Morgan debuts with Oklahoma Festival Ballet

Published 2:48 am Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cameron Morgan is only a sophomore in the University of Oklahoma’s School of Dance, but in the week of his debut, he already made the cover of a Norman, Okla., magazine.

Morgan, who grew up in Dozier, was home schooled, and danced prominently with the Andalusia Ballet, is a company member of the Oklahoma Festival Ballet, the performing wing of the School of Dance at the University of Oklahoma.

One might say he was “red-shirted” by an injury in his freshman year, hence his debut as a sophomore.

The two-weekend event is composed of a mixed bill of five separate ballets, Harmonic Inspirations, Le Mistral, La Chanteuse de Paris, Sylvia Pas de Duex, and Lakme Suite. Morgan is in Harmonic, Chanteuse, and Lakme.

“a originally from Russia and former soloist of Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet and other prestigious ballet companies in the United States,” Morgan said.

“La Chanteuse de Paris is danced to the music of and based on the life of the famous French singer Edith Piaf. “Chanteuse was choreographed and set on us by Mary Margaret Holt, the director of the School of Dance. Lakme Suite is choreographed and staged by Professors Jeremy Lindberg and Rebecca Herrin. Lakme is a reconstructed ballet loosely based on the opera, Lakme.”

Morgan said he chose OU for several reasons, including the reputation of the ballet program.

“We are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation for ballet (my goal is that we’re number 1 by the time I graduate),” he said. “The faculty and staff are incredible people, mentors, and advisors. They not only influence me technically in dance, but also in other aspects of life.

“The faculty is very similar to all of my teachers back at Andalusia Ballet and I feel at home here.

“The second reason is the money aspect,” Morgan said. “I was awarded a large scholarship for academics for being a finalist for National Merit as well as talent scholarships for dance.

“Finally, I really just felt comfortable and at home here,” Morgan said. “The people here are for the most part, really similar to folks back home. I really feel plugged in and connected here and I like it.”

Asked what advice he’d give to someone considering a dance major, Morgan said, “be prepared, start early, know what you’re signing up for, and have a goal.”

“This degree is not just mentally demanding because you have to take the same academic courses as many of the other students on campus, but it is demanding physically and schedule-wise as well,” he said. “You need to scope out which colleges have the best programs that will be the best fit for you. Indianna University is currently No. 1 for ballet, but I didn’t like it and it was not the right fit for me.

“I started looking for colleges to dance at before the beginning of junior year,” he said. “We made many trips out to visit colleges and take class to see if they were right for me. I auditioned for the dance programs at colleges at the beginning of my senior year of high school. And finally, my goal of dancing professionally is what drives me to train and get better every day.”

Morgan, who is also earning a degree in public relations, hopes to dance professionally for about five years after graduation, and aspires to dance with the Houston Ballet and the American Ballet Theater in New York City.

“After my professional dancing career, I plan to either become an artistic director for either my own company or ballet school, or to land a job related to my public relations degree and make enough money to donate to and support the art of dance in my community,” he said. “Regardless of my future career, I want to support dance, whether from the inside as a artistic director or the outside as a substantial donor.”

Next up for the Oklahoma Festival Ballet are fundraising performances, including the 20th annual Once Upon A Dream at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, and Dance Partners, an October performance specifically for donors and sponsors.

Next September, Morgan will be tour Austria with the School of Dance.

His parents, Huey and Alicia Morgan, siblings William, Savannah Claire, and Emily Anne, and former teacher, Meryane Martin Murphy, are all in Oklahoma for the weekend performances.