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Spontaneous cheers sprang out from the audience when Susan Baker-Dillingham took the stage following the opening night performance of Snow White at Duane Smith Auditorium Friday. The audience had just experienced her marvelous interpretation of the Brothers Grimm classic tale and could not hold back their appreciation.
The incredibly gifted Baker-Dillingham, founder/director of New Mexico Dance Theater, is a master at developing character on stage. Even her youngest dancers appear transformed into another world.
As a gentle snow flows softly from the heavens in the opening scene, a queen sits in front of her palace window sewing. She pricks her finger and sees drops of crimson blood fall on the snow. "If only I had a child as white as this snow, with hair as black as this ebony frame and lips as red as this blood," she thought.
Her emerald jewels sparkling, the queen, portrayed beautifully by Kelly LeVan, begins to dance with her king, portrayed in a solid performance by Monty Wood. Soon after their dramatic dance, Snow White is born and the queen dies.
The opening sequence, which includes a lovely performance by a trio of ballerinas - Natasha Roberts, Larissa Fortson and Zoe Martin, sets a high standard that remains constant throughout the three act production.
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