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The Mimbres Region Arts Council will present the spectacular Rhythm of the Dance, at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. The performance, which features a live band, 22 dancers and three tenors, all in authentic costumes, takes the audience on an epic journey from ancient mythology to the travels of the Irish emigrants, and from the rolling hills of Connemara to the modern skyscrapers of New York. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members, $10 for tickets in blocks of 10 or more, and $5 for students with ID. To purchase tickets, visit www.mimbresarts.org, or call the Arts Council at 575-538-2505.

SILVER CITY — Wednesday's performance of the Rhythm of the Dance looks like it could sell out all 990 seats in WNMU's Fine Arts Theater - a first in a number of years. Part of the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Performance Series, the production by the National Dance Company of Ireland the is the largest that the Arts Council has brought to the WNMU stage in a number of years, Arts Council Director Faye McCalmont said.

The two-hour music and dance extravaganza features a live band, three tenors and 22 dancers in authentic costumes and traces the history of the Celts, taking the audience on an epic journey through the ages, from ancient mythology to the travels of the Irish emigrants, from the rolling hills and stonewalls of Connemara all the way to the modern skyscrapers of New York, with some surprises along the way.

"We've sold 800 tickets so far," said marketing director Renee Whipple. "We're getting calls from Deming and Lordsburg, as well as many of the smaller towns like Glenwood."

"The phone has been ringing off the hook," McCalmont said. "The show appeals to all ages. I'm really excited to be able to bring this opportunity to the community."

The show combines high-energy music, with it's driving beats and toe-tapping rhythms, with the most up-to-date stage technology, for a spectacular and lively performance. The show has been performed in 51 countries and made its way across four continents.

Director/Producer Kieran Cavanagh, choreographer Doireann Carney and composer Carl Hession continually tweak and intensify the beats and passion at the heart of the Rhythm of the Dance to keep the show fresh and exciting. Director/Producer Cavanagh's roster of concert successes include sell out tours with Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Van Morrison, and Kris Kristofferson, to name a few. Composer Hession is regarded as one of traditional Irish music's finest accompanist, composers and arrangers today, and choreographer Carney was a dancer in the phenomenal "Riverdance - The Show," and has been dancing professionally since her early teens. She finished her touring career with Rhythms of Ireland on an extensive tour of Australia with Lord of the Dance's Michael Donnellan.Ê

The performance frequently plays to sold-out audiences around the world, with audiences members ranging from ages eight to 80, and ends in standing ovations.

Quite a number of people have taken advantage of the group pricing, said Linda Gray, Arts Council Office Manager. Tickets sold in blocks of 10 or more are just $10 and many businesses have bought blocks of tickets, she said.

"One person came in and said they wanted seven tickets," she said. "That's $140. I said, "you can get ten for $100."

The performance will also play at 1 p.m. Wednesday in a Youth Outreach Performance to nearly 500 students from area schools including Sixth Street Elementary, Calvary Christian, Jose Barrios, the Montessori Guadalupe, and Aldo Leopold High School. Gray said quite a few home school students will also be in attendance.

The performance will have an earlier start time than most Arts Council Performances, McCalmont noted, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The inside doors to the theater will open at 6:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Western New Mexico University and Gila Regional Medical Center, with additional sponsorship from WESTAF, Silver City Radio and Holiday Inn Express. For more information or tickets, call The Mimbres Region Arts Council at 575-538-2505, or visit www.mimbresarts.org.

If you go:

What: Rhythm of the Dance, two-hour music and dance extravaganza featuring a live band, three tenors and 22 dancers in authentic costumes

When: 7 p.m. (Note earlier start time), Wednesday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre

Cost: $20 for non-members, $15 for members, $10 for tickets in blocks of ten or more, and $5 for students with ID for the evening performance.

Information: 575-538-2505, or visit www.mimbresarts.org.

Christine Steele can be reached at 575-538-5893 ext. 5802.