OU School of Dance and OKC Ballet Announce Collaboration
NORMAN, Oklahoma August 23, 2018 – The University of Oklahoma School of Dance and Oklahoma City Ballet are pleased to announce a new cooperative venture with the opportunity for OU dance majors to work with Oklahoma City Ballet as trainees. Two ballet majors from OU, juniors Micah Bullard and Caroline Young, have been named as Trainees with Oklahoma City Ballet. They will continue their education at OU while concurrently dancing with OKC Ballet as Trainees.
“Since both OU’s dance program and OKC Ballet trace their roots back to Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dancers Miguel Terekhov and Yvonne Chouteau, it is only natural that the two entities collaborate and work together. I am happy to begin this joint training program with the OU School of Dance and look forward to working with their students in the coming years,” said Robert Mills, artistic director of OKC Ballet.
Michael Bearden, director of the OU School of Dance, remarked, “Mr. Mills and I both desire to strengthen the bond between our sister organizations for the benefit of our students and community, so this joint trainee program seems like a wonderful step in that direction.”
The University of Oklahoma’s dance program was founded in 1963 by Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, former principal dancers with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. What had been a department became the School of Dance in 1998, with Mary Margaret Holt as director. In July 2017, the School of Dance welcomed Michael Bearden as the school’s third director in the program’s 54-year history. Undergraduate and graduate dance majors, along with general education students, total approximately 1000 enrollees in dance classes per semester. The School of Dance's state-of-the-art facility in the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center was completed in 2005.
Ballet majors Micah Bullard and Caroline Young are the first OU students to be trainees with OKC Ballet as they continue their education and training at the university.
Contemporary Dance Oklahoma Visits Beijing
Last month, members of OU's Contemporary Dance Oklahoma company woke up around 5 a.m. to eat traditional Chinese breakfasts of rice and vegetables with other dance companies from around the world. They were in Beijing taking part in the International Creative Dance Seminar while also learning that dance extends beyond cultural barriers.
Artistic Director of Dance Kaleidoscope Visits OU School of Dance
On October 23, the University of Oklahoma School of Dance will welcome international dance teacher and choreographer, David Hochoy. Hochoy will be at OU for one week to teach and talk to students as the 2017 Susan E. Brackett Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair. During this time he will also choreograph a new work to be performed next spring by Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, OU’s modern dance company.
Born in Trinidad, Hochoy discovered dance at age 20. After studying dance with Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham, he joined the Martha Graham Company in 1980 and performed all over the world. In 1982, he joined the faculty of the Martha Graham School and since then has taught both in the U.S. and internationally. As the artistic director for Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis, IN, he has choreographed 70 dances for the company in his 27 years there. Hochoy won the prestigious Choo-San Goh Award for choreography in 2006 and most recently received the TAIG Award for Excellence in the Arts from Penn State Thespians in 2017.
Three OU School of Dance graduates, Marie Kuhns, Manuel Valdes and Emily Dyson, are currently members of Dance Kaleidoscope. Dyson will be coming back to OU working with Hochoy as his choreographic assistant.
School of Dance Director Michael Bearden said, “We are so fortunate to have Mr. Hochoy join us for this residency. Our students will benefit greatly from his experience and insight into our art form and I can’t wait to see them dance in his work next semester as part of our Contemporary Dance Oklahoma production.”