Directory Image
This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Ballet Theatre’s new look

Author: Gabrielle Auger
by Gabrielle Auger
Posted: Mar 29, 2016

Ballet Theatre’s new look, and night of fashion

When Marta Katz, an accomplished dance instructor and former dancer, opened her El Paso Conservatory of Dance nearly a decade ago, she had a vision. She wanted a school to teach local dancers the art of classical ballet, from techniques and terminology to music and history.

She also wanted students to learn what it was like to perform in front of an audience. She hoped that through performing, aspiring dancers would develop the stage presence that levels the playing field for those pursuing a career in dance, wherever they may audition.

To help her students realize their potential and to entertain our city’s many ballet fans, Katz formed the El Paso Youth Ballet in 2009, a busy dance company that performs the Nutcracker Ballet each December and up to six classical and contemporary ballet productions throughout the year. I’ve written about these delightful performances before – I can still remember their charming "Cinderella" from a few years back.

The littlest dancers who began as Katz’s students nine years ago are now graceful teenagers and the former pre-teens are in their 20s – time for the Youth Ballet to grow up.

"As we have grown and matured, I wanted a name that would reflect our new, more versatile company," Katz told me. "So we’re changing the name to El Paso Ballet Theatre, which will incorporate both the dance school and El Paso’s only full-time professional and pre-professional dance company."

With a new name, new board and a chic new website the group is making a fresh start at this weekend’s ballet, "Opening Night Gala." Think of the dancers dressed in their party best on their way to a glamorous celebration.

The organization has another big reason to celebrate. Katz tells me they’ve added 3,000-square feet to their studio, giving them three roomy spaces for classes, rehearsals and costume storage.

The new production opens with the debut of a contemporary work inspired by Twyla Tharp and created by local choreographer Rafael Chavez. "Transcendence," will feature members of Human Nature, a small dance company of UTEP and community students, along with some of the 18 members of El Paso Ballet Theatre.

This year commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, author of "Don Quixote." So the company is performing excerpts of the "Don Quixote" ballet first performed at the Bolshoi Ballet in 1869. The program ends with the second act of "Swan Lake," with music by Tchaikovsky; it premiered at the Bolshoi in 1875.

Katz says both works are based on the original choreography by Marius Petipa. Leading roles will be performed by Lesley Lopez and Ariela Katz and two dancers from Cuba: Yespari Miller and Yosvani Cortellan, a former San Antonio Ballet soloist.

"People ready to watch an exciting mix of classical and contemporary ballet should come out to see ‘Opening Night Gala,’" Katz says. "They will enjoy this show and I think they will be happily surprised!"

Art and fashion

After many years of their annual Tablescapes luncheon, El Paso Pro-Musica Guild is trying a new spring fundraiser: a combination cocktail party, fashion show and shopping night this Friday at the Epic Railroad. Tablescapes was fine, don’t get me wrong, but it was time to give this fixture a sabbatical.

This new fundraiser will appeal to that same fan base, including ladies who lunch, but a Friday night party with heavy hors d’oeuvres by Mesa Street Grill, good music and a cool venue should make for a fun date night and bring out lots of couples, too.

For the fashion show, 18 local and out-of-town professional models will wear fashions from six very different stores. The show starts with cowboy styles from Starr Western Wear; the other stores are Blue Denim, Chico’s, Gal, Lululemon and Versailles. "You can expect fabulous clothes," says Joann Wardy, the guild’s president, "and the lighting and sound will be excellent."

The guild has also recruited some amazing artisans and high-end stores to give attendees a novel shopping experience. "Think of a mini-Christmas Fair," says Wardy.

"We wanted these wonderful vendors all together under one roof for the night."

Guests can enjoy jewelry by Pat de Franco, Leslie Slape, Karen Wollner and Caroline Yurby; paintings by Pat and Michael Beauregard, Marisa Lascurain and Carol Ann Parson; clothing designed by Viannka Barraza and Zayra Estrada; photographs by Nina Eaton; and home accessories from Laura Carrillo and Chia Stewart.

A silent auction will include items from each vendor and the live auction includes a dinner for eight with Zuill Bailey.

I know from personal experience, Wardy can put on a fabulous fashion event. In 2010, she came up with the idea for an exhibit and fashion show at the El Paso Museum of History, "50 Years of Fashion," featuring El Pasoans’ own clothes from each of those decades. The runway show was dazzling!

As a humble writer as well as a student in El Paso Community College’s Fashion Technology Patternmaking Certificate program, I was one of the volunteers who interviewed owners – and some children of owners – of fashion stores in business between 1950 and 2000. Histories and photographs of the stores filled the gallery’s walls while the clothes were displayed in the middle.

In the process, I got to know and respect Wardy for her creativity and visual sense. I can assure you that this evening will be a not-to-be-missed event.

red prom dresses uk | queenie vintage prom dresses

About the Author

A love girl that love shopping and cooking working for lightaton

Rate this Article
Leave a Comment
Author Thumbnail
I Agree:
Author: Gabrielle Auger

Gabrielle Auger

Member since: Mar 06, 2016
Published articles: 16

Related Articles