n 1938 Lincoln Ellsworth commissioned Aaron Copland to create a ballet based on the legend of Billy the Kid. The choreography was done by Eugene Loring; it is still being danced today. The libretto for the ballet is inspired but it is not based on historical events. However, there was a gunfight at a place called Blazer's Mill (about 2 hours from Santa Fe) in which two men were killed, Andrew "Buckshot" Roberts and Dick Brewer. This gunfight took place on April 5, 1878. A year and a half later a posse of lawmen led by Pat Garrett captured Billy. On their way back towards Las Vegas, NM, they spent the night at Blazer's Mill. The lawmen asked Billy about the gunfight and apparently, Billy stood up, handcuffed and unarmed, and did a pantomime of the gunfight, using his hands like they were pistols as little kids do, with the index finger as the barrel and the thumb as the gun's hammer. So basically Billy did a type of performance dance for the lawmen. So I decided to combine these two things, the dance (ballet) but use it to tell the true story of Billy's short, and ill-fated career as an outlaw. This is the first in a series, with each scene being danced as if in a theater. In "Hat Dance" you can see the spotlight shining down from above Billy's head.