New Mexico Ballet Company dances through 50 years

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It’s been 50 years of ups, downs, and all arounds for the New Mexico Ballet Company. What better way to celebrate and symbolize that than through dance?

KOB 4 got a sneak peek of the company’s special anniversary performance, and the rich history that’s made it all possible.

The New Mexico Ballet Company first made its home here in Albuquerque 50 years ago, when we asked how they’ve stuck it out all these years – their answer was resilience.

“It started last year with the piece titled ‘Resilience,’” said Amanda Rohr, a NMBC dancer and instructor. “It was just how resilient we were to make it through the pandemic, able to keep our art alive, and our joy for it alive. So getting to bring that piece back this year is a joy, and also a little nerve-wracking because it is a harder piece of music, and dance to do.”

The perfect theme for a performance honoring the hard work that’s brought 50 years of professional ballet to our state.

“The New Mexico ballet company was founded in 1972, by Suzanne and Sidney Johnston,” said Anna Bridge, a NMBC artistic and school director. 

The founding couple have since passed, but the company is keeping Suzanne’s memory alive through her choreography this weekend.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring that back that piece back. It’s called ‘Rhapsody,’ and to my understanding, it was one of her favorites,” said Bridge. “We’re celebrating the past, the present, and kind of the future trajectory of the company and our dancers, with our programs this weekend at National Hispanic Cultural Center.”

Even through difficult times, NMBC continues to grow.

“This is the new home of the New Mexico Ballet Company,” said Robbie Rodriguez, a NMBC marketing and operations director. 

With a bigger and better studios in northeast Albuquerque.

“All of our studios are labeled “NMBC” for New Mexico Ballet Company,” said Rodriguez. “We have our “Tulle” shed, nice play on words, tulle as in the fabric.”

And more exciting performances on the horizon.

“50 years of any ballet company is a milestone, so we’re hoping for another 50 years,” Bridge said. 

Tickets are still available for the anniversary performances on Saturday and Sunday. Reps with the New Mexico Ballet Company say they’re also excited for live music to make a comeback during their performances in December.

The New Mexico Philharmonic will join the dancers again the following spring, when they perform “The Wizard of Oz.” 

For more information on NMBC tickets and pricing, click here