New Mexico Dance Theater Performance Company (NMDT-PC), directed by Susan Baker-Dillingham, will present her original ballet “The Wizard of Oz” this weekend March 18, 19 and 20 at Duane W. Smith Auditorium.
There is no place like home, and there is no ballet like “The Wizard of Oz”! Baker-Dillingham first choreographed the ballet in 2008 and it premiered in Los Alamos that November. “I still get comments about several of the ballets I’ve created through the years such as ‘Alice,’ ‘Dracula,’ ‘Snow White,’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Aladdin,’” Baker-Dillingham said. “‘Wizard’ falls into that same category. People want to see it again because they were so blown away the first time.”
NMDT-PC is a non-profit 501-c3 organization made up of intermediate and advanced dancers. The cast of “Wizard” includes 25 PC members, plus three members from the NMDT School, and two special guests from the community.
“I am not one to shove every single body I can into a production, but focus more on the intermediate and advanced dancers to bring a full-length production to fruition,” Baker-Dillingham said.
“In this way, the dancers involved learn exactly what it’s like to dance in a professional company setting, and present a high-quality production. Thus, the audience members are truly moved and inspired. They leave the theater knowing they have just seen a real work of art,” she said.
Graduating seniors include Rebecca Cai as the Wicked Witch of the West, Deanna Gutierrez as a soloist poppy, Devon McCleskey in the role of the Scarecrow, and Nora Scott as Glenda. Other notable cast members include Akane Dunn as Dorothy, Kathryn Osburn as Toto, Mark Dunn as the Tin Man, Maxwell Herrmann as the Cowardly Lion, Bruce Lamartine as The Wizard, and Louisa Belian as the Eye of the Tornado and the principal poppy.
Major set pieces were originally designed by and recently refurbished by Holly Haas. Original costumes, designed by Kenda Bultman, have been restored by NMDT-PC Costume Mistress Marcy Anderson and a team of volunteers.
If you missed “The Wizard of Oz” eight years ago, or if you saw it back then and want to experience it again, now is your chance. Click your heels for an unforgettable experience at the ballet! Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 20.
Tickets are available in advance at Uli’s Cottontails at 800 Trinity Dr., or at the door 45 minutes prior to performance times. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and free for children age four and under.
The NMDT School is in the heart of downtown Los Alamos at 147 and 149 Central Park Square. Enrollment is always open to new students. Call 505.661.3226 or visit www.NMDT.org for more information regarding classes or the upcoming performance of “The Wizard of Oz.”