Staging an original ballet is always a risky artistic gamble. Audiences are both hungry for new experiences, and wary of them.
Still, when Patricia O’Reilly, of the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance, began to envision a new ballet based on the folktales of Mexico, the idea would not let go of her. Certainly a folk ballet could find an audience in Sonoma.
“For several years now, we’ve wanted to do it – a ballet based on Mexican mythology,” says O’Reilly. “We knew we’d probably need to create it ourselves, so we started looking for the right kind of family-friendly story or children’s fairytale from Mexico. We found some really good ones, but they were a little on the scary side, so we just kept looking.”
Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Isabelle Sjahsam, selected as the lead choreographer and developer of the piece, began reaching out to a number of dancers and artists throughout the Bay Area. Eventually, she was put in touch with Oakland-based writer and educator Aida Salazar, who’d written a story titled “Por La Luz De La Luna.” Translated into English, it means “By the Light of the Moon.”
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