The School of Dance began in 1961 and is considered one of the leading programs in the nation for training in ballet and modern dance techniques. From its inception, the school has been performance-oriented and now boasts two active performing companies. Oklahoma Festival Ballet, the resident ballet company of OU, has a repertoire of more than 50 ballets and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma performs a variety of original works. Both companies perform works from the national repertoire.
The company of 40 dancers maintains a repertoire of more than 33 short ballets and numerous full-length ballets in styles ranging from classical to romantic, abstract to contemporary and dramatic to comedic. Such choreographers as Massine, Balanchine, Terekhov, Fokine, Stevenson and Joffrey are represented in the repertoire.
The company is efficiently organized for touring and boasts an impressive national and international touring schedule, which has included performances in Taiwan, Mexico, Ecuador, Austria and France.
Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, founded as Modern Repertory Dance Theatre and directed until 1998 by Ko Yukihiro, is the resident modern dance company of OU. An ensemble of 20 dancers, CDO offers the spectator an array of modern dance, dramatic and abstract works. For over 20 years, CDO has performed in OU’s Rupel Jones Theatre and frequently engages in regional, national and international tours (including a tour of five major cities in Japan and two tours of Paraguay). Appearances at regional festivals and conferences have led to invitations to perform at American College Dance Festival galas and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.