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Ballet Nouveau Colorado Opens Its 2011-12 Season

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Saturday evening (9/17), I attended a performance of Ballet Nouveau Colorado's season opener, Intersection. This was the second performance of a 6-performance, 2-weekend run. BNC premiered Intersection a couple of years ago, and I attended 3 or 4 performances of it back then.

Intersection is a combination of dance (more modern than ballet) and pre-filmed video sequences accompanied by not only some of the greatest piano music ever written but by a collection of 13 poems written specifically for the production. Some of the poetry is in the background, along with the music, but some of it is also recited by dancers. The gist of the story is that a boy who is due to graduate from high school in a month decides that he is fed up with his life and walks to a freeway and hitchhikes to who knows where. The show mostly deals with the reactions of various people in his life to his disappearance, in particular the police officer from the Missing Persons Bureau who now begins to have flashbacks to his own rebellious youth spent in the wilderness in Utah and finds himself having to face up to some level of discontent with his own life.

I've always found both the story and the production really interesting. Poetry and dance can really work well together. But it didn't have the same impact on me as the first time around. Perhaps I know the story too well, or perhaps it was because in order to accomodate (sp?) the preference of my accomplice for the evening I sat up front (2nd row), which I don't like to do. The dancing was crisp and flawless, with no obvious bobbles.

One thing that caught my attention was the turnover among the dancers. Three of the 5 male dancers and 2 of the 6 female dancers from last year's roster are not with the company this year (plus there is an additional dancer apparently on maternity leave). Since they added a 6th male dancer (to replace a dancer who left after the 2009-10 season), that meant that 7 of the 12 dancers in the production were in their first production with BNC.

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The poet, Michael J. Henry, wrote an article on his perspective of the work in the Huffington Post:


I guess what intrigued me most about the work was that there was no finality. It was left to everyone in the audience to come up with their own finish to the story. I kept searching for clues as to how the poet and the choreographer envisioned things turning out, and wondering whether they were intended as clues or not.

My math isn't very good. There were actually 14 dancers involved. I didn't count the 2 boys from their dance school who played the police officer's sons.

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