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New Mexico Dance Theater Performance Company (NMDT-PC), directed by Susan Baker-Dillingham, will present Baker-Dillingham’s newest original ballet, “Aladdin,” over the course of two weekends in November. The ballet will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at the Duane W. Smith auditorium Nov. 12, 13 and 20; and at 2 p.m. Nov. 13, 14, 20.
In the last five years, NMDT’s Performance Company has presented the Los Alamos community with a myriad of ballets in both contemporary and classical style, including “Dracula,” “Snow White,” “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “Cinderella,” “Alice,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” and two “Mixed Bill” productions.
“Because of the strength of the dancers studying at NMDT, each of our productions becomes stronger as well,” Baker-Dillingham said. “This is the best one yet!”
The Act 1 curtain opens on a flowing waterfall in the center of a busy marketplace and from that moment forward, the magic of the NMDT-PC production of “Aladdin” will captivate the audience.
Baker-Dillingham has become known in the community for incorporating special effects into her works: flying dancers, glow-in-the-dark paint, seemingly working fireplaces and growing and shrinking characters, by using shrinking and growing set pieces.
“But Aladdin will truly top them all,” Baker-Dillingham said. “From the working waterfall, to the glittering Cave of Jewels, to the flying carpet ride, to the final pose of the ballet, every audience member, young or old, will be enchanted,” she said.
Baker-Dillingham has built a tradition of telling stories through the art of dance.
Sometimes her ballets are inspired by personal experiences, as in “The Kingfisher and the Clam,” while others are inspired by books and Aladdin is no different.
“I got out the copy of ‘Aladdin’ that I read as a child and based my ballet on it.”
Sets are designed and executed by NMDT-PC set designer Holly Haas. She has designed unique pieces like the glittering Cave of Jewels. Costumes, designed by NMDT-PC costume mistress Kenda Bultman and sewn by a team of volunteers, are “exceptionally beautiful, with yards of flowing silk and tons of rhinestones,” Baker-Dillingham said. She is especially thrilled that approximately half of the new “Aladdin” costumes were paid for in part by a grant from URS Washington Group/LANS.
This year’s Performance Company includes 53 members. Dancers to be noted include Frank Macias as Aladdin; Celeste Ranken as the princess; Kevin Adams as the evil magician; and Sabrina Lynne as the fortuneteller.
Other highlights include Alicia Bowyer as the lead ruby; Matthew Connor-Davenport, Justin Dunn and Sophia Jeffery as the emeralds; Alice Veirs as the lead diamond; Chris Jeffery as the genie of the lamp and Mark Dunn as the sultan.
The NMDT studios are located in downtown Los Alamos at 147 and 149 Central Park Square.
For more information call 920-9134 or visit www.NMDT.org.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at Uli’s Cottontails or at the door 45 minutes before the performances. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and free for children four and under.