TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Ballet will open its 54th season with Swan Lake, the classical ballet billed as the most popular ballet of all time. The company will also introduce 12 new dancers to the Tulsa stage.
Guest artist Erina Takahasi, senior principal dancer with the English National Ballet, will dance the lead role of Odette/Odile.
"Ms. Takahashi will thrill Tulsa with her artistic elegance and command of this role," said Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini. "She has danced the lead roles of Odette/Odile dozens of times, with some of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world."
Wang Yi will perform the male lead as Siegfried, the prince. Dancing the lead roles on Saturday night are Soo Youn Cho and Alfonso Martin.
With Swan Lake, the ballet company also introduces a new roster of dancers that will be entertaining audiences for the 2010-11 season. There are 12 new dancers joining the Tulsa company.
"Tulsa Ballet brings the world to our city, not only in the global premieres we offer each year, created by internationally recognized choreographers, but in the 10 nationalities represented by our dancers," said Angelini.
Claudio Cocino joins the company as a demi-soloist. The Turin, Italy native trained at the Teatro dell' Opera di Roma and the Royal Ballet School in London.
Joining the corps de ballet are Forent Bouyat of France, Spain's José Antonia Checa, Alexandra Christian of the U.S., Alex Harrison, Great Britain; Rodrigo Hermesmeyer of Brazil, Elise Miller, U.S., Gwénaëlle Poline of France, Erin Pritchard, U.S., Jonathan Ramirez, Colombia; Susanna Salvi, Italy, and Laura Suttle of Great Britain.
In addition, Kate Oderkirk, U.S., has been promoted from demi-soloist to soloist. Sarah Jane Crespo of the U.S. has been promoted from apprentice to the corps de ballet. Crespo is the first dancer to join the company from TBII, Tulsa Ballet's pre-professional ensemble.
The company's roster now stands at 29 artists, while TBII boasts 12 pre-professional dancers recruited from some of the best American schools, Angelini said.
Yi and Takahashi will dance at 8 p.m. Friday, September 24 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, September 25. Martin and Cho will dance Tulsa Ballet's Partners in Art performance on Thursday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available by calling (918) 749-6006 or by visiting the Tulsa Ballet website. Season tickets are available by calling the hotline (918) 749-6407.