Five Moons Dance Festival
September 9 - 11, 2022
The OU School of Dance is pleased to continue with the second annual Five Moons Dance Festival which will celebrate the legacies of Maria Tallchief, Marjorie Tallchief, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, and Yvonne Chouteau. These five Native American ballerinas were born or raised in Oklahoma and their courage, passion and perseverance propelled them to perform on the world’s greatest stages and leave a lasting mark on the dance world.
The Five Moons Dance Festival will include a series of panel discussions and educational events honoring the Five Moons’ legacy, culminating in a performance on September 11th in the Reynolds Performing Arts Center on the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus featuring artists from the OU School of Dance, Oklahoma City Ballet, and the Native American community, as well as an original work by guest choreographer Sidra Bell.
Opening Reception Friday, September 9, 2022
To celebrate the launch of this three-day weekend event, join us for an opening reception at 6:30pm in the Thirty Nine Restaurant at the First Americans Museum including hors d'œuvre and beverages. First Americans Museum is located at 659 First Americans Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73129.
6:30 pm, Tickets $25 Tickets now available
Symposium Saturday, September 10, 2022
The OU School of Dance will host a symposium in collaboration with the Peoria Nation on Saturday, September 10, from 10am to 3pm in the Five Moons Theater of the First Americans Museum at 659 First Americans Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73129. The symposium will include a series of lectures, discussions, and Q&A's to inspire interest in learning more about Moscelyne Larkin (Peoria/Eastern Shawnee) and the Five Moons’ remarkable accomplishments. Make reservations for lunch at Thirty-Nine Restaurant for the 12pm-1:30pm lunch break.
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Free and open to the public.
Stage Performance Sunday, September 11, 2022
Featuring artists from the American Indian community, OU School of Dance, Tulsa Ballet II, Oklahoma City Ballet, as well as work by guest choreographer Sidra Bell.
3:00 pm, Reynolds Performing Arts Center, 560 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019
Tickets $25 (students $10) SOLD OUT!
Introducing the Five Moons
January 14, 1925 – April 25, 2012
Moscelyne Larkin (Peoria/Eastern Shawnee) was born in Miami, Oklahoma. At 15 years of age, she was accepted into and danced with the renowned Original Ballet Russe and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo companies. She and her husband, Roman Jasinski, founded the Tulsa Civic Ballet in 1956, later to become Tulsa Ballet Theatre. She organized the first Oklahoma Indian Ballerina Festival in 1967, in which four of the Five Moons performed to honor their heritage. In 1991, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Tulsa for her international dancing achievements.
March 7, 1929 – January 24, 2016
Yvonne Chouteau (Shawnee/Cherokee) was born in Fort Worth, Texas and raised in Vinita, Oklahoma. She made her debut with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the young age of 14 and danced with the company for 14 years. In 1960, Chouteau became an artist in residence at the University of Oklahoma and established the Department of Dance, now known as the OU School of Dance, with her husband, Miguel Terekhov. She also founded Oklahoma City Civic Ballet, now known as Oklahoma City Ballet, in 1963.
January 24, 1925 – April 11, 2013
Maria Tallchief (Osage) was born in Fairfax, Oklahoma, just five miles away from one of the Osage Nation’s three cultural districts. She dance with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo company in the 1940’s. Tallchief is widely considered to be America’s first prima ballerina. She was a principal dancer with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, where he created several title roles for her. Tallchief co-founded the Chicago City Ballet with her sister, Marjorie, in 1980. In Oklahoma, June 29th is known as “Maria Tallchief Day.”
October 19, 1926 – November 30, 2021
Marjorie Tallchief (Osage) was born in Denver and spent her childhood in Fairfax, Oklahoma with her sister, Maria. She danced with various companies, including Ballet Theatre (now known as American Ballet Theatre), the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Harkness Ballet. Tallchief was the first Native American dancer to become a premiere danseuse etoile at the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet. She served as the director of dance at Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida from 1989 to 1993. The University of Oklahoma in Norman presented Tallchief with a distinguished service award in 1992.
January 10, 1920 – November 4, 2008
Rosella Hightower (Choctaw) was born in Durwood, Oklahoma. She danced with several influential companies including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Ballet Theatre, Rene Blum’s Original Ballet Russe and Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. In 1962, Hightower founded the Center for Classical Dance, in Cannes France and in 1981, she became the first American director of the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet.