Dance team offers diverse program the whole family will enjoy

by Leslie Radford: CNJ staff writer

B allet is coming to Clovis.
USA Ballet will perform classic and contemporary pieces including “Swan Lake” and “La Esmeralda” at 4 p.m. Sunday at Marshall Auditorium.

The Gala Spectacular of the World’s Greatest Ballets displays talents of worldly dancers of various cultural backgrounds. USA Ballet, headquartered in Bloomington, Ill., performs all over the world, but this is the company’s first rendezvous in Clovis, according to the dance company’s co-founder Ken Bello.

“Everywhere we have performed, we have been well received by the audience,” Bello said. “We have a diverse program the entire family can enjoy. They get to see the wide spectrum of dances ballet has to offer.”

He said the first half of the program is comprised of more classical pieces that include “Swan Lake” and “La Esmeralda.” The gala will also demonstrate a patriotic theme in “America,” a production originally created in 1987 for the 200th birthday of the U.S. Constitution.

“This will be an exciting piece,” Bello said. “There will be fireworks and the dancers will be dressed in red, white and blue. It will be very inspirational to everyone in the audience.”

“America” will feature several dancers from the dance program at Eastern New Mexico University under the direction of associate professor of dance Jill Pribyl.
The dancers from ENMU are Cassandra Brooks, Amanda Baca-Macias, Christina Hall, Celina Westerwelt, Whitney Hobson, Renee Massey and Summer Lasiter.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to perform with professional dancers,” Pribyl said. “It will be a really enriching experience for them.”

The ENMU dancers will also perform with the ballet company in “The Mind,” a modern production to be performed in the second half of the show.

This work is “a neoclassical piece that puts you inside the mind of the main character,” Bello said. “It will have special effects and dramatic use of lighting.”

This work is choreographed by Michelle Holmes-Bello, co-founder of the dance company and Bello’s wife, and “reaches the innermost fears and feelings as related to the main character’s past, present, and future shown through insanity, fetal memory and love,” according to USA Ballet’s Website.

USA Ballet is a part of the Cultural Arts Series at Clovis Community College, according to CCC’s cultural arts director Christy Mendoza.

“The mission of the series is to provide diverse cultural programming of the highest quality by presenting international, regional and locally produced works to audiences in eastern New Mexico communities,” Mendoza said.

“I believe that the heart and soul of a thriving community is reflected in its rich cultural life and we strive to bring world-class entertainment to Clovis.”

Season ticket holders are entitled to reserved seating, discounted and complimentary tickets, special receptions and opportunities to meet the performers.