The Heat Rises

A weekend of international dance rounds out July in Oklahoma.

Fans of contemporary dance don’t need to travel far this summer to enjoy the art form because the Summer Heat International Dance Festival returns to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The July 25-29 event presents three lauded dance companies making their Oklahoma debuts, with all programming presented by Tulsa’s Choregus Productions.

Ken Tracy, executive director of Choregus, says that to see such a high level of world-class contemporary dance, aficionados would typically have to go to an international competition. This festival, however, brings celebrated dancers to Tulsa.

Curtains rise at 8 p.m. for the July 25 presentation of M/motions from Paris-born, New York City-based Manuel Vignoulle, whose choreography “defies the human body’s limits and examines its reaction to challenging situations,” according to the Choregus website.

“Manuel will be bringing something very sophisticated and refined that will appeal to everyone, including an advanced audience,” Tracy says.

Vignoulle, winner at the 2017 Choreography Festival in Palm Springs, California, is debuting a world premiere piece of choreography at the festival.

The renowned Giordano Dance Chicago troupe presents what Tracy describes as a “new, innovative, very jazz-based, very Broadway” performance at 8 p.m. July 27. The company promises an exhilarating experience “of witnessing dance that’s powerful, passionate, elegant and celebratory,” Tracy says. Considered one of America’s original jazz companies, Giordano Dance Chicago’s history spans 56 years with a repertoire of more than 165 original works.

Youth rules at the July 28 performance of FLY Dance Company, a show driven by young, original talent and the creation of what many critics consider a new genre of contemporary dance with a mix of street dance and classical music, Tracy says. FLY’s performance style is called theatrical hip hop because acting is naturally ingrained into the choreography. The show begins at 4 p.m.

The Exchange Choreography Festival, entitled More Than Movement, occurs in collaboration with Choregus’ Summer Heat Dance Festival. Details are forthcoming. Visit for more.

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