‘Bollywood Ballet’ opens May 11

‘Samsara’ is dancer Britney Brown’s farewell performance

‘Bollywood Ballet’ opens May 11Amy Ertl (center) and other Sierra Academy of Dance students rehearse for “Samsara.” — Photo by Laura Austin

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By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Sierra Academy of Dance’s Indian-themed “Samsara: Bolly-wood Ballet” opens next weekend, May 11, at the Burroughs Parker Performing Arts Center.

“A visual feast is in store for the audience,” said spokesperson Laura Quezada. “Long-time patrons have learned to expect excellent productions from Sierra Academy of Dance, and this ballet will be a delight to them. It’s a colorful, exotic mixture of Bollywood movie themes, Hindu history and pure imagination expressed by dancers of all ages.”

“Samsara” will also be the farewell performance for local dancer, choreographer and assistant instructor Britney Brown.

Brown, 17, has been dancing with Sierra Academy for 13 years and has been a regular local performer for the last several years. In addition to dance, Brown is an accomplished vocalist, pianist and violinist and has performed in recent musical productions with the Community Light Opera and Theatre Association and the Ridgecrest Musical Enrichment Society.

“I am unfortunately leaving Ridgecrest, but it is for college and I could not be more excited for this adventure,” said Brown, who has been accepted as a transfer student to University of California Davis and Los Angeles.

Brown, who has already earned associate degrees in engineering, math and liberal arts, plans to double major in statistics and musical theater.

“I’ll hopefully have the chance to perform in shows while I’m earning my bachelor’s degree. Then I plan on attending graduate school for my master’s or Ph.D. I also really want to travel abroad, so maybe after I turn 19, I will go to Switzerland.

“I will definitely return to Ridgecrest,” she said. “The plan is to come back during the summer, hopefully for a summer internship on base and to be involved with RMES productions.

“Ridgecrest has given me so many opportunities with the schools I’ve attended, the performances I’ve been involved in and the people I’ve met. It always confuses me when people say they can’t wait to leave Ridgecrest, because if I weren’t out here ‘in the middle nowhere,’ I wouldn’t have had all the opportunities and experiences this little desert town provides.”

For this show, Brown choreographed several dances including the main Brahma (the Hindu creator god) dance. Brown was originally only playing the role of the Fire Brahma, but the performance dates shifted because of to a scheduling conflict. She is now performing both the roles of Fire Brahma and Krishna for one night only, Saturday, May 12. Her co-star Brianna Murphey will be playing the roles for the Friday performance.

Performances are at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are at Red Rock Books and at the door for $12 general admission, $10 seniors and children and five and younger free.

Story First Published: 2018-05-04