Tulsa Ballet Co-Founder Passes Away

© John McCormack

The Tulsa Ballet announced Thursday the passing of co-founder and talented Oklahoma-born dancer Edna Moscelyne Larkin Jasinski.Miss Larkin was born in Miami, Oklahoma in 1925 to Russian-born mother Eva Matlagova and Shawnee Peoria/Welsh father Ruben (Babe) Larkin.At the age of 13, she moved to New York to study dance and two years later, she skipped school to audition for Colonel de Basil's Original Ballet Russe, being immediately accepted into the corps de ballet. That's where she met Roman Jasinski, whom she would marry three years later.The Jasinskis toured with Ballet Russe in South America and Europe, returning to America in 1947 with no job and no plans. To fill the employment gap, Larkin danced four full performances a day as Prima Ballerina at Radio City Music Hall and was one of the first dancers to perform regularly on television, doing so for six months on the weekly Fay Emerson show.She and her husband later retired to Oklahoma to raise their son and join her mother's thriving ballet school in Tulsa. Just two years later, they and pianist Rosalie Talbot incorporated Tulsa Ballet Arts, which would ultimately become today's fully professional, internationally-acclaimed, Tulsa Ballet.She was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Tulsa Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1996, Oklahoma Today named Larkin the "Outstanding Oklahoman of the Year".Larkin is survived by her son, Roman Larkin Jasinski and her deceased brother Lloyd's children and grandchildren. Donations in her memory may be made to the Jasinski Endowment Fund of Tulsa Ballet.