Following Colorado Ballet’s wildly popular and sold-out production of The Wizard of Oz, which came about as a result of an international collaboration, the company’s next program – Tour de Force – showcases a local collaboration with acclaimed Denver dance companies Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Wonderbound.
The program will open with a new work The MOVE/ment choreographed by Parker Robinson to jazz and soul music, followed by Colorado Ballet performing Amy Seiwert’s Traveling Alone, and will close with a new work choreographed by Wonderbound artistic director Garrett Ammon to Beethoven’s Creatures of Prometheus.
This local collaboration elevates the spirit of unity, inclusion and diversity in Denver’s dance scene and sets an example for other dance organizations across the nation. Colorado Ballet’s Tour de Force exemplifies the amazing ways in which dance crosses boundaries and holds the power to unite artists from different backgrounds and styles, thus creating a positive environment in which the performing arts can thrive.
Three years ago, Colorado Ballet artistic director Gil Boggs decided to create a collaborative program that would feature three of Denver’s prominent dance companies working together to create new contemporary works. After juggling production, rehearsal and performance schedules of all three companies, this dream will finally come to fruition next month when Colorado Ballet presents Tour de Force at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, March 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional performances at 2 p.m. March 9 and 10.
“Both Cleo Parker Robinson and Garrett Ammon were very excited about the idea from the moment we started the conversation and started thinking about what they were going to choreograph for this program,” stated Boggs. With the added advantage of combining companies, these new works will feature a larger number of dancers on the stage with about 20 to 25 dancers.
In discussing her work, Parker Robinson stated, “This is an incredible opportunity to bring a diversity of dancers, in both culture and genre, together to create a work that is reflective of these powerful times in our community and the world. The arts have always been a powerful catalyst for positive social transformation. This project is an inspiring representation of this collective vision.”
In creating this program, Boggs wanted Colorado Ballet dancers to have direct exposure to different dance styles to enrich their professional experience. “Dancers from all three companies have developed new friendships while experiencing the joy of collaborating together, and there is mutual respect in the room. Dancers love to create, and as long as they are creating…as long as it’s a good and healthy process, they will really enjoy it and get something out of it.”
“With my new work, Creatures of Prometheus, I wanted to put the talents and capacities of Colorado Ballet and Wonderbound artists on full display,” stated Wonderbound artistic director Garrett Ammon. “By fusing the aesthetics of the two companies into a single whole, the work looks to embrace a wide range of the human experience—from refinement and elegance to eccentricity and primal expression. The entire creative process was deeply gratifying—the two companies engaged the project with enthusiasm and each other with the deepest respect. The outcome is a work that—rather than highlighting our differences— expresses our shared humanity.”
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