Nevada Ballet Theatre and Cirque blend their talents for the fifth ‘Choreographers’ Showcase’

Leisha Knight, an acrobat in Love, is choreographing the show this year.
Thomas Muscionico

The theater is dark, the chairs empty as a violinist pulls out the first strains of “America the Beautiful” on a raised platform above the stage. Next to her, three dancers lunge and stretch, twirling their arms and circling their heads in near unison to the sounds of the instrument. By the time the choreographer’s voice comes over the speakers and redirects the cast, I’ve almost forgotten this is a rehearsal.

This weekend, dancers from Nevada Ballet Theatre and artists from Cirque du Soleil will take the Viva Elvis stage together for the fifth annual Choreographers’ Showcase, a collaboration that pairs the two companies for original numbers choreographed by the people who usually do the performing, whether in toe shoes and leotards or otherworldly makeup and more leotards.


Choreographers' Showcase
June 9-10, 1 p.m., $20-$40
Viva Elvis Theater at Aria, 590-7760

“It’s been such a fantastic opportunity to return to the roots in a way,” says Love acrobat Leisha Knight, choreographing at this year’s Showcase after performing in it the past two years. For Knight, the goal was to watch her dancers and try to create “our movement based on their strongest skills. We want to highlight them.”

That will mean a show packed with strength, flexibility, energy and agility—one that gives performers and choreographers alike a break from their day jobs and a chance to try something new. And with original numbers filling the bill, it will be new for the audiences, as well. As Knight says, “It’s going to be a beautiful day.”

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