Ann Reinking has a dancer’s intimate connection to the music of John Kander. She was a chorine in the original Broadway production of Cabaret, which Kander wrote with Fred Ebb; in 1977 she replaced Gwen Verdon as the hard-boiled Roxie Hart in the duo’s Chicago, choreographed and directed by her mentor Bob Fosse; and 20 years later she received a Tony for choreographing Chicago’s revival. Reinking’s Suite Kander (1999), created for Kansas City Ballet, can be read as a double tribute — to the composer and to Fosse. She recently recast the work for members of NDI New Mexico’s preprofessional group, Company XCel — and the piece’s witty, sophisticated style fit them like a second skin. They perform the dance as part of Winter Escape, a showcase for the students of NDI’s after-school program. Allegra Lillard’s ballet Peter and the Wolf offers a kinetic and sonic change of pace. Prokofiev wrote the music and narration for this “introduction to the orchestra” with Grimm overtones in 1936 on a commission from the Moscow Children’s Musical Theater — it was originally performed for an audience of Young Pioneers. Works by Curtis Uhlemann, Fletcher Nickerson, and Erica Gionfriddo round out the program.
Performances take place at 7 p.m on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Dance Barns (1140 Alto St.). Tickets, $11 and $16, may be purchased by calling 505-983-7661 or visiting www.ndi-nm.org.