NDI back with bugs, more

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Sharing science and discovery is the theme for Socorro fourth graders as they dance in “Eureka!” — this year’s National Dance Institute Residency production in Socorro.

Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Inch worms become butterflies for a National Dance Institute Residency production as the “tiny tots” practice their dance segment during rehearsal Friday, Dec. 6 at Parkview Elementary School in preparation for the “Eureka!” production at the Macey Center Friday.

For their 18th year in Socorro, NDI brings students of Socorro Consolidated Schools together dance class every day with a professional dancer and musician, for three weeks, learning dance, theatre, music, choreography and stage directions.

“They are dong a great job,” said Performing Arts Series director Ronna Kalish. “The whole science theme is being embraced by the community.”

Watching the students in their first rehearsal all together at the Macey Center Wednesday, Kalish said the energy is high and they are working well with residency director Christiane C. de Oliveira.

“The kids are doing great,” she said. “They are so excited.”

While all the fourth graders in the city are participating, certain students have also been selected from their classes to participate on the Super Wonderful Advanced Team (SWAT) and move up to the Celebration Team in grades 6-9, and rehearse for an extra two hours every day.

Youth performances for grades K-6 will be at Macey Center on the New Mexico Tech Campus (One Olive Lane) at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. An evening public performance will be at 7 p.m. on Friday.

The program comes complete with a live professional band, lights, sets and great costumes.

Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Fourth graders at Zimmerly Elementary School practice for the National Dance Institute Residency production, “Eureka!” to be performed at the Macey Center Friday.

Tickets are $6 for adults, free for youth 17 and under. Adults can attend the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. performances for the same price, $6, but have to wait to be seated until the school children are seated with their class.

The program is administered through the Socorro Consolidated School District with the New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series serving as the local producer.

NDI programs teach students excellence, discipline, teamwork, self-esteem, and state educational benchmarks in arts and physical education. NDI serves thousands of youth in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico via their constantly expanding residency programs. Socorro and Magdalena (in Spring) are two of NDI’s longest-running residency programs.