As age-old holiday traditions are rekindled this season, the newest ballet company on campus will present choreography to a mix of classic Christmas melodies and more contemporary tunes.

A Winter Wonderland

Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Arthur Miller Theatre
Tickets $5

In its second semester on campus, Salto Dance Company, composed of nine female students from different disciplines, will pirouette and jeté as Sugarplum fairies, Spanish hot chocolate, Arabian coffee and other personified characters from “The Nutcracker” in their “A Winter Wonderland” performance. Salto’s first-ever holiday show will feature music from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” as well as other holiday songs, and will incorporate a contemporary dance style known as lyrical. Lyrical uses the techniques of ballet as a foundation but differs in that it incorporates modern dance and contemporary styles as well.

“When we started the group, we sort of had the concept of the winter show to be half ‘Nutcracker,’ half regular, more lyrical of a show,” said Anna Badalian, an LSA junior and Salto’s co-founder.

According to Badalian, the first half of the show will showcase selections from the second act of “The Nutcracker,” leaving out the ballet’s iconic party and battle scenes. The second act of “A Winter Wonderland” will be more contemporary.

“Most of the dance groups on campus are more purely lyrical and we wanted a ballet component because we both come from ballet backgrounds,” Badalian said, referring to co-founder Lizzi Shea, a senior in the School of Nursing. “We wanted to dance and put on shows, and we couldn’t do that through the School of Music, Theatre & Dance because we’re in LSA, so we started our own group.”

Badalian said many dance groups at the University perform one big show a year along with smaller appearances at different events. But Salto aims to produce a show each semester. So far the group has met that goal.

“We do a lot of numbers. We’ve only had two shows, but the amount of numbers we’ve had is really ambitious,” Badalian said. “The big group numbers have everyone in them, so we’re constantly dancing and never have a break.”

“We’re still small and still growing,” she added.

Just as with its first show, Salto will give a portion of the ticket sales to charity. According to LSA sophomore Aimée Vester, the company will donate this semester’s proceeds to the Jackson School of the Arts, an organization that offers art classes to children without such opportunities. This and the inspiration behind “A Winter Wonderland” are both deeply tied to the identity of Salto.

“I feel like this show really encompasses who we are as a group. We all have ballet backgrounds but we also enjoy lyrical,” Badalian said. “The first half is going back to our roots — really ballet oriented dances — and the second half is like our future as dancers.”

“It’s what to look out for from Salto,” Vester added.

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