By: Hal de Becker


The youthful and talented Las Vegas Ballet Company performs October 7 at 2 p.m. at Horn Theatre on the Cheyenne campus of College of Southern Nevada.The performance is a fundraiser for CSN’s Youth Enterprise Scholarship.The program includes three works: Act II of the great classic from ballet’s Romantic period, “Giselle”, featuring Yoomi Lee in the title role and Kyudong Kwak as Albrecht her ill-fated lover;“Glory”, a neo-classic piece, choreographed by Mr. Kwak, the troupe’s director; and a modern dance piece by Gregory Sample. Tickets and info at: 651-5483.

As usual Clark County’s Winchester Cultural Center can be depended upon to present diverse programs many of which are devoted to dance.Its programs are always affordable and entertaining.Among the upcoming dance events being offered are Ballet Folklorico Izel and Mixetco Dance from Los Angeles.They join forces October 13 in traditional and updated dances from south of the border highlighting the city of Jalisco.

“The Mystery of Tango” with the intense sensual moves and music associated with that dance style performs October 19 in a fundraiser for Friends of Winchester. There’ll be an outdoor auction and hors d’ouevres served before the show.

October 27 Toumany Kouyate, a featured performer in Cirque’s ‘O’ and an internationally acclaimed player of the African harp known as the kora leads his troupe of dancers, singers and musicians in “Bountaloo”(Black Scorpion).The program honors Senegal’s rich dance and musical heritage.

A program of traditional Hawaiian dance and music will be presented December 1 when 10 dancers and four supporting musicians join one of the world’s greatest Hawaiian slack-guitarists and falsetto singers, Gary Haleamau.Tickets and info for all events at 455-7340.

In its fourth collaboration with dancers from South Korea, UNLV’s dance department begins its new season October 19 and 20 at Judy Bayley Theatre with a concert entitled “Together 4”. A week later the UNLV dancers travel to Seoul, Korea where they’ll repeat the concert at the Korean National Sports University.

The major offering will be a piece by the late Erick Hawkins reconstructed by Dance Department Chair Louis Kavouras one of the leading authorities on that modern dance master’s oeuvre. Mr. Kavouras had access to Mr. Hawkins’ handwritten notes, the musical scores and other treasured materials. The UNLV dancers will be wearing the original costumes worn by Mr. Hawkins and his company.

The program also includes works by dance department faculty and -- in a rare transition to choreographer -- by the outstanding and prolific musical composer Beth Mehocic.Her dance will feature guest performer Keena Davis.More info at 895-3827.

Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre directed by gifted dancer/choreographer Bernard Gaddis takes the stage at Judy Bayley Theatre October 26, 27 and 28 with works by Mr. Gaddis, Ronen Koresh and Milton Myers. More info and tickets at 895-2787.

The College of Southern Nevada’s dance department under the direction of Kelly Roth presents “Informal Dance Concert” at Horn Theatre on October 31 at 1:30 p.m.The program will display students and teachers in set choreography, improvised numbers and demonstrations of ballet, modern, jazz, tap, ballroom and Middle-Eastern dance.Admission is free.

The College’s Fall Dance Concert on November 30 and December 1 at Horn Theatrefeatures among other works a revival of Mr. Roth’s 1997 “Wisdom”, a celebration of and reflection on the glory and tragedy of the life of Princess Diana who was herself a dancer.

It will be performed by CSN’s Dance Ensemble and Concert Dance Company plus special guest artists.Two evening performances and one matinee are offered and ticketprices of $5 and $8 are an outstanding value.The public is invited to a reception after each performance.Tickets and info at 651-5483.

And, of course, with the approach of the Holiday Season “The Nutcracker” is on the horizon.A number of local companies and dance schools will be presenting their own productions of the ballet.

The Nevada School of Dance has taken a unique approach in its version. All the main roles as well as the corps de ballet will be performed by youngsters many of whom are students of the school while others were selected in open public auditions.

Staging and choreography are products of the combined talents and experience of the school’s co-directors Luz Morante, Ella Gourkova and Sergey Popov. Ms. Gourkova and Mr. Popov, both Russian trained, bring their vast knowledge of the pure classical version to the production while Ms. Morante, an expert in jazz and modern as well as classical, brings a contemporary influence.

Performances, with alternate casts, take place December 21 and 22 at the Faith Lutheran High School Performing Center.Families affected by autism are invited to attend the dress rehearsal the morning of the 21st free of charge.More info at 248-1288.

Nevada Ballet Theatre, as the resident company of The Smith Center, bestrides the local dance scene and its extensive and exciting schedule of performances will be described in my next article.

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