Tag Archives: dance

Screaming Cheerleaders Bring Pom Poms to Las Vegas on Feb. 14

The Cheerleaders of America organization is hosting their National Championship in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center on Feb. 14.  Thousands of screaming fans will be cheering on hundreds of competitive cheer and dance teams from around the U.S., competing for prizes and sis-boom-bang bragging rights.

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Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas

The 11th annual Dance in the Desert Festival is coming to Las Vegas.  The roster includes local and visiting dance artists presenting cutting edge choreography and stirring works to delight every dance aficionado.

In 1999 the first annual Las Vegas Dance in the Desert Festival was co-founded and co-directed by Kyla Quintero and Kelly Roth, with the ambition to restore dance to a primary position in the artistic life of the city of Las Vegas. The Festival offers a broad spectrum of choreographic visions and approaches, from expressionism to post-modernism to neo-romanticism, and a diverse selection of genres drawing on traditions from Africa, Europe, and American original and hybrid forms, featuring companies from around the world, across the United States, neighboring states of California and Arizona, as well as Nevada’s own exceptional talent.

Participants tentatively scheduled to appear in this year’s festival include: Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, Metropolitan Ballet Company, and Moving Arts Dance from California; Desert Dance Theatre, Junk Funk, and Canyon Movement Company from Arizona; Solaris Dance Theater;  Catherine Schaeffer from Georgia; Matthew Farmer from Michigan; Cathy Allen, Freedom Dance Company, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, Kravenko Youth Ballet, Debra Lacey Teresa Martinez, Ballet Mink Colbert, Petrina Olson, Cooper Rust, Westwood and Dancers, Concert Dance Company, CSN Dance Ensemble, and Kelly Roth & Dancers– all from Las Vegas.

The Dance in the Desert Festival is on July 31 at 7:30 p.m. and August 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre, located on the CSN Cheyenne Campus in North Las Vegas.  Prices are $10 for general admission; $8 for seniors/students.

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Las Vegas Art Scenesters Buckle Up for Bumpy Roller Coaster Ride

The Las Vegas Art Museum shutdown last month.  The Nevada Ballet has cutback on staff and postponed programs.  The Las Vegas Philharmonic is cutting back and holding on.   art

The Nevada Opera Theatre, though feeling the economic impact,  is cushioned somewhat by their pre-recession budgeting. 

“The effect on us has not been as traumatic as on the philharmonic and the ballet because of their much larger agenda and audience participation,” said founder and director Eileen Hayes, whose theatre actually has seen a budget increase from about $225,000 to $300,000. 

“Yes, contributions have been down, especially between the last two years and this year, but we’ve been in the mode of reducing our once big deficit dramatically over the last few years. And our audience attendance is really starting to rebound.” 

Beyond those factors, the company has not tied itself to a set season of performances and the attendant costs. When it does perform, it is at smaller, less expensive venues. Though for the past two years the company has not staged its usual production at UNLV’s large Artemus Ham Hall, Hayes expects that to resume. Tickets have been kept less than $50, and the group has kept close tabs on production budgets. 

“We’re just being very careful what we do,” Hayes said. “We have cut back on guest performers over the last several years. We used to bring in entire sets and costumes, but now we’ve gotten frugal and rent pieces locally and from Southern California. We used to rent entire sets from New York, but those days are gone.” 

At Opera Las Vegas, finances are actually on the upswing. Citing “prudent and creative fundraising,” Hal West, vice president of marketing and public relations, said his company is aiming for a 50 percent budgetary hike, increasing program investments from $50,000 to $75,000. Containing expenditures by staging only two productions this year, they briefly considered doubling the top $40 ticket price but nixed that notion. 

Similarly, the 32-year-old Las Vegas Little Theatre, Las Vegas’ oldest community theater, is functioning fairly well on a nearly $200,000 budget, maintaining six productions in the main stage theater and three in the smaller Black Box. 

“We’re not rolling in money, but we’re no worse than in previous years, paying our rent and electric bills,” said board President Walter Niejadlik, noting that keeping expectations reasonable and avoiding grandiose goals helps steady the balance sheet. “We’re not doing huge productions costing $20,000 a pop that never have a shot at making money back. It’s the undoing of a lot of arts organizations in this town. Everyone’s going to be the next greatest thing, doing art for art’s sake, but with no business sense.” 

Theater audiences traditionally skew older than for other art forms — on average, 65 to 70 years old, Niejadlik said — with more discretionary income to spend on the arts. But that demographic reality has a sad side: the steady attrition of season subscribers. Las Vegas Little Theatre loses about 70 subscribers a year. 

“Without being terribly morbid, they’re dying,” Niejadlik said. “We get a list of subscribers who have passed away. Our big focus is on getting younger folks into the theater.”

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Changing of the Guard for Las Vegas Burlesque Shows

In Las Vegas the only real certainty is uncertainty itself.  Entertainment acts change, shows come and go.  And G-string revues are as much a part of the Las Vegas entertainment fabric as gambling itself.  Some say they harken way back to the days of the Dunes Hotel & Casino where it was fashionable to head out and watch the glamorous shows.  Fast forward to today, even the hugely popular sex goddess and entrepreneur Tera Patrick is contemplating a switch from a steady diet of porn to burlesque in Las Vegas. 

Following the footsteps of “Lido” that closed in 1991 after 32 years, this Saturday, March 28 after 49 years the iconic “Folies Bergere” burlesque revue at the Tropicana in Las Vegas will sadly go dark forever after performing 29,000 shows- along with the feathered showgirls the the style, spirit, and very essence of classic Las Vegas entertainment.  

But, even if you’re not one of the lucky 100 people that got a ticket for the final Folies show or one of the 750 invited guests and alumni, there’s still hope.

You can still watch  sexy cabaret revues like “Fantasy,” “Crazy Girls,” “X Burlesque,’ or the full-blown old-Vegas style revue “Jubilee!,” that’s been going since 1981.   Then there is  the female attraction of  “Men of X at Hooters.”  

But if you are game for a brand new Las Vegas burlesque treat you might want to catch the first previews of “Peepshow” that start on March 30 and run through April 17 at Planet Hollywood.  Billed as a “modern contemporary burlesque” the sexy show features Scary Spice Girl Mel B. (Melanie Brown) and “Dancing With the Stars” champion Kelly Monaco, who also played on “General Hospital” and posed for Playboy- watching them perform alone is worth the price of admission – and a cast of 29 principals, tightly choreographed dancers, and a band of all female musicians.  peepshow

Neither Mel B nor Monaco will be topless, but several of the dancers will be for the cabaret show.  Mel B plays Peep Diva, the mistress of the ceremonies, and Monaco is Bo Peep, who falls asleep in a short movie that starts the show. 

Broadway director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell says, “It really isn’t a musical because there isn’t really a written book and scenes that string the show together in that sense.  It’s a story told through song and dance.  It’s really modern day burlesque.  We’ve taken song and dance and the arte of striptease to tell a story.” 

BASE is producing the Las Vegas show.  Architect David Rockwell (“Phantom, the Las Vegas Spectacular”) designed the lavish set.  And Greg Barnes, who won a Tony Award for “The Drowsy Chaperone,” is creating the costumes. 

The music includes Michael Bubble’s “Feeling Good,” Connie Francis’ “Teddy,” Madonna’s “Hung Up,” and original tunes by Andrew Lippa. 

“We took the bones of what I created in New York and tailored it for the Las Vegas market,” says Mitchell. “We couldn’t do this show in New York City.  This is a Las Vegas show, for sexy adult men and women who want to go out together and have an amazing time.  We’re not trying to pound anything over anyone’s head.”  

Mitchell says he doesn’t want to reveal too much else about the show.  

“I don’t want to be coy, but isn’t that the fun of striptease- what you don’t see as opposed to what you see?” says Mitchell.  “It’s one of the things I think is desperately missing here in Las Vegas and something I’m a huge fan of- the right time to take it off.  It’s about how you take it off.”

Tickets range from $65 to $100 and previews for the tale with a tease start on Monday, March 30 through April 17 at the showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas (702-785-5000).

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Russian National Ballet Comes to Las Vegas

Russia is a huge country with lots of art and cultural exports including dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf russianballetNureyev and producing classic works such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.  Now, two of the country’s most famous companies, the Bolshoi and Kirov, are touring the United States and are coming to the UNLV Performing Arts Center, Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, on Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $90.  Info: 702-895-2787

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Top Five Picks for Chinese New Year Celebrations in Las Vegas

Currently, about 7 percent of Las Vegas guests come from Asian markets.  But when you combine the visiting chinesenewyearpopulation with local Asian residents, it is hoped Las Vegas businesses will get a much needed boost from the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Ox – which officially begins on January 26. 

Here’s our Las Vegas Backstage Access Top Five Picks, listed sequentially:

  • 1) Jan. 22 – Charleston Heights Arts Center is hosting the film “The Road Home” at 6:30 p.m. at 800 S. Brush St. $3 admission. 702-229-6383
  • 2) Jan. 25 – Green Valley Ranch will host the second annual Chinese New Year’s concert and party- acrobats, magic show, Chinese folk dance, Kung fu demonstrations, and more. 2300 Paseo Verde Parkway. 702-686-9255
  • 3) Jan. 26 through Feb. 28 – Bellagio Conservatory will feature its Chinese New Year’s show with 15-foot-long botanical ox made from more than 10,000 living Alternanthera; an 18-foot-toall Chinese God of Wealth and Fortune, I-Ching coins, and more. 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Free.
  • 4) Feb. 8 – Chinese American Chamber of Commerce is having their 15th annual New Year’s celebration from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Las Vegas Chinatown Plaza, 4255 Spring Mountain Rd. $3 adults; $1 children ages 6 to 12, younger are free. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend, so best to arrive early.
  • 5) Last, but not least, the Lohan School of Shaolin will present several authentic lion dances throughout the Las Vegas Valley during the Chinese New Year season. Please call 702-364-5875 for locations and times.

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