Belisama Irish Dance And Moving People Dance Theatre Present ‘Irish Jigs And Winter Treats’

Irish dancers of Belisama Irish Dance perform. Photo by Kate Russell
Moving People dancers rehearse for the upcoming show.  Photo by Kate Russell


SANTA FE—Belisama Irish Dance and Moving People Dance Theatre are proud to present “‘Irish Jigs and Winter Treats,” a dance repertory showcase, Dec. 12-14 at the James A. Little Theater in Santa Fe.

Performances take place at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $12 for seniors; the James A. Little Theater is located at 1060 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. For tickets, call Tickets Santa Fe at 505.988.1234, or visit

Jump into the holiday spirit with an assortment of winter-wonderful dance, festive medley for all ages, including Irish, modern, jazz, and ballet. The Irish offerings for this showcase range from classic Christmas favorites to 1950s rock, with traditional soft- and hard-shoe dancing. Director Adrienne Bellis and choreographer Celia Kessler also present modern Riverdance style interpretations, evocative of peaceful snow-covered pathways and twinkling lights, with beautiful a cappella choral harmonies. Thirty dancers span ages six to 60.

For modern dance featuring Moving People pre-professionals, choreographer Echo Gustafson presents the humorously titled I Can’t Fall Asleep on the Plane Because I Drank Too Much Coffee in the Airport, an exploration of myriad holiday themes.

On a quieter note, her Snowflake Lullaby is “a meditation on the beautiful floating forms of snow, danced to a Hebrew lullaby sung by Monserrat Figueras.”

Also dreaming of a frosty December, Carolyn Ellis and the Moving People pre-professional dancers have created the bold and collaborative Snow Queen Remixed. Morphing Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale into a world of contemporary, salsa-inspired jazz, the Snow Queen utilizes movement gleaned from jump rope, tag, and other children’s games while its story illustrates the age-old struggle between good and evil.

Canyon Road is Annie Kohn’s nod to one of Santa Fe’s favorite and most unique holiday traditions. A ballet with music by Garth Stevenson, this dance is sure to get you in the mood for Santa Fe’s annual Christmas Eve walk.

Her quartet, Polaris, references the North Star as “a symbol of the guiding light within…the choreography aims to create a sense of steadiness and focus.”

Kohn’s modern Chanukah themed waltz Eight Little Lights is accompanied by Shtetl Band Amsterdam tunes and performed by dancers aged 12 to 19.

“The students have worked beautifully together on this,” Kohn said. “The winter holidays are such a sweet time to gather with loved ones and celebrate traditions passed down from generation to generation. This piece embodies the feeling of family, community and ancient rituals that bring us together to honor the small miracles of life.”

Belisama Irish Dance features local dancers from Santa Fe and Los Alamos, and has been honored with numerous past and present national and regional championship awards.

The dancers have performed alongside renowned artists including Trinity Irish Dance Company, Lúnasa, Natalie MacMaster, Gaelic Storm, Michael Patrick Gallagher, and Eileen Ivers. With small class sizes, the school instructs committed dancers of all ages in Irish technique and choreography as well as performance opportunities. View the full the schedule of classes online at www.belisamadance. com or call 505.670.2152 for more information.

Moving People Dance has been the pre-professional performing company of the Belisama school since 2013. MPD offers exceptional training for dancers, as well as a cutting-edge contemporary performance company.

Moving People Dance Theatre is a non-profit organization committed to raising funds for training and performance opportunities which benefit dancers and choreographers at Belisama Dance.

Adrienne Bellis is the Director of Belisama School of Dance and Moving People Dance, as well as the internationally award-winning Belisama Irish Dance Company.

Irish dancers on stage. Photo by Kate Russell
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