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OKCU Goes Home for the Holidays

Dancing elves

From magical ballet productions to fast-paced, spirited tap, swinging jazz and song and dance music theater numbers, Oklahoma City University dancers are bringing Broadway entertainment to Oklahoma City for their annual “Home for the Holidays” Christmas extravaganza.

Directed by Jo Rowan, dance chair at Oklahoma City University’s Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment, “Home for the Holidays” runs from Dec. 7 through 10 in Oklahoma City University’s Kirkpatrick Auditorium at 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave.

Show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 8 and 9, and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling 405-208-5227 or visiting okcu.edu/tickets. Group rates are available.

“We have a uniquely, high-quality professional show,” Rowan said. “It is a sparkling Christmas gift for the entire family. There are so many diverse American dance styles that seeing the show is like a Broadway experience without having to travel to New York.”

This year’s show features new dances as well as returning favorites. The Rockette-style “Santa Kickline,” “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “March of the Toy Soldiers” are all back by popular demand.

Former Radio City Music Hall assistant choreographer Vincent Sandoval has brought his Rockettes choreography expertise to Oklahoma City University. Sandoval, an artist-in-residence for dance, has choreographed the opening number “Let It Snow” for 28 ladies — the Starettes.

“First Snow” follows as winter spirits float through a cold, glistening woodland scene and couples enjoy a “Snow Frolic” amid intricate partnering.

“The lifts are just spectacular,” Rowan said, “and the audience experiences the exciting magic of snow falling throughout the theater.”

The show then moves into a fast paced hip hop rendition of “The Christmas Song,” which Rowan described as “representative of American ingenuity and feistiness,” music theater comedy with “The Christmas Shopper’s Can Can” and a visit from Saint Nick himself in “Must Be Santa Claus.”

Act I closes with a nod to the Christian traditions of Christmas in “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

Highlights in Act II include a perpetual line of continuous dancers in the “Holly Kick-line,” a 1940s era “Jingle Bells,” life-size dancing cookies, a colorful rendition of “Halleluyah” and a new Nativity for the show’s closing.

Rowan said the show is a collaboration of love for teaching, learning and first-class entertainment.

“We have a culture of educators who work together to make the show the best it can be,” she said. “Students are taught how to be professional. We are preparing students to work on Broadway.”

The Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment recently was ranked the No. 1 BFA dance program in the country, ahead of Juilliard and New York University, by OnStage. OCU is a leading collegiate provider of Radio City Rockettes and more than 70 alumni have performed on Broadway in more than 85 shows.

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