"Wahzhazhe: An Osage Ballet" Returns to Tulsa

Aug 20, 2013

The Osage ballet, "Wahzhazhe," had its premiere last summer here in Oklahoma; it was first conceived of about four years ago, and was originally inspired by a suite of music by Lou Brock, an Osage composer. This contemporary ballet brings together certain special qualities of Osage history and culture: a reverence for classical ballet (which was, of course, the legacy of two famous Osage ballerinas, Maria and Marjorie Tallchief) and a deep respect also for the richness of Osage traditional music, dance, and textile arts. In March of this year, "Wahzhazhe" was performed at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and this weekend --- on August 16th, 17th, 18th, with all performances at the Tulsa PAC's Williams Theatre --- the ballet will return to T-Town. Our guests are Randy Tinker Smith, the producer and creator of this ballet, and University of Tulsa composer and music professor Joseph Rivers, who (along with Brock) contributed music to "Wahzhazhe: An Osage Ballet." Also on our program today, a commentary by Mark Darrah that begins, appropriately enough, like so: "I love radio...."