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DALA to open its doors to the community

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By Special to the Monitor

If you have ever wondered what really goes on during a dance class or, for that matter, a performance rehearsal, you will soon have an opportunity to satisfy your curiosity. At 5 p.m. Thursday, Dance Arts Los Alamos will host an open rehearsal for its upcoming production of “The Nutcracker.” The rehearsal will be held at the dance studio in the downstairs parish hall of Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church and the public is invited to attend.

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the conclusion of the open rehearsal.  Dave Fox will join Rev. Colin Kelly to officially open the new dance studio at Trinity on the Hill.  Following the open rehearsal and ribbon-cutting, the public is invited upstairs to Kelly Hall for refreshments.

The Trinity on the Hill studio was recently given a dramatic makeover, involving the expansion of the dance floor to cover an area of 1,450 square feet.  The floor is now 85 percent larger than when DALA first opened the space at TOTH. Earlier this year, volunteers laid an additional 670 square feet of sprung wooden flooring, then covered this base with sturdy marley, the ideal surface for dance classes. The sprung floor provides comfort and safety for the dancers by absorbing impact, thereby enhancing performance and minimizing injury. The new dance floor, which measures 50 by                                                                                             29 feet, provides the largest rehearsal venue for dancers in Los Alamos.

The expanded sprung dance floor has enabled DALA to offer many more classes at the Los Alamos location. Currently, all levels of ballet and pointe, as well as tap, modern, hip-hop and creative movement are offered at the TOTH studio. Taking advantage of the larger floor, “Nutcracker” rehearsals can also be held at the Los Alamos location.

The open house-style event on Thursday will offer a preview of the Snow scene from this year’s “Nutcracker.” With a total of 30 dancers, this year’s snow scene, choreographed by Christin Severini, is the largest and most intricate ensemble piece in the show.

Severini has been a member of DALA’s faculty since 2004 and became the Ballet Curriculum Director in June. A former dancer with American Ballet Theatre in New York City, Severini has performed extensively in full-length and repertory ballets across the United States and around the world.  In addition to her performing career with ABT, she is also an ABT-certified teacher.  As DALA’s ballet curriculum director, Severini oversees all aspects of technical ballet training, including pointe work and pointe readiness. Those in attendance at the open rehearsal will have an opportunity to meet Severini and observe her in rehearsal with the Snowflakes, demi-soloists and Snow Queen.

DALA will present “The Nutcracker” at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 and          6 at the Duane Smith Auditorium, as part of the Winterfest weekend festivities in Los Alamos. Every year, the popular show attracts an overall audience of approximately 1,800. This year the ballet will require more than 170 costumes, feature 93 Los Alamos dancers, and will welcome approximately 20 additional guest performers.  

Special guests include Jacob Maestas from Santa Fe as the Nutcracker Prince, Brittney Feit and Andrew Silks from the Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program in New York City in the roles of the Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier.  

Three locally well-known figures will appear in the role of Mother Ginger.

Watch for a Kaleidoscope special feature with more details.

Dance Arts Los Alamos is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, now in its 17th year of promoting dance in Northern New Mexico and providing safe, professional instruction and top-quality performances.  Registration for the spring semester at Dance Arts Los Alamos will begin in January.  

For more information about Dance Arts Los Alamos or “The Nutcracker”, please call the studio at 672-9462 or visit www.danceartslosalamos.org.