OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center. Photo by Michael Farrel

Watching a good show is always fun but there is a technical side to a performance. Lemuel Bardeguez the Director of Arts at OCCC is excited for the coming season.

It is a new year at OCCC and a new lineup of shows for the school year. Some of these shows have been in the works for a while now. These shows include some well-known artists like Jose Feliciano, Kyiv City Ballet, Million Dollar Quartet and Step Afrika to name a few.

The first show of the year will be Jose Feliciano, famous for his performance of Feliz Navidad. He will perform at OCCC for the Hispanic History Month. OCCC prides itself on having a diverse culture and proper representation. Shows such as this give people a look at Hispanic culture. It also gives Hispanic artists the chance to perform and showcase their own culture. This show will be on 9/22/22 at 7:30pm at VPAC.

The second show of the season will be the Kyiv City Ballet. Another show that gives a spotlight to the international community. At this point we are all aware of what has been happening in Ukraine. Sadly, the Kyiv City Ballet have not been able to return home and have been on the road performing since the start of the war. This will be their first tour of the United States. It will also be their only stop in the State of Oklahoma. The US tour will include several performances by Ukrainian choreographers. One of them is Thoughts which is a contemporary ballet and was choreographed by Vladyslav Dobshynskyi. There is also going to be a performance of Tribute to Peace. Which is a neo-classical performance choreographed by KCB’s artistic director, Ivan Kozlov.

OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center lobby. Photo by Michael Farrell

OCCC will also have Step Afrika! perform for Black History month. Step Afrika! mixes a whole array of traditional African dances and art forms to create a genuine African experience Step Afrika! is the first professional company to be built around Stepping (Stepping is a percussive, highly-energetic art form first developed through the song and dance rituals performed by African-American fraternities and sororities.). They have toured in 60 different countries and ranks as one of the top ten African American dance companies in the United States.

On March 23rd, 2023 will be the Jazz performance called Song We Love. This show will give the international community a break and give people a chance to experience American born music. It will feature four decades of popular jazz songs. The group performing these songs is made up of well-known jazz artists from New York. There will also be three guest vocalists, and this will all be directed by Riley Mulherkar. Ma Rainey, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland are some of the jazz singers whose music will be performed.

An Evening with José Feliciano event flyer. Photo by Michael Farrell

Watching a good show is always fun but there is a technical side to a performance. Lemuel Bardeguez the Director of Arts at OCCC is excited for the coming season. He said, “It is a really exciting time, we are celebrating 25 years for the Performing Arts series.” He also said,” We are really excited about celebrating the 25th anniversary because we have a lot of big names lined up.”

John Farrell is the Stage Manager at OCCC and had plenty to say about what it takes to produce a season’s worth of shows at OCCC. “ It can begin as much as two years in advance of the event to determine if a production will be included in one of our Performance Arts Seasons. It generally starts for the stage section, when I am given a performance rider and asked to develop an estimate of what our backstage cost will be in presenting this event. A rider details what is required of the presenter and venue to pull off their production. Cost can include catering, labor, rentals (lighting, audio, or effects), and everything else from balloons to dry ice.”

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