School of Dance and Music performs ‘Cityscapes’ May 20

'Don Quixote’ ballet is May 26-27


The Las Cruces School of Dance and Music (LCSMD) will perform “Cityscapes: A Musical and Choreographic Journey” Saturday, May 20. Borderlands Ballet will present the ballet “Don Quixote” May 26-27.


“Cityscapes” will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 20, on the Gandy Stage at LCSMD, 1390 N. Main St. Tickets are $15 and are available at and at the door before the performance.

“Cityscapes” is “a series of dance vignettes inspired by the iconic cities of the world performed and, in many cases, choreographed by the students of LCSDM,” the school said in a news release.

“We have a flourishing program in jazz, tap, and hip hop,” LCSMD owner Monique Foster said. “Although most of the artists also take ballet classes, this show gives them the opportunity to utilize a different set of skills that complement the more rigorous technique of classical ballet.”

In addition, many of the advanced dancers in the show will be choreographing their own works, many for the first time,” the news release said. Mia Berkson, Tara Gandy, Juliana Garcia and Bella Olivares will collaborate to present a picture of London.

“I enjoy the freedom of deciding how to match movement to the music,” Mia said about her first efforts at choreography. “But it’s been really hard for us as dancers to find our own voice and not just relying on what we’ve learned from our teachers.”

The school will be open for summer classes in jazz, tap and ballet for all ages June 5-July 28.

“Summer is a great time for students to start taking class because we spend the entire summer focusing on dance technique, rather than performance,” Foster said.

For more information, contact LCSMD at 575-525-5670 and

“Don Quixote”

Borderlands Ballet Company (BBC) will perform “Don Quixote” at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 26-27, at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, 1000 E. University Ave.

Tickets are $25.

“How, you might wonder, is it possible to turn Miguel de Cervantes’s 1,072-page epic story into a 90-minute ballet? The answer: You don’t.,” BBC said in a news release.

The ballet’s libretto by Marius Petipa is based on only two chapters from the novel, BBC said. The story involves a love triangle between the beautiful and spirited Kitri (Allene Barton), the town barber Basilio (Joshua Godman) and the rich but vain Gamache (John Pohl).

“It’s a love story,” Barton said. “But it has some incredible comedic moments that are fun for the dancers as well as the audience. At the same time, this makes the show a challenge to perform because we can’t just focus on dancing, since so much of the show depends on really capturing the characters and the way they interact.”

“Don Quixote” is “a farcical romp that captures a passing moment in the life of a Spanish town in hilarious and outlandish detail,” the news release said. “But don’t let the comedic overlay fool you. ‘Don Quixote’ has some of the most demanding choreography in the ballet repertoire.”

“If you look at the second act of ‘The Nutcracker,’ you can think of it as little more than a fantasy setting to perform a bunch of great dances to great music. Don Quixote is similar,” said BBC Artist Director Monique Foster. “You have this upbeat commedia dell’arte storyline full of high-energy dances culminating in the great wedding pas de deux.”

“The choreography for the cup dance is very technically demanding,” said Rachel Breck, who plays Mercedes, a street dancer who performs one of the ballet’s most iconic dances, BBC said. “The steps are hard enough, but it’s a real challenge to do them without knocking over the glasses! But what I enjoy most about the scene is that Mercedes is the life of the party. In real life, I’m pretty quiet and introverted and it’s fun to play a character that is so different form myself.”

Often performed as a stand-alone piece, the final Grande Pas (Kitri’s Wedding) is a spectacular finale to the show, BBC said.

“The Wedding Pas is a beautiful ending,” said Barton. “The one-handed lifts are, of course, a showstopper. It’s been great having Josh (Godman) supporting me. He is such an experienced and strong partner. I hope the audience feels the same joy watching that we do performing the piece!”

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