Romantic fantasy

Ballet Taos brings the fairy tale 'Cinderella' to life in the Taos Community Auditorium stage

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 5/1/19

For the final performance of the season, the talented dancers of Ballet Taos will present the full-length ballet "Cinderella." This playful performance is set to the intriguing …

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Romantic fantasy

Ballet Taos brings the fairy tale 'Cinderella' to life in the Taos Community Auditorium stage

Posted

For the final performance of the season, the talented dancers of Ballet Taos will present the full-length ballet "Cinderella." This playful performance is set to the intriguing musical score composed by Sergei Prokofiev and is choreographed by Artistic Director Megan Yackovich.

It can be experienced in all its elegant glory Friday (May 3) at 7 p.m., and Saturday (May 4) at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., all at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

Ballet Taos is excited to welcome back guest artists Zac Bigbee as the Jester and Adam Overly Black as the cruel stepmother. "Through physical comedy, stellar classical technique, stunning costumes, fabulous guest artists and an extraordinary local cast, this timeless fairy tale will surely delight audiences of all ages," a press release states.

"This is our final performance for the season," Yackovich said. "It is the culmination of many different artists. Zac Bigbee is coming back in town to perform again and Adam Overly Black is playing the stepmother, which is just absolutely fabulous. It's his first time dancing in heels. That's a very special occasion."

Yackovich said the last time she staged this ballet was 15 years ago. "I finally felt like the group that I'm working with now was ready for this level of work. It's a super-complicated ballet because of the characterization of the stepsisters, for example - they have to be extraordinary dancers to be able to dance poorly and comically [with intention]."

Ballet Taos is a nonprofit arts organization, fiscally sponsored by The Taos Arts Council, which serves Northern New Mexico communities.

A press release describes it as being "three-faceted: the professional company, the academy and our outreach initiative, [called] Project Relevé. Each facet supports, educates and inspires the next. We use dance as an instrument to impress upon our students a sense of purpose, a lifelong love of learning and a thoughtful, compassionate way of being."

Unlike the disciplines of art and music, where methods, techniques and notations can be written down, choreography is largely an intuitive transfer of knowledge. One has to show physically what must be done. Yackovich said there are specific terms for individual dance movements, but without the demonstration of movement, the process can be difficult. In fact, choreography can be copyrighted, but only through the use of film or video recording, although a precise dance notation can be used to describe movements.

"I danced the role of 'Cinderella' for six years with two different companies," Yackovich said. "So, it's a combination of many different versions from its original to a mixture of my own choreography, my favorite bits and pieces of things that I danced."

Yackovich is the founder of Ballet Taos. During her successful career as a professional ballet dancer, which began at the age of 17, she concentrated on the restaging of classical ballets for professional companies across the United States. It was through this work that she discovered her passion for teaching young, aspiring dancers, press materials state.

After retiring from the stage, she served as the artistic director of The Peak Ballet Theatre and The Peak Ballet Theatre II (PBT II) for 10 years. Her students have enjoyed the success of receiving recognition, acceptance to and scholarships from professional ballet companies, year-round schools and summer intensives worldwide.

Of the guest artists, we know this: Bigbee was born and raised in Taos where he discovered classical dance at the end of high school. Since then he has trained across the United States and abroad. He now performs in Chicago with Cocodaco Dance Project in Denver with Zikr Dance Ensemble.

Another guest, Jefferson Baum performed with Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet de Monte Carlo (Monaco) and as a principal with Ballet Arizona, Milwaukee Ballet, Santa Fe Opera and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet of NYC. He also toured China with Los Angeles Ballet, Russia with Stars of American Ballet and Spain and Portugal performing alongside Rudolf Nureyev.

Kate Martin is a veteran actor and aerialist working on lyra and fabric and has fostered a lifelong relationship with dance. She currently works in film in digital media, specifically for the arts.

Tickets are $18, $12 for children. Tickets will be available at the theater box office, which opens 45 minutes for the program. They may also be purchased online at ballettaos.com. Call (575) 779-9128.

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