The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 June 2005

Dancing downtown

Last week, I made this sort of noise:

A couple of galleries have already opened along or just off Broadway, and there's no reason we can't have an art presence downtown besides what's in the officially-proclaimed Arts District.

And in addition to said galleries, we're now looking at a school of ballet.

BMI Systems, which has been dealing in office equipment in the city for nearly 50 years, is located at 913 North Broadway in Automobile Alley. BMI is out of space, and they've bought the building across the street, which isn't just "the building across the street," but the fabled Greenlease Moore dealership at 914-920 North Broadway, which sold Cadillacs from 1921 to 1938.

How does this contribute to the art scene? BMI is going to occupy the ground floor only; the third floor will be subdivided into two apartments and a 7,000-square-foot dance facility for the nascent Oklahoma City Ballet Conservatory, headed by Alexa Fioroni, who studied at the Paris Opera Ballet and who has been giving private lessons for the past seven years. Fioroni, interviewed by the MidCity Advocate, says it's an idea whose time has come:

Oklahoma City seems to have a hunger for a ballet conservatory and seems to be ready to at least try it. What's really exciting is to be able to offer my students the knowledge and guidance to help them with where they want to go.

How many students will be admitted to the Conservatory is not yet known; Fioroni has been working with ten or so.

And those two apartments — presumably 3500 square feet each — ought to be really spiffy. TAParchitecture is overseeing the building's transition; the Urban Design Commission has approved most of TAP's proposals, and construction should begin later this year.

Posted at 6:24 AM to City Scene