Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

NYC-based 2nd Best Dance Company to perform original production of RED with a free dance workshop at Oklahoma Contemporary

April 10, 2024
Four people covered in large, red feathers


Contact: Communications team | 405 951 0000 | communications@okcontemp.org

Oklahoma audiences are in for a wonderful, rare opportunity. Contemporary dance fans and those new to the performing arts alike will enjoy three evening performances of RED, a reimagining of the classic fairy tale (and survival story) Little Red Riding Hood each evening starting at 7 p.m., May 2-4. There will be a post-show reception following Thursday’s opening night, a post-show conversation with the performers Friday evening and a free dance workshop Saturday afternoon. The performances and workshop are funded in part by OK Let’s Dance, an initiative of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

Tickets are $20 with a pay-what-you-can option, keeping with Oklahoma Contemporary’s mission of providing the community with quality, accessible and affordable arts programming and education.

The free workshop, Contemporary Technique with 2nd Best Dance Company, is May 4 at 11 a.m. This workshop is open to dancers of all levels: Reservations are required to attend and may be made here. This class will cycle through a grounded warm-up intended to organize the body, conditioning to further investigate use of tone and economical energy, sequential and momentum-based traveling material and will culminate in a final phrase designed to continue your physical research of that day. This 90-minute shared practice welcomes all.

RED walks the fuzzy, shag-carpeted line between dance performance and narrative play, leaning into both text and movement to tell an abstracted version of Little Red Riding Hood. RED, from 2nd Best Dance Company, was written, choreographed and directed by Hannah Garner in 2019. The performance explores how we confront the many-faced “big bads” that lurk on our personal wooded paths by cycling through distinct characters, either true to the original story or entirely new. Four performers brave the unknown by way of spectacle, sentimentality, glamor, mortality and (perhaps most frightening) answering the phone. Note –RED is not a children’s production.

RED is a monumental work for 2nd Best, one of our very first evening-length productions that touches on topics very close to my heart and my personal experience,” Garner says. “As we remount the 2019 work, we've been reflecting on how our lives and personal landscapes have changed since RED's inception and look forward to sharing this simultaneously new and old piece with a totally new audience. This work feels particularly poignant at this moment in time, history and culture, and we cannot wait to share it with you [Oklahoma].”

New York City’s 2nd Best Dance Company is known for making art that is exploratory, empathetic and goofy. Garner’s work has been commissioned by GroundWorks DanceTheater, Gibney Dance’s ‘dance-mobile’ series, Triskelion Arts, Kizuna Dance, GALLIM x CreateArt, musical artists such as Snail Mail, Frankie Cosmos and Half Waif, the Hartt School and SUNY Purchase, among others. Her work, per Lauren Wingenroth of Dance Magazine, “tackles topics like death and queer identity through rigorous, inventive movement and wit.”

About 2nd Best Dance Company:

Since its founding in 2016, the company has used its practice and platform to play out absurdist scenes: performers move, perform text, sing, utilize props, unconventionally handle proscenium spaces and ask the audience to play active roles or even perform in the work alongside them. The unpredictability of live performance excites 2nd Best, as does building a nexus between dance and text, humor and tragedy, viewer and performer. 2nd Best addresses big topics, plays very seriously and leans into hunches that take us to uncertain and often ridiculous places, all to ask: What does it mean to be alive?

About Oklahoma Contemporary:

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, formed at the Fairgrounds in 1989 as City Arts Center by Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the community with quality, accessible and affordable arts programming and education. Through corporate funding and private donations, Oklahoma Contemporary is able to educate Oklahomans through adult classes and workshops, art camps and classes for local youth, art exhibitions, lectures and additional educational programming. With a mission to encourage artistic expression in all its forms through education, exhibitions and performance, Oklahoma Contemporary is committed to instilling in the public a lifetime appreciation of the arts and enthusiasm for creative practice.

Image: RED performers Courtney Barth, Hannah Garner, Will Noling, Ryan Yamauchi. Image courtesy of 2nd Best Dance Company.


Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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