Performances exist in the moment. These moments are meant to create a memorable performance and that is the key goal for performers.
However, there are moments that are not showcased on the center stage. These moments occur backstage, away from the limelight. They are more intimate and personal, creating a very different experience for the performers as they prepare to exhibit their craft to the world.
The New Mexico Ballet Company was founded in 1972 with the intent “to provide a means of study and an opportunity for advancement for dancers throughout New Mexico,” according to its website. It was also during this year that NMBC staged the first Nutcracker production in the state accompanied by a live full orchestra. It has continued to this day with the company presenting “The Nutcracker Ballet” annually.
NMBC Executive Director Emily Fine said that “The Nutcracker Ballet” is one of the largest productions in the state of New Mexico.
“It is a huge cast, a huge crew, and in the biggest theater as well,” Fine said. “Technically speaking, it is a very, very difficult and complex production so we have over 30 crew members just to handle props, scene changes, everything. There are also over 200 artists in the show when you add in the musicians.”
The artists also include the ballet dancers who prepare for weeks, if not months, in advance to put together “The Nutcracker Ballet.”
The final preparations can only be witnessed backstage as the dancers anticipate the big reveal to the audience. It is backstage where the dedication of the ballet dancers shines through.
“[As a ballet dancer] you have to be completely devoted and it takes an enormous amount of time,” Fine said. “You can’t dabble in ballet. You have to be disciplined, but you will gain so many life skills like self-esteem, teamwork, cooperation, independence. It is wonderful.”
The backstage moments of “The Nutcracker Ballet” may not be visible to many people who attend the production, but they are the precursors to the onstage moments and are just as important. They are translated onto the stage, being carried throughout the performance with the sole intention to put on a show.
“Our primary focus is entertainment. We always take that into consideration that we want to entertain the audience and when you do that you usually can’t go wrong,” Fine said.
Mustafa Mudada is a freshman athlete at UNM, majoring in criminal justice. His usual day consists of waking up at 5:45 a.m., eating a little snack, getting ready, taking the bus, going to the locker room and changing into his workout clothes and arriving at the training room to stretch around 7 a.m. Some students believe that athletes get benefits and don’t work hard, Mudada said.
“Well, most people see being an athlete as being lazy, school isn’t hard, and we get by with all kinds of stuff. But realistically, being an athlete is like work, reporting to our practice is like going to a job, but we like it though, and there is so much more pressure added to it,” Mudada said.
Mudada gets home around 10 p.m., with only about seven hours to sleep before it is time to get up again and start over.
He hopes to run and represent his mother’s country, Sierra Leone, in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Mudada said he will continue to strive toward his goal and enjoy each day.
For a photographer, the most important thing is to be able to capture moments. In sports, these are the little things that may not be part of the action, but are still part of the game. I’ve learned that the lack of newsworthiness in certain photos doesn’t have to mean that those photos lack importance. Sometimes, it’s necessary to step back and appreciate a frame — not for what it adds to the article, but for what feelings and emotions it projects on its own.
Skyler Watkins said his love of metal came from his parents. He said his mother bought him his first guitar when he was in eighth grade.
“I started learning early Metallica songs,” Watkins said, “I learned “Kill ‘Em All” and that’s what taught me the guitar.”
Skyler Watkins is the lead guitarist of local thrash metal band the Conjuring, a group that has been together for less than a year The quartet includes 33-year-old bassist/vocalist Nick Linke, 21-year-old lead guitarist Watkins, 21-year-old rhythm/lead guitarist Jerry Parras and his younger brother 16-year-old drummer John Parras.
All band members are influenced by old school thrash, death and traditional heavy metal bands such as Metallica, Kreator, Death and Pantera.
”That’s what made me want to play bass really was Cliff Burton,” Linke said, referring to Metallica’s late bassist, “I thought that shit was awesome.”
Jerry Parras said he got his start while playing in his middle school orchestra.
“One day I wanted to play guitar, so I bought a guitar and taught myself what I learned on the violin,” Parras said.
His younger brother, John, said he got his start in music at home.
“I think I got my first drum set when I was about 9 maybe,” John Parras said, “Ever since then I just self-taught myself how to play.”
Watkins said the group’s name comes from the fact that all band members are from different towns in states including New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The band is currently working on its first album, which Linke said should be out sometime in 2014. Linke said he hopes to get an EP out before that.
“Right now we’re trying to get our recording studio finished, up and running pretty much,” he said.
Linke also said after their debut album is done next year, the Conjuring will go on tour for the next couple of years and hopefully end up in California.
The band says that the best show in their time together was when they opened for Overkill at the Sunshine Theater in February of this year.
“We weren’t even a band for a year yet and then they called us for that show,” Watkins said.
Even though the members of the Conjuring haven’t been together for too long, they still have some advice for newer bands.
“Do it for the right reasons,” Watkins said, “because if you’re in it for … just to get laid or just to be cool or because you want to fit in or something like that, this isn’t your thing.”
UNM advanced to the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight after capturing a 2-0 victory over Penn State during the Sweet Sixteen round at the UNM Soccer Complex on Dec. 1
The last day of the New Mexico Thanksgiving Tournament ends with the Lobos beating the Southeast Missouri Red Hawks 73-55.
Craig Neal is now 5-1 as a head coach with New Mexico after defeating San Diego Saturday in the Pit.
The Thanksgiving Tournament started Friday at the Pit. The Lobos battled the Binghamton Bearcats ending in a loss 58-53. The Lobos and the Redhawks will battle Saturday at 7 p.m., for third place in New Mexico’s Thanksgiving Tournament.
UNM advanced to the NCAA tournament’s third round, capturing a 1-0 victory over George Mason University at the UNM Soccer Complex on Nov. 24. The win puts the Lobos into the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 for the third straight year, and its fifth trip since 2005.
The proposed abortion ban was rejected by the majority with most of the votes counted, about 55 percent were against the ban, in favor of the ban were 45 percent.
New Mexico defeated Air Force 45-37 during Heroes Day which paid tribute to military veterans at University Stadium on Nov. 8. Brian Urlacher’s jersey number 44 was officially retired by UNM during a halftime ceremony. He became the first Lobo football player to have his number formally retired by UNM.
The Lobo’s went up against the Alabama A&M Bulldogs Saturday night at the Pit in the season opener. Craig Neal won his first game as head coach with the Lobos 88 – 52. The Lobos wore camouflage jerseys on Saturday and will auctioned them off after the game. The proceeds from the auction will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
No. 44 officially retired during a halftime ceremony Friday night at University Stadium.Urlacher played for four years in the last 90s before becoming one of the top linebackers in the NFL.
The 21st Marigold Parade took place for Day of the Dead festivities on Nov. 3. The theme of the parade this year was “Sin Papeles/Sin Miedo.”
The Southwest Bacon Fest took place at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum on Nov. 2 with over 8,000 bacon lovers in attendance.
The Lobo Howl, a preseason exhibition event held Friday at The Pit. The entrance by the first-year men’s basketball coach drove the 10,158 fans in attendance into a frenzy.
Lobo Howl, a preseason exhibition event held Friday at The Pit.
The material photograph art studio class collaborates to organize an installation show that revolves around the world’s first ever aquascope.
An inside look into the community driven public radio station 89.9FM KUNM. The radio station broadcasts from Oñate Hall at the University of New Mexico.
The Homecoming King and Queen were announced during the UNM vs. UNLV football game at UNM Stadium on Sept 28.