by: Farzad Farrokhnia
There is a story behind just about every cocktail. Ballets with a Twist is giving audiences the opportunity to build on those stories with a spectacle of dance and ballet. Choreographed by Artistic Director, Marilyn Klaus, the company is bringing their innovative show, Cocktail Hour, not only to El Paso but to Texas for the first time on Jan. 30 and with it, they’re bringing one of their stars home.
Michael Dominguez joined the NYC-based company of Ballets with a Twist as a soloist in 2011. Dominguez says he has been dancing for as long as he can remember. Here in El Paso, he performed with the El Paso Playhouse, Music Theater El Paso and was a featured dancer in VIVA! El Paso. His professional training took him from UTEP to West Texas A&M, where he acted as captain of the university’s Dance Ensemble and ballet master of the Lone Star Ballet. His career continued to take him to greater and greater heights, performing with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Ballet Mississippi, and the El Paso Opera.
Dominguez has been dancing his whole life so, to him, dance is not a career. “Growing up here, I feel like I was introduced to a lot of different styles of dance and different ways of performing. Indoor, outdoor, in schools—things like that. I feel like I was given the opportunity to do this and now I feel like I’m able to show other students that I’m still dancing.” Dominguez wants to show students that it is possible to build a career out of a passion.
During his most recent holiday trip to the Sun City, Dominguez paid a visit to the class his mother teaches at a school in Clint to demonstrate some dance routines for their yearly talent show. taught his mother’s class some routines for their yearly talent show. It’s something he tries to do whenever he comes home for a visit. Now, he has the opportunity to share Cocktail Hour with the city he loves.
There’s more involved in Cocktail Hour than just ballet and alcohol. The show also revolves around the history of cocktails. “It goes beyond that into the celebration of American Artwork,” explained Aengus Ortiz, a native of the Southwest and also a featured dancer in Cocktail Hour. “Influenced by spirits, not just alcohol but also the spirits of life in general.”
Among the many historical cocktails they’ll be bringing to the Plaza Theatre is the Margarita, which they’ll be performing for the first time ever on tour here in El Paso. It’s the perfect place for the tour debut of the piece since El Paso is actually one of the many purported birthplaces of the legendary drink.