been such a fan of her work for a long time! I also loved spending time with designer Yoana Barashi and seeing her in her creative element! The Newel Gallery was heaven on earth for me…it was amazing to peruse all six floors and see pieces ranging from Art Deco to 17th Century Italian, to Rustic to Regency.  I of course loved every moment being back in the city I love,  seeing all my friends and making new ones, shopping at my favorite stores and eating at my favorite restaurants!  There is such a surge of energy and creativity that flows constantly in NYC…you can’t help but feel inspired
Biggest Challenge of the week you faced:
My biggest challenge was trying to accomplish seeing a lot of friends, meetings, shows and visiting my favorite places in such a short period of time!

What you brought with you back home:
I brought home wonderful memories, some amazing vintage statement necklaces from the NYC Garage Flea Market, a dainty ring from Catbird and a pair of lovely Topshop shoes.

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Excited for the Rebecca Taylor show.

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Meet Lola the Designer of Lola Hats in her studio and creative element.

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The Newel Gallery below houses some of the most expensive and rare antiques in the world.  They have 6 floors with pieces to rent (clients include Bergdorf Goodman Windows, Ralph Lauren windows and many film and television set designers).  The first floor has pieces available for purchase.

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  Meet Designer Yoana Baraschi.

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The Spring 2014 collection from Yoana Baraschi in the showroom.

To follow Stacy Suvino and her freelance work, visit her below.

Featured Image by Photographer Kat Harris
www.stacysuvino.com
www.theeyestacy.blogspot.com

The Wallpaper Celebration

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What started out as a personal project in photographing a couple of friends who shared their portraits via Facebook led to a community based passion project, which after two years time has come to fruition. The Wallpaper Project Celebration will be held at the Stash Annex Space tomorrow evening, Thursday, April 18th, 2013 at 7pm. Stash is located at 412 E Main St  Norman, OK 73071.

After living in Norman for several years in what Keisha Register refers to as her “own bubble”, she was going thru a time in her life where she had not realized or experienced a “true” sense of community. She began shooting a few friends artistic portraits in front of a distinct floral wallpaper pattern, and they began posting the portraits to Facebook with a widespread response throughout the Norman community. It caught fire amongst feedback and Keisha’s friends encouraged her and began to help her organize further shoots throughout the community. After a short run in posting the locals images, Mainsite Gallery (now Norman Arts Council) called, extended an offer to do a show, and Keisha was overwhelmed by a desire to include everyone. A big problem was holding the project back, production funds. The team began reaching out to a few local spots (Deli, Opolis, The Earth) who in turn held local fundraisers to add support to allow Keisha the time needed to complete the project. At the time, she was so immersed in the project, spending a lot of time processing images, and had not charged any of the subjects a fee for the sitting. She soon realized there would need to be production funds available to print and mount the images for the show. Keisha launched a Kickstarter campaign, which unfortunately didn’t make budget, but she says, “Once the Kickstarter failed, I decided to do it on my own until it was the right time for it to come together. This was something I needed to learn….Im glad it failed, it allowed me a chance to pull together the importance behind the mission.” One of the guidelines she came up with was: since it was for the local community, it needed to be printed and produced locally. A Colorado print company had offered to sponsor a portion of the print production and Keisha had turned them down decided it was important for her to have it printed in the community. John Thomas stepped in as the local printer support and Keisha refers to him as the Local Savior of the project.

Keisha Register reiterates, she is not a Commercial Photographer, but rather a Practicing Artist…”in my 20s I wanted to be a Photographer, but now in my 30s I have realized I am an emotive based Artist. I do my best work when I am extremely happy or extremely sad. Where I was mentally with all these images: I didn’t know all these people I photographed, but these images kept me going, there were days I was not in a good place and they kept me being productive and being positive.” Some friends had mentioned the fact that people were coming out of the woodwork to be photographed and reminded me that some of them weren’t there to be my friends, and that perhaps it was a superficial experience. I explained to them, “It may have been superficial for them, but it certainly wasn’t for me, this is how I connect with humans, thru photography. There were many who were not in the project and they would step into my life throughout to help me thru the next challenges I faced.”

Keisha has expressed ideas to keep the project evolving, revisit the Wallpaper Family portraits each 5-7 years in the future or create an entirely new Wallpaper Community. This project has inspired the Artist to travel and go learn from a bit of walkabout into other culture’s communities (Korea, Vietnam, Costa Rica) with the hopes to bring back inspiration and thought provoking insight to local students. As our own projects serve our need for growth and expansion, Keisha adds, “I learned thru this project I have to focus on one thing at a time. For me that has been big.”

Aimee Tietze Adams is a Photographer, Writer and Editor of OKIEMAMA Magazine.

 

Tea Time | A conversation with Tulsa Photographer Jeremy Charles.

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If you don’t know who Jeremy Charles is, consider this an introduction. A sought out Tulsa based Photographer, Jeremy has built a solid brand around world class musicians, the music scene, advertising, architecture and a unique glorification of “Real People”. Jeremy, with his buddy, Photographer, Travis Hall, are the eyes and perspectives behind the uber cool Black Mesa project we will be highlighting soon.

A few months back, Jeremy and I met up to shoot a piece for the upcoming Issue2, and I turned on my recorder to catch our candid sit down tea time for the sake of my own personal history.  We had tea in colorful maison style cups, hopped around topics like crazy convo chasers, but in the end, there is something deeply special in sharing personal philosophies over tea…I admire this guy and his go against the grain, Henry Rollins bold strength in voice, yet sensitive approach in exchange with other humans, both artistically and conversationally.

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Jeremy has no “secrets”, he shares openly with new photographers and excluded from this audio cut, he reiterates how the “poisoning of the ego” can be found in every artistic medium, and how always wanting more of his work keeps him in a state of humility.

In this conversation, he adds how he just joined his Journey as a Full Time Photographer in the last couple of years and opens authentically about not knowing what the future holds.

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 Listen close as Jeremy is soft spoken but poignant in delivery, we walk all the way to the tea kettle and back to keep it on the real dial.

Thanks for taking the time to listen and be introduced to one of Tulsa’s epic visual artists.

And while you’re at it, pop over to his his site to get a little more personal on his world here.

Tea Time | a conversation with Photographer Jeremy Charles. from OKIEMAMA on Vimeo.

Aimee Tietze Adams is a Photographer, Writer, and Editor of OKIEMAMA Magazine.

Backyard Inspirations: Creating Ranchero

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A few months back I was made aware of my friend Chase Spivey and fellow Normanite Ben Lindesmith’s comedic webseries “Welcome to the Ranchero” via their premier Episode 1: Pool Church (embedded below). Upon the time of discovery, I immediately quenched my curiosity and indulged in their subsequent episodes via the Funny Or Die platform. I love how the series has a spontaneously creative approach as the two creators blend local hot spots with characters in backyard mix of unconventional fun. It gives credence and possibility to the statement from the Wizard of Oz, “it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard…” Enjoy our brief intro to the vision behind the scene and series, and spread the love to keep these awesome folk doing what they clearly do best.

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What inspired you and your friends to make a webcom series?

 It all started one day when Heather Kelly found a bunch of old photos of her parents hanging out in the 70s, we decided to make aphoto series of us with our friends so we could pass them on to our kids one day. We kept trying to come up with funnier photo shoot ideas until eventually the ideas demanded a longer format.

Why Ranchero?

After we all moved in together, we decided to spruce up the back yard area into more of a hangout pad for the summer. We bought a cheap pool and a few cactuses and next thing we knew the “Ranchero” was born. It’s our nickname for the back yard.

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You do a lot of writing, shooting, editing and acting in the series….how much work goes into making an episode?

The majority of writing happens during shooting, during summer we would all get together on Sunday evenings for “Pool Church”, Ben would have some ideas for a general plot structure and we’d brainstorm and fill it in from there. It’s a stream-of-consciousness project mostly.

If you could produce Ranchero or other web comedy series full time, would YOU? Or is there something special about it being a passion right now?

We make the episodes for fun and we would love to be sponsored to keep having fun for a living.

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It seems you have found your calling, any new ideas you are excited about?

Ben and I would like to develop a children’s program soon that would follow in the path of Jim Henson and Square One. I’m working on a solo visual art show that I’ll be unveiling later this year. In addition, many of us work on the photo/video crew for Norman Music Festival and that’s just around the corner, so there’s lots to be excited about.

Tyson Meade talks about the wheat being his audience when he would practice songs….how do you think the livelihood in Oklahoma shapes you and offers something unique to your project/production?

Oklahoma is absolutely inspirational to the series.

We are basically making a caricature of midwestern hipster culture, with a healthy dose of evangelist backlash for good measure.

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One thing we ALL want to know…Are you guys REALLY partying during production?

Some people that work on the series don’t really party at all. I am not one of those people. If a group of us come back from the bar at 1am and have an idea that we want to shoot, we are going to shoot it. For planned shoots, we try to wait until the lights, cameras and mics are safely put away before getting too crazy.

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Whats the best thing you have heard from your audience?

The best thing I’ve heard about the Ranchero is that it inspired another local artist to make their own web series. Spread the love.

 Welcome to the Ranchero is created, directed and produced by Chase Spivey, Ben Lindesmith, and Thom Proctor in the Ranchero backyard of Norman.

Aimee Tietze Adams is a Photographer, Writer, People Lover, and Editor of OKIEMAMA Magazine.

Rose Rock School | Ringa Singa Art Auction

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 Ringa Singa Art Auction is being hosted at the Norman Arts Council Mainsite space on Main, this Friday, February 2, 2013.  The community has come together once more to put support behind the school’s mission to offer a progressive early education via a Waldorf inspired program for children in the Norman community.

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The Rose Rock School offers an education that respects the developmental stages and unique qualities of each child. Their curriculum fosters acute cognitive skills, keen emotional awareness, and meaningful worldly activity.

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With a long-term goal in helping lead children toward a conscious adulthood, the children also learn to respect diversity, interact harmoniously with all people, nurture and protect the natural world, and give joyfully to the communities in which they live.

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Rose Rock would love for you to join them at Mainsite to have a great time and enjoy some fabulous art. Between the diverse food offerings, wine, and local music, Ringa Singa offers a community supported family fun engagement while learning more about the Rose Rock progressive schooling model. They also are hosting a raffle in which you could win some gorgeous handmade wearables, a few yoga sessions, or even a weekend getaway to Eureka Springs, AR!

rose-rock-4With all the amazing donations which have made their way to this program, Rose Rock would like to thank:

Perspective

Fusion Fitness

Over the Moon Communications

Anty Shanty

Copelin’s

Studio Zen

Jacobson House

The Wine GalleryFull Moon SushiForward FoodsSpirit Shop, Misal of IndiaSpice and Rice Hideaway Pizza, and Gaberino’s. If you cannot make the Art Auction this Friday but want to support the Rose Rock School, feel free to connect here and show your support.

Perspectives: An Candid Interview with Robert Mills

We sat down with OKC Ballet, Artistic Director, Robert Mills to talk ballet in Middle America, growing up in the 70s, and the three pieces chosen for Director’s Choice, which opens this coming weekend, the 20th and 21st. Enjoy a reflective interview that highlights the brilliance behind the Director, and offers insights into A Day in the Life of a professional Dancer.

Last we spoke you talked about growing up in the 70s and the inspirations that pulled you into the world of ballet/dance…

Can you go back to that place and time?

Well, clearly the 70’s were a very different time.  It was slower, less hectic, more simple.  When I look back at that time, the people I admired as dancers seemed so untouchable.  Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland, Fernando Bujones, Cynthia Gregory, Suzanne Farrell, Peter Martins.  They were all people I looked up to and enjoyed watching onstage.  That time seemed so special.  The times you were lucky enough to see these artists onstage or on television were fleeting.  So it made the experiences extremely special.  Today, with the constant barrage of media we deal with in our everyday lives, it has its blessings and its shortcomings.  With these new media sources (internet primarily) we can easily breakdown stereotypes about ballet and dancers.  We can make ballet seem more tangible and accessible, which is one of the things our art form needs to survive long into the 21st century.  But one might ask (myself included) if that doesn’t take away any of the magic.  I know that the answer to that is no.  I am privileged to have this opportunity to run the ballet in Oklahoma City, and one of the things I enjoy most is to see the eyes of a child light up when they watch our production of “The Wizard of Oz” or when I see the star struck look on a young girls face when she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy after one of our performances of “The Nutcracker’.

When that happens (and it happens often), then I know the magic is still there.

Talk about the film White Nights from your perspective.

Again, white nights came out in a time before internet, cell phones and direct TV.  I remember being so floored watching it.  Baryshnikov was in his prime, and I have always had an appreciation of other dance forms so I could really see the talent of Gregory Hines as well.

As an Artistic Director for the Ballet, what are some of the major milestones that have shaped and prepared you for this role?

For starters, I have been teaching ballet since 1994, so I have been training and coaching ballet dancers for nearly 20 years.  Of course that brings a lot of experience to the table.  I think it has been significant that I have danced with 6 different ballet companies around the United States and I have worked with a broad spectrum of people in the industry.  My experience does not just come primarily from one company or point of view.  So I have been able to see many great ideas and I have been able to see many bad ones.  Every person I have ever worked with has shaped me in one way or another.  Prior to coming to OKC Ballet, I directed Ballet Nouveau in Colorado.  That experience helped develop me as a director and a leader.  As a choreographer, I was fortunate to have many opportunities to choreograph while I was still dancing.  I also studied dance composition living in Chicago while I was enrolled at Columbia College Chicago.

In choosing the pieces for the Directors Choice which debuts October 20-21, can you offer some insight into what you want the audience to take away with them in taking in these shorts?

I selected three pieces that are all extremely different and that are all new to Oklahoma.  I am hoping that people will see the huge spectrum of what is possible choreographically with a classically trained dancer.  Also, all of the pieces have an underlying emotional context driving the choreography.  In Lilac Garden it is clear and you are meant to understand the story of Caroline and her dilemma.

The other two ballets are more subtle, they do not tell a story but they are brilliant in evoking strong emotion.

A Day in the Life of a Professional Dancer is….

Long, tiring, intellectually stimulating, painful, joyful, and different depending on who you ask and what they are rehearsing at the time.

Ballet can be intimidating to many. Perhaps its a perspective of class distinction or a higher level of intuition to comprehend the body’s role as a muse for a specific expression. Is this something that is taken into account when creating performances and how do you work with this?

It is all perception.  If you know ballet, you know there are many different styles choreographically that span hundreds of years.  People seem to associate ballet with only classical music with tutu’s and tiaras.  Hey, it is that, and I love that.  It is thought to be that because it is an art form that came into prominence when the popular music of the time was compositions for orchestra or smaller ensembles be it from the Baroque, Classical or the Romantic periods.  So it made sense for choreographers to use the music that was popular for their creations.  But, now we live in a day and age filled with enormous variety musically and there are numerous choreographers who use popular music for their new works.  In fact, the use of popular or rock music has been going on for decades.  You also see a melding of choreographic ideas in contemporary ballet bringing in concepts from other “more modern” dance forms.  Many aesthetics of ballet have evolved over the years to reflect the times.

How many years were you yourself a dancer?  Do you still dance regularly?

Well, that is a dual question.  One has to train for years to become proficient enough to become professional AND THEN you have your professional career.  I danced for 15 years professionally and trained for over a decade before that.  I do not dance anymore, my knees just can’t do it any longer.

It is very much LIKE a sport in the toll that it takes on your body.

Your personal favorite of the Directors choice and why?

You expect me to answer this when two of the choreographers are still alive and I have working relationships with them?!?  In all honesty, to develop a favorite you must first be selecting from comparable items.  I just can’t stress enough how different these three ballet’s are.  You are talking about choreography that spans from 1936 (when Anthony Tudor created Lilac Garden) to 1986 when Margo Sappington created Cobras in the Moonlight, up until 2003 when Nicolo Fonte choreographed Left Unsaid.

I can’t select a favorite.  I love them all.

What would you like to see happen with Dance amongst the arts in Oklahoma?

I’m already seeing it happen and that is growth and awareness.  Oklahoma City Ballet has been blessed to have incredible support and wonderful attendance over the past four years.  I am also thrilled to see other dance companies develop and succeed like Hartel Dance Group, Perpetual Motion Modern Dance and Race Dance Company.  The dance community in Oklahoma City is maturing right alongside the city.  It is exciting to watch and to be a part of.

We hope you will join the local community in celebrating the arts in motion with the Directors Choice showcase. Order tickets here!