Ballet Pro Musica brings Mexico’s Ballet Jalisco to its annual festival

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Carlo Bravo, left, and Carlos Hernández are members of Ballet Jalisco, which will perform in Albuquerque as part of Ballet Pro Musica.

Carlo Bravo, left, and Carlos Hernández are members of Ballet Jalisco, which will perform in Albuquerque as part of Ballet Pro Musica.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Regrouping after the death of its founder Henry Holth, Ballet Pro Musica is bringing Mexico’s Ballet Jalisco to its Eighth Annual Festival.

The Guadalajara-based troupe will dance at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in performances set to Argentinian tango and Scott Joplin rags.

Holth died at the age of 86 just four days after last year’s festival, said artistic director Alex Ossadnik.

“We were faced with, OK, what do we do now?” said Ossadnik, who also is the ballet master of Boise’s Ballet Idaho.

During the subsequent reorganization, the company added a $10 “Dance Pass” for dance and music students and “rush” tickets available 25 minutes before each performance for $17.

Each year Ballet Pro Musica invites dancers from a major Mexican company to perform at the festival. The newly formed Ballet Jalisco will dance three pieces. The troupe is Mexico’s newest classical ballet company.

“The music is tango-ish, but the choreography is classical/contemporary,” Ossadnik said.

“La Muerte del Angel (The Death of an Angel)” was written for solo piano by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.

“He wrote it for a play,” Ossadnik said. “It’s about an angel who goes into a community and makes it better and gets killed in a fight.”

“Ciao Mama” is about four brothers playing together. The music was written by Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, considered one of the most important classical composers of the 20th century. Set to a string quartet, the dance will feature four men and one woman, as well as four chairs, Ossadnik said.

La Catrina Quartet will provide music for Ballet Pro Musica.

La Catrina Quartet will provide music for Ballet Pro Musica.

“They are very important,” he explained. “I literally choreographed for them; the whole piece is over, under and in-between. The chairs symbolize home, where it’s comfortable, with all its beauty and all its limitations.”

The members of Ballet Jalisco will dance to “Easy Winners,” a bouquet of Scott Jopin rags.

“I’m expecting a very fun, beautiful piece with some songs for piano and violin,” Ossadnik said. “So we’re ending the piece on a nice note.”

The dancers will perform to music provided by La Catrina Quartet and pianist Jacquelyn Helin.

Ballet Pro Musica will host a free open master class and open rehearsal at the Hiland Theater, 4800 E. Central, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, in collaboration with the National Dance Institute.

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