View Full Version : Ballet Conservatory in Automobile Alley

08-28-2007, 05:22 AM
Ballet conservatory settles into custom Automobile Alley spaceby Kelley Chambers
The Journal Record August 28, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY – Ballet has taken Alexa Daničle Fioroni around the world, but the opportunity to share her passion with young dancers in Oklahoma brought her home.

In 1998, fresh from a stint in Switzerland, Fioroni found herself at a professional crossroads between teaching and performing ballet, which ultimately led her back to Oklahoma.Article Tools Printer friendly edition E-mail this to a friend RSS Feed Digg this history Add to Fioroni, the founder and facility director of the newly formed Oklahoma City Ballet Conservatory, moved into her own unique studio in April on the third floor of an historic building on Automobile Alley to begin teaching ballet.
“I’ve been doing this since 1998,” she said. “This is just the next step into developing my business.”
The ballet conservatory is in 6,500 square feet of space on the third floor of a 1923 building at 914 N. Broadway Ave. The construction budget for the project was about $750,000.
TAParchitecture was the architect and designer of record for the project.
“The reason I went to TAP is because upon my first meeting with Hans Butzer, within two minutes he had a vision based on what I was talking about,” Fioroni said. “When I saw what he drew, and a cardboard model he made the next day I thought ‘that’s it.’”
Butzer, principal of design with TAP, said the real inspiration for the design was Fioroni’s lively personality and love of all things ballet.
The finished space features a comfortably appointed main lobby, conference room and offices, as well as the actual ballet practice areas grouped in a rectangle at the center with hallways around the perimeter.
“I give credit to her for having such a clear vision in her own mind,” Butzer said. “For us it was really trying to capture the energy that she presented through the ballet conservatory and this beautiful old building.”
Work began about a year ago to bring Fioroni’s vision to fruition. Prior to the new space, she taught ballet around the Oklahoma City area for several years, but never in her own dedicated studio.
Fioroni, who trained as a youth at the Paris Opera Ballet School in France, takes students beginning at age 12 and works to fulfill their individual dancing goals.
The program works to nurture the children, as well as teaching them responsibility and respect. The school currently has 13 students with the ability to instruct as many as 40 in varying levels of ballet performance.
To help give the conservatory its inviting and comfortable look, Cynthia Harrison and Bethany Jackson, owners of Tandem Design Studio, helped with lighting and design as well as helping select furnishings, fixtures and paint finishes throughout the space.
Butzer said he wanted a design that would meld Fioroni’s energy and passion with an old building into a work of art that would complement both the dancers’ work and the structure.
“Really the magic that takes place in that space and the overall design concept is the magic between this new program and this old building,” he said.

08-28-2007, 05:28 AM
They have done a great job with the building on Automobile Alley...I can't wait to see the inside. I hope they do well.

08-28-2007, 07:55 AM
betts, just a helpful hint when you post articles from the Journal Record, use the printer friendly edition and you won't get the RSS feeds and other links in the article, etc. Also unfortunately when you copy and paste with the JR you lose the paragraph spacing as well.

Thanks for the update on the Ballet.

08-28-2007, 03:17 PM
I agree, and am happy with OKC getting this new addition.

But, I wish it were in the Arts District (or Paseo), right now - we have 'names' but we dont really have critical mass of attractions in most of our districts.

I guess they could move, and perhaps this is more of a business and not a museum type attraction, but wouldnt it be nice to have a living breathing working Arts District??

08-28-2007, 07:11 PM
Hot Rod -- we have that. It's called the Paseo. It's tilted heavily towards the visual arts, but it certainly is a terrific living/breathing arts district.

08-29-2007, 08:06 AM
This is not an attraction, it's an educational institution. It's a conservatory, much like Julliard.

08-29-2007, 03:53 PM
This is not an attraction, it's an educational institution. It's a conservatory, much like Julliard.

He is right about this. Only 2/3 of the top floor is the conservatory. The 1st and 2nd floors are business space. Mainly occupied by sister companies of BMI Systems (located across the street and in the Vesper building). We moved in around March of this year.

08-30-2007, 10:26 AM
Juilliard, but with only 13 students instead of 800...

08-30-2007, 10:57 AM
You gotta start somewhere.