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Ballet Nouveau Colorado's "A Dangerous Laison"

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Last weekend (Nov. 9-11) was the second and final weekend of Ballet Nouveau Colorado's production of A Dangerous Laison. The "Laison" comes from the collaboration between BNC and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, which provided live music for the production. The program consisted of 2 dances, each in the 40-45 minute range.

The first (unfortunately, I seem to have lost my program) was choreographed by longtime dancer BNC Sarah Tallman (who quite clearly is neither tall nor a man). and set to snippets of about 10 works by Vivaldi. It was apparently about a man who settled down on his sofa to do some serious couch potatoing, while other characters engaged in all sorts of shenanigans around him, much of which he was obvious to. It didn't come off as terribly original, and there was a little too much running around the stage and jumping on and off the sofa and too little real dancing for my taste.

The second piece was choreographed by BNC artistic director Garrett Ammon and set to music by some Baroque composer that I had never heard of (if I ever find my program...). This piece was set circa 1950 and centered around 5 wimpy guys who were obsessed with their hats and the 5 women who loved to tease them. After a slow start, it degenerated into some actual classical ballet, which has become rare for BNC.

At first view, on Friday, I thought that it was one of the most boring programs that I had ever seen. The stories, especially in the first piece, were not terribly original, and after watching the Colorado Ballet's Sleeping Beauty and Pertrouchka it was difficult to get excited about the relatively simple choreography. My opinion was rather obviously not shared by the rest of the audience, who responded enthusiastically to it. I decided that it must have been a bad day for me, so I went back on Sunday to give BNC a second chance. At that performance, I upgraded my evaluation to a solid "OK". As is usual for me, there was a lot that I missed the first time around.

One thing that annoyed me even on the second trip is that the BCOC stopped in the middle of each piece to spend several minutes tuning. Both choreographers put in a humorous little section to fill in the tuning break, but it still disrupted the continuity of the dances. I asked a friend who is a violinist in a major early music ensemble about this and she said that while baroque instruments do go out of tune faster than modern instruments because of the gut strings, it was hard to imagine an orchestra not being able to adjust.

After Sunday's performance, I went up to Boulder to attend a benefit show for an aspiring young dancer who has danced with some several minor companies in Colorado, most recently the Boulder Ballet, who was struck by a car while walking home from a class at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy in Denver. Unfortunately, I surmised that her professional dance career is likely over, as she has not fully regained consciousness after more than 3 weeks. The program, which contained brief performances by dancers from 8 or 9 local companies, was interesting. There were several modern dance pieces that seem to have been taken from karate or kung fu forms and a beautiful performance of Sandra Brown's One By One by Chandra Kuykendall and Dmitri Trubchanov from the CB. The Zikr Sacred Dance Ensemble's performance of an exercise from G. I. Gurdjieff seemed to perplex the Boulder audience, which surprised me as I thought that Boulderites would really get into the unconventional spirituality. Anyway, they raised over $6,000.

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After Sunday's performance, I went up to Boulder to attend a benefit show for an aspiring young dancer who has danced with some several minor companies in Colorado, most recently the Boulder Ballet, who was struck by a car while walking home from a class at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy in Denver. Unfortunately, I surmised that her professional dance career is likely over, as she has not fully regained consciousness after more than 3 weeks. The program, which contained brief performances by dancers from 8 or 9 local companies, was interesting. There were several modern dance pieces that seem to have been taken from karate or kung fu forms and a beautiful performance of Sandra Brown's One By One by Chandra Kuykendall and Dmitri Trubchanov from the CB. The Zikr Sacred Dance Ensemble's performance of an exercise from G. I. Gurdjieff seemed to perplex the Boulder audience, which surprised me as I thought that Boulderites would really get into the unconventional spirituality. Anyway, they raised over $6,000.

There will be another benefit performance on January 19. This one will include additional dance companies who weren't able to participate in the November 11 performance.

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This might have been the last thread that I start for Ballet Nouveau Colorado, because in March they are renaming both the performance company and their school, to Wonderbound and Colorado Conservatory of Dance, respectively. The HQ will move from Broomfield (in the far northwest corner of the Denver metro area) to just east of downtown Denver while the school will remain at its present location.

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After Sunday's performance, I went up to Boulder to attend a benefit show for an aspiring young dancer who has danced with some several minor companies in Colorado, most recently the Boulder Ballet, who was struck by a car while walking home from a class at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy in Denver. Unfortunately, I surmised that her professional dance career is likely over, as she has not fully regained consciousness after more than 3 weeks. The program, which contained brief performances by dancers from 8 or 9 local companies, was interesting. There were several modern dance pieces that seem to have been taken from karate or kung fu forms and a beautiful performance of Sandra Brown's One By One by Chandra Kuykendall and Dmitri Trubchanov from the CB. The Zikr Sacred Dance Ensemble's performance of an exercise from G. I. Gurdjieff seemed to perplex the Boulder audience, which surprised me as I thought that Boulderites would really get into the unconventional spirituality. Anyway, they raised over $6,000.

There will be another benefit performance on January 19. This one will include additional dance companies who weren't able to participate in the November 11 performance.

I'm looking forward to tonight's performance, since there will be 15 companies participating. Unfortunately, the money that will be raised will just be a drop in the bucket, since the total medical bills will likely be in the quarter of a million dollar range. It was gracious of Ballet Nouveau Colorado to offer to host the performance, since Amy Hollinger has no connections to BNC.

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I'm looking forward to tonight's performance, since there will be 15 companies participating. Unfortunately, the money that will be raised will just be a drop in the bucket, since the total medical bills will likely be in the quarter of a million dollar range. It was gracious of Ballet Nouveau Colorado to offer to host the performance, since Amy Hollinger has no connections to BNC.

This one raised about $9,000, including the sale of paintings by Any Hollinger's mother (who is quite good - if I was in better financial shape, I might have bid on one of them).

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