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Ballet celebrates centennial and National Dance Week with contemporary and classical works

April 26, 2013

The Loyola Ballet, directed by Laura Zambrano, celebrates National Dance Week with a mixed repertory program of classical, contemporary and character works including several dances to popular music from the early 1900s in celebration of Loyola’s centennial. The performances Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 are set for 8 p.m. in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola University New Orleans’ main campus.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for all students, seniors, children and Loyola faculty and staff, and are available at montage.loyno.edu or 504-865-2074. Tickets will also be available at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance. Free parking is available in the West Road Garage, accessible from St. Charles Avenue.

The performance features excerpts from Mikhail Glinka’s opera “Ruslan and Lyudmila,” with original choreography by Michel Fokine as staged by Zambrano and Gayle Parmelee. Rich in Eastern music and dance, the ballet tells the story of the Kievan knight, Ruslan, as he attempts to rescue his wife Lyudmila from an evil sorcerer.

The concert also features an excerpt from the one-act Russian ballet, “La Vivandiere” with choreography by Arthur Saint-Léon, reconstructed and staged by Pierre Lacotte. Also known as “Markitenka,” the Romantic ballet features music by Cesare Pugni and Jean-Baptiste Nadaud. Additionally, the Pizzicato Polka from the ballet “Sylvia” will be performed, as well as two new contemporary works choreographed by Loyola business major Brandon Garza and forensic chemistry major Hilary Landry.

In recognition of Loyola’s centennial, several dances set to popular music in 1912 will be performed. Students in the Loyola Preparatory Arts Program will dance to Randy Newman’s “Ragtime Suite,” and guest artists Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble will perform “Bal Masque,” a waltz and mazurka set to music by Aram Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Suite” by choreographer Cheryl O’Sullivan, co-director of Komenka and a Loyola ballet instructor.

National Dance Week, hailed by former President George W. Bush as “an opportunity for people to celebrate and recognize dance as a unique and inspiring art form,” was established to bring greater recognition to the art of dance. Held annually in April, the week features dance organizations from across the country that celebrate by presenting educational and programmatic concerts for all ages.

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