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Teatro El Grande show goes on in new location

Despite the challenges of high winds and a new location, classically-trained ballerina Jenna McClintock danced last weekend under a partially-shaded portico in “downtown” Tecopa with the same vitality and grace as if she were on a polished auditorium stage.

After strong winds broke the bones of Teatro’s signature big, white tent last September, McClintock was invited to perform in a partially-screened alcove at the opposite end of the historic Tecopa building that houses the Death Valley Brewing Company.

On the other side of the alcove is the Steaks and Beer restaurant.

“Our friends (at the restaurants) invited us to use their location as a place to perform.” McClintock said she has been thinking about taking Teatro on the road, “We thought this would be a good way to practice.”

With a bunting of colorful flags, painted by attendees at the last two Teatro shows, strung around the edges of the portico, a carpet of Astroturf to mark out the stage, and chairs set up with plenty of comfortable foot room, Teatro made itself at home in the new space.

The show, called “Primavera” in honor of the coming of spring, began at an earlier time to provide more natural light and the sound system fit neatly into a corner of the stage.

The “Primavera” show, which will be performed again Friday, March 30 and Saturday night, March 31, is a mixture of “segments from the last three shows, combined to make a complete ballet,” McClintock said.

One notable new addition is a song called “Amargosa Lullaby,” which McClintock wrote while dancing for Marta Becket at the Amargosa Opera House. The song is sung by McClintock and her three young co-stars in the show, while McClintock plays the accordion.

The young performers, Padi Dasi, 10, Sam Fann, 11, and Madi Messer, 10, have been working with McClintock since the last Teatro show in September. Also reappearing in the “Primavera” show is Jim Furlough, who is 6 feet 5 inches, plus top hat, and whose quiet reserve is a perfect complement to McClintock’s sparkle and verve.

“Primavera” included graceful hoop dancing and a solo performance of the country classic “Jolene” by Dasi.

Jim Matsen, playing hand-pan steel drums, and George Leger III, playing guitar to his own sound-blend accompaniment, opened and closed the performances.

Robin Flinchum is a freelance writer and editor living in Tecopa, California.

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