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On-pointe provisions

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Performing
arts and culinary creations come together Friday evening in a
collaboration between Oklahoma City Ballet and Ludivine, a farm-to-table
restaurant.

Diners will have a chance
to enjoy specially created fare, as well as talk to some of Oklahoma
City Ballet’s dancers about their upcoming performance of “Firebird,”
debuting Feb. 11.

In an effort to meld two art media, chefs Jonathon Stranger and
Russ Johnson have put together a special menu — only available Friday
and again on Feb. 11 — that is “Firebird”-themed, including white
tartare, confit quail, sunchoke purée, mushroom squid ink purée and
white chocolate tapioca pearls.

“[What we’re doing is] a lot more modern to dispel the image of ballet as being stuffy or outdated,” said Stranger.

The
ballet troupe, under the artistic direction of Robert Mills, has made
chassés and ballonnés — steps — in the local performance-art culture and
the ballet world at large over the last few years.

In
celebration of the Oklahoma City Ballet’s 40th anniversary, it has
taken on an ambitious triple bill, featuring the Stravinsky classic,
“The Firebird,” with Mills’ spin.

“When I took over Oklahoma City Ballet, I was committed to
bringing audiences variety,” he said. “I wanted to show variety in
choreographic styles, in choreographers and in classical to
neo-classical and contemporary works. This triple bill is the perfect
example.”

That
includes a number from Alan Hineline, an award-winning choreographer
known for his work locally on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

During
a recent practice, Hineline’s ideas evolved through the dancers and
music. At one point, a dancer led left instead of right. “Wait, I like
that better,” Hineline said. “We’ll do that. Go again.”

Just
like that, the choreography changed in a small, but meaningful way, and
16 counts of “The Firebird” became even more beautiful.

The third ballet of the night will be a signature work from
Mills. A sneak peek provided a glimpse of visually stunning,
rule-breaking performance art not to be missed.

“Art
lovers will connect with the collaborative nature, and ballet or art
‘newbies,’ I encourage to dismiss preconceived notions,” said Mills.
“[You can expect] an incredibly athletic and intricately choreographed
dance in Alan Hineline’s world premiere, as well as a visually stunning
collaboration of dance with ‘In Between Dreams’ and ‘The Firebird.’”

Photo by Mark Hancock

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