Five Moons Dance Festival

Postponed until 2021


Five Moons Logo Five Moons at OK Capital

Important Update

In light of the current outbreak of COVID-19, the OU School of Dance has made the difficult decision to postpone the inaugural Five Moons Dance Festival until Spring 2021. The safety of the community, including patrons, performers, students, faculty, and staff is the School of Dance’s first priority and these measures are being taken in an attempt to help lessen the impact of the current public health crisis and allow community members to take part in the festival without concerns for their health. Although we are very disappointed that the Five Moons Dance Festival will be postponed, we hope that this decision will allow us to more fully honor and celebrate the legacies of these five incredible women in 2021.


The OU School of Dance is pleased to launch the 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 May 31st in Historic Holmberg Hall on the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus featuring artists from the OU School of Dance, Oklahoma City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Native American community, as well as an original work by guest choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland.

Sponsorship opportunities now available! Click here for more information.


Events

Opening Reception
To celebrate the launch of this three-day weekend event, join us for an opening reception at historic Boyd House, including hors d'œuvre and beverages. Boyd House is located at 407 W. Boyd Street, Norman, OK 73069. Tickets $10 ($8 with performance purchase)

Symposium
The OU School of Dance will host a symposium on Saturday, March 30, from 10am to 4pm in the Beaird Lounge at the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave, Norman, OK 73019. The symposium will include a series of lectures, panel discussions and Q&A's to inspire interest in learning more about the Five Moons’ remarkable accomplishments. Tickets $10 ($8 with performance purchase)

Stage Performance
Featuring artists from the OU School of Dance, Oklahoma City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, ABT Studio Company, and the Native American community, as well as an original work by guest choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland!
Holmberg Hall, Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center, 560 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019. Tickets $20 - $50


Introducing the Five Moons

Yvonne Chouteau

Yvonne Chouteau

March 7, 1929 – January 24, 2016

 

Yvonne Chouteau, of Shawnee and Cherokee heritage, was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1929 and raised in Vinita, Oklahoma. She made her debut with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the young age of 14 years old 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.

 

 

 

Introducing the Five Moons

Maria Tallchief

Maria Tallchief

January 24, 1925 – April 11, 2013


Maria Tallchief was born in Fairfax, Oklahoma, about 5 miles away from one of the Osage Nation’s three cultural districts. She danced with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo company in the 1940s. 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 29 is known as “Maria Tallchief Day.”

 

Introducing the Five Moons

Marjorie Tallchief

Marjorie Tallchief

October 19, 1926 – Present


Marjorie Tallchief, Maria Tallchief’s sister, was born in Denver, Colorado, and spent her early childhood in Fairfax, Oklahoma. She danced with 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 première danseuse étoile at the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet. She served as the director of dance at the 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.

Introducing the Five Moons

Rosella Hightower

Rosella Hightower

January 10, 1920 – November 4, 2008

 

Rosella Hightower was born in Durwood, Oklahoma, and was a member of the Choctaw Nation. She danced with several influential companies throughout the 1940s and 50s, including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Ballet Theatre, René Blum’s Original Ballet Russe, and Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. Hightower founded the Center for Classical Dance, in Cannes, France, in 1962, and in 1981, she became the first American director of the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet. 

 

Introducing the Five Moons

Moscelyne Larkin

Moscelyne Larkin 

January 14, 1925 – April 25, 2012

 

Moscelyne Larkin was born in Miami, Oklahoma, and was a member of the Shawnee-Peoria tribe. She danced with the renowned Original Ballet Russe and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo companies. She and her husband, Roman Jasinski, founded the Tulsa Ballet in 1956. She organized the first Oklahoma Indian Ballerina Festival in 1957, in which four of the Five Moons performed to honor their heritage.