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OU amid coronavirus: School of Dance postpones inaugural Five Moons Dance Festival

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five moons

The "five moons" of Oklahoma's Osage Nation dance legacy — Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Moscelyne Larkin and Rosella Hightower. OU School of Dance's inaugural Five Moons Dance Festival was postponed to spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

OU School of Dance’s inaugural Five Moons Dance Festival has been postponed until spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a March press release from the school. The festival was originally scheduled for May 29-31. 

The festival was set to highlight the accomplishments of five 20th century Native American ballerinas and their contribution to Oklahoma’s dance legacy, according to the press release. 

Each of the “five moons” represent one of these women, according to a January press release. This year’s festival was set to have a specific focus on Osage Nation members Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, who together founded the Chicago City Ballet, according to the press release. 

The festival would also celebrate Yvonne Chouteau, who co-founded the OU school of dance in 1960 and the Oklahoma City Ballet in 1963; Moscelyne Larkin, co-founder of the Tulsa Ballet; and Rosella Hightower, founder of the Center for Classical Dance, in Cannes, France in 1962 and the first American director of the Paris Opera Ballet, according to the January press release. 

The OU School of Dance is postponing the festival in order to “to help lessen the impact of the current public health crisis and allow community members to take part in the festival without concerns for their health,” according to the March press release. 

The festival would have included an opening reception, educational and panel events and performances from American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the Tulsa Ballet, the Oklahoma City Ballet and the American Indian community, according to the press release. 

“Although we are very disappointed that the Five Moons Dance Festival will be postponed, we hope that this decision will allow us to more fully honor and celebrate the legacies of these five incredible women,” said Michael Bearden, director school of the school of dance, in the March press release. 

All of the festival events have been postponed to spring 2021, according to the March press release.

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