Dance Arts Los Alamos to Feature Graduating Seniors


Erin Burr (Odile) and Megan Kelley (Odette) in DALA’s production of Swan Lake. Photo and design by Paulo T. Photography.

Dance Arts Los Alamos is celebrating 20 years of bringing professional dance training and high quality performances to the community.

This weekend, three distinct programs will highlight the accomplishments of dancers ages 3 through adult as well as the talent and diversity of the DALA faculty.

Intermediate and advanced level ballet students will present an abridged version of Swan Lake at 7 p.m., May 18 and 19. All performances will take place at the Duane Smith Auditorium. Admission is free.

Performing in a full-length story ballet has enabled the dancers to learn a great deal about artistry through the rehearsal process.

The students have grown both in their discipline and appreciation for the ballet art form. Swan Lake holds special meaning for Ballet Program Director Christin Severini.

“Swan Lake was the first ballet that I performed with American Ballet Theatre and it was also my first time dancing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City,” Severini said. “As a member of the corps de ballet, I was one of many swans dancing in unison to some of the most beautiful and inspiring music. It was thrilling, but also extremely challenging. It is quite incredible to be a part of something like this.”

Graduating seniors Megan Kelley and Erin Burr will perform the lead roles of Odette and Odile.  Andrew Silks, a former DALA student now dancing professionally with Tulsa Ballet, will return to Los Alamos to dance the lead role of Prince Siegfried.  It adds a tremendous amount of excitement to the entire performance for the students to dance alongside someone who has reached such a level of professionalism.

The mixed repertory portion of the evening performances will feature works by DALA faculty members Erica Gionfriddo, Anita Gandy, Shannon Elliott, Patrick MacDonald and Manny  “Chino” Romero. A broad range of styles will showcase the versatility of the dancers as they perform jazz, tap, hip hop, modern dance, musical theater and contemporary ballet.  Graduating seniors Erin Burr and Megan Kelley will each perform a solo as a farewell to their DALA family.

DALA’s youngest dancers will have their own opportunity to shine on Saturday afternoon May 19. A matinee at 2 p.m. will include “Under the Sea” and “Classical Suite,” choreographed by DALA Executive Director Valerie Silks, “Sunrise, Sunset” choreographed by Kim Hoch, a lively hip hop dance choreographed by Manny Romero and a performance by special guests the Los Alamos Hilltappers.

A Variations Workshop performance will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday May 19. This performance will feature the advanced level ballet students performing solo variations from a variety of classical ballets.

Coached by Christin Severini, the students have been working hard on developing their stage presence and staying in character while executing very technically challenging steps.

The program will include solos from Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, La Fille Malle Gardee, Coppelia, Le Corsaire, Paquita, Swan Lake, and Cinderella.

The students are very excited about sharing their variations with an audience during this performance.

Dance Arts Los Alamos is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote dance in Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico by providing safe professional training and quality performances.


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