Bring Your A-Game

If you’re driven by a competitive spirit and love to show it on fresh powder, then New Mexico’s ski areas are the places to be in January. Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort hosts its annual Telemark Festival (Jan. 18), which kicks off with beginner and intermediate telemarking workshops and ends with the Freeheel Fray, a race open to skiers, snowshoers, split boarders, and pretty much anyone who’s got what it takes to ascend the mountain after the lifts close and race back down. In between, discover Sipapu’s hidden-terrain gems on a guided telemark tour of the area (800- 587-2240; Ski Apache, in Ruidoso, hosts the Vertical Challenge GPS Competition (Jan. 18), which pits teams against each other to see which can log the most vertical feet in four hours using GPS technology (800-545-9011; At Windy Point, 12 miles north of Chama, join in the Chama Chile Ski Classic (Jan. 18–19), which includes ski and snowshoe tours, telemark clinics, a costume contest, a chile cook-off, and free- and classic- style races. New this year are training courses in dog-harness and canine skijoring—skiing while being pulled by a dog (575-756-2746; Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area’s Low O2 Challenge, in Red River (Jan. 25–26), includes the New Mexico Cup cross-country ski race and USSSA Nationals qualifier snowshoe race. The area’s motto for these events? “Bring an extra lung.” (575) 754-6112;

JANUARY 1, 2, 6, 23

The Pueblos of New Mexico celebrate a number of traditions this month, many of which ring in the New Year and new beginnings. At Jemez Pueblo, residents perform Hispanic and Native versions of the Matachines Dance (Jan. 1), a wondrous ritual rich in symbolic nods to transformation (575-834- 7235; Taos Pueblo presents a Turtle Dance (Jan. 1) to mark the start of the New Year (575-758-1028; On Three Kings Day (Jan. 6)—the day that new officers and governors are installed at most of New Mexico’s 19 Pueblos—Picuris Pueblo celebrates with a ceremonial dance (575-587-2519; indianpueblo. org), and Taos Pueblo presents a traditional Buffalo Dance. San Ildefonso Pueblo’s Feast Day (Jan. 23) honors its patron saint with Buffalo, Comanche, and Deer dances (505-455-2273; indianpueblo. org). For more information and etiquette guidelines, contact the Pueblos or the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. (505) 843-7270;


Red River Ski Area’s College Days (Jan. 5–15) offer discounted lift tickets and rentals to college students with valid school IDs. Take in live music, games, and contests around town, and tons of après-ski celebrating at Red River’s lively restaurants and saloons (575- 754-2223; redriverskiarea. com). College Days coincide with Red River’s Winter Carnival (Jan. 10–12), which includes live music, snowmobile races, a wine-and-beer festival, scavenger hunts, family fun such as snowtubing and winter nighttime constellation hikes, parades, and a fireworks display. Red River Ski Area. (575) 754-2277;


For 14 years, the Tricklock Company of Albuquerque has produced and presented its innovative and provocative Revolutions International Theatre Festival, a three-week, multi-venue festival highlighting performers in many disciplines from around the world. From comedy and dance—and punk-rock clowns—to Parisian mimes, poetry, and solo improv, the festival presents acts that challenge audiences to look at theater in a new light. “While we do bring in a lot of outside performers,” says Juli Hendron, the festival’s curator, “we do include what we call the Reptilian Lounge, which showcases some of Albuquerque’s wildest and most talented comics, monologuists, musicians, and dancers. It happens every Saturday night during the festival.” While the festival presents challenging theater that frequently explores mature themes, organizers also include family-friendly productions, such as puppet acts. (505) 254-8393;


Great classical music can be found in every corner of the state, and January is chock-full of choice concerts. The town of Artesia’s Ocotillo Performing Arts Center welcomes youthful California ensemble Bunnell Strings (Jan. 11), a quintet of siblings who blend pop, classical, and rock in a show that’s fun for the whole family (575-746-4212; In Hobbs, the Southwest Symphony presents Music from Around the World (Jan. 13), a concert at Tydings Auditorium featuring classical guitarist Joaquín Rodrigo (575-738-1041; Alamogordo’s Flickinger Center for Performing Arts hosts the New Mexico Philharmonic (Jan. 17) as part of its annual Premier Series (575-437-2202; In Artesia, the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center welcomes Santa Fe–based classical guitarist Roberto Capocchi (Jan. 18). The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra presents Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, “Romantic” (Jan. 19), at Santa Fe’s grand Lensic Performing Arts Center (505- 988-1234; Santa Fe Pro Musica hits the Lensic stage for its Classical Weekend (Jan. 25–26), featuring violinist Cármelo de los Santos. The New Mexico Philharmonic makes its way to Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre (Jan. 26) for a concert-and-discussion program, Introduction to the Classics: Brahms Chamber Music (505- 323-4343; At Gallup High School’s Kenneth Holloway Auditorium (Jan. 26–27), La Catrina Quartet performs Mexican and Latin American string music. (505) 862-3939;


Formed in 1994 to play at rallies and fundraisers, the 12-person, Portland, Oregon–based ensemble Pink Martini muddles a deliciously fizzy tumbler of swinging international pop styles. The constantly touring band, conceived by classically trained pianist (and former budding career politician) Thomas Lauderdale, blends cocktail-friendly classics from bygone eras with modern world-pop twists, to lend the music a delightfully timeless quality. “Taking in a Pink Martini show is also like taking a trip around the world, because they sing in many different languages,” says Jamie Lenfestey of Heath Concerts, which presents Pink Martini at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, in Santa Fe, with guest chanteuse Storm Large.
(505) 988-1234;

Three-time Grammy winner Ralph Stanley has earned the title Elder Statesman of Appalachian Music many times over in his 86 years, but now it’s time to say adiós to the road, where he’s spent about 100 days of almost every year ever since he began touring. Southwest Roots Music presents Stanley, whose farewell tour is an 80-date marathon to the finish line. The man who brought his soulful version of “Oh, Death” to the soundtrack of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?—beating out Tim McGraw, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Ryan Adams for a Best Male Country Vocal Performance at the 2002 Grammy Awards—hits the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, along with his Clinch Mountain Boys. (505) 988-1234;



Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake has been an enduring classic since its premiere at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, in 1877. Based on popular Russian folk tales and ancient German legends, the ballet tells the story of Odette, a beautiful princess who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. Founded in 1989 by two veterans of the Bolshoi, Maris Liepa and Sergei Radchenko, the Moscow Festival Ballet keeps Tchaikovsky’s romantic masterpiece alive by touring it around the globe. The company, which specializes in 20th-century full-length ballets and employs top dancers from throughout Russia,
lands at Albuquerque’s Popejoy Hall for a one-night-only performance of Swan Lake.
(505) 277-8010;