Tulsa Ballet Further Postpones Season, Potentially Staying Lights Out Until 2021

Friday, September 11th 2020, 6:28 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers

TULSA, Okla. -

The Tulsa Ballet postponed the world premiere of its performance 'Vendetta, a Mafia Story,' until next year.

Tulsa Ballet's Artistic Director Marcello Angelini said he's having to reconstruct the season.

International Dancers said they took a leap of faith, sacrificing so much to join the Tulsa Ballet, only to be stuck in the states without performances.

"I know they have been missing us and we have been missing them," Marcello Angelini said. 

Marcello Angelini is the artistic director for Tulsa Ballet. He said it's been a long time since Tulsa Ballet had any audiences. They spent March rehearsing "Vendetta, a Mafia Story," but the day after completing the show's first run-through, it was 'lights out' until 2021. 

"They come to Tulsa to dance," said Angelini. "[...] And from one day to the next they were relegated to their apartments."

Dancers like Giulia Neri were put in groups of eight, which rehearse in separate studios, and only connect with the rest of the company via teleconference.

"Pretty hard. Pretty frustrating, especially not to dance," said Neri, Corps de Ballet.

Neri is from Italy and said that many of her friends are here on work visas.  

"There was the hard choice to decide whether to go home and risk not being able to come back or stay here and sacrifice seeing family," Neri said. 

Tulsa Ballet said it lost 40% of its revenue last fiscal year. Now, it's reducing this fiscal year's budget by about $1.6 million. 

"Originally we had furloughed all of the dancers," said Scott Black, Tulsa Ballet managing director. "We furloughed over 50% of our staff, and as of, you know, the end of this month we're hoping that we'll have everybody back."

Angelini said we need the arts, which is America's third largest economic engine, generating nearly $220 million a year in the Tulsa Metropolitan area alone. 

"The only way we can continue contributing artistically and financially to our community and to our country is by everybody giving a little sacrifice," Angelini said.

Angelini encourages everyone to wear a mask so that they can get back to performing. He said it will probably be next year before Tulsa Ballet is back on the stage. 

For more information on Tulsa Ballet, click here