Marcello Angelini

by Brooks Nickell


How long does it take to dance from Italy to Oklahoma? For Marcello Angelini, almost 35 years.

He began studying ballet as a child in Naples, Italy, before graduating from the Kiev Institute of Dance in the former Soviet Union. He wound up in Tulsa after a bout of tendonitis pulled him off the stage for weeks. Sidelined and restless, Marcello applied for the position of artistic director at Tulsa Ballet. He brought his wife, Daniela, with whom he’s been dancing since he was 17, along to Middle America, and now the ballets he develops in Tulsa tour for audiences as far away as Dusseldorf and Seoul.

Marcello and his family feel at home here now—they even consider their twin sons to be Okies, even though they speak fluent Italian (especially when talking to girls).

LISTEN: Catherine Margaret “Skilly” Forsman traveled the world learning dances and fitness techniques that she cultivated into a practice all her own.

Originally published in This Land, Vol. 5, Issue 17, September 1, 2014.