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NMSU Dance Program to present production about the spirit of family

The New Mexico State University Dance Program will present "Family Matters," a contemporary dance theater production, at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces.



The New Mexico State University Dance Program will present "Family Matters," a contemporary dance theater production, at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces (Submitted photo).

The production will unite NMSU choreographers and guest choreographers as they capture and share the spirit of family.

Debra Knapp, director of the dance program at NMSU, choreographed three dances for the program, including "Passing It On," which is dedicated to her nieces and nephews. Knapp will dance with four young dancers from Las Cruces, Shea Green, Chloe and Maggie Long and Audrey Pelayo. Knapp's award-winning dance, "Touch," inspired by Dan Tapper's sculpture "Harmony," will also be performed. Knapp will also perform her solo, "Looking Back, Love Song for Mom," which celebrates the life of her mother Nellie Mae Wright, who "never stopped dancing."

Ann Gavit, NMSU ballet instructor, choreographed "From Our Pages," a piece about how families evolve. The dance is dedicated to Gavit's parents and her three daughters.

Guest choreographer Bill Evans' work will also be featured at the production. His choreography was inspired by a trip to Hastings, New Zealand. "Colony" was inspired by the young dancers of the Maori tribe and the history of its people. The dance tells the story of the colonization of the British in New Zealand from the Maori perspective.

"Baby Steps," a piece choreographed by guest choreographer Aime Feuille, is comprised of the four unique stages of pregnancy. The inspiration for this piece came from her pregnancy with her first child. This piece uses the music from four world renowned artists, Louie Armstrong, the Beatles, Cake and Elvis Presley.

Nicole Dean's guest choreography will utilize 10 dancers to tell the story of a mother's love for her child. Dean's choreography incorporates that love through the book she read to her three children, "Love You Forever," by Robert Munsch.

"Sisters" is a piece choreographed by Kirsten Anna Avelar. This piece is about Avelar and her younger sister and how their bond grew throughout their child, adolescence and adult years. "Sisters" was inspired by a poem by Charmane Simpson.

The evening will end with a piece choreographed by Elizabeth Shea, guest artist from Indiana University. Shea created the dance after her son left for college. Her piece is dedicated to those "who are seeking a new beginning."
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors at the door. For more information, contact the NMSU dance office at 575-646-2070.