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Ballet Nouveau Colorado
Ballet Nouveau Colorado - Love Magnified
Every February - close to Valentines Day - Ballet Nouveau Colorado (BNC) presents an engaging concert about "love" and all of its nuances - both good and bad with an emphasis on good. This year Garrett Ammon's choreography, in "Love in the Digital Age," examines how that love manifests itself in our computer dominated age of instant connections, and things like FaceBook friends - some of which may seem like love. In his process Ammon once again uses not only his abilities as a choreographer, but also his abilities in visual arts and collaboration, finding online sources of music and text and working with their creators to build a work of art. He defines finding that music as "sort of an internet journey with no particular destination in mind, but during which you discover wonderful things." I see the resulting concert as reflecting that, i.e., a journey to no particular destination but including wonderful things.
BNC's program for this concert lists over twenty internet sources for the sound tracks used for the concert, and there are as many "sections" of dance. In almost all those "sections" love duets develop, some arising out of, or being joined with ensemble dances with up of to ten dancers. The duets vary from humorous and brief encounters - you're checking me out and I am checking you out and lets move on - to tender intertwining love explorations in movement, to explosive orgasmic love that bursts forth only to collapse in release on the floor. At times duets by Meredith Strathmeyer and Damien Patterson dominate, due both to Ammon's spatial choices, and to their presence. One all-to-short duet by look-alikes Julie King and Sarah Tallman is delightful even as it is swept up in yet another ensemble. Ammon's use of the music - which varies from almost country western to almost traditional ballad - is wide-ranging. At times he totally ignores it and stages an enchanting duet that exists in and of itself. At other times he chooses one aspect to ignore, like articulation or meter, while capturing dynamic or something else. And then you realize in some sections he just embraces it all.
Although projections are at times vibrating and huge Ammon and his programmer collaborator, Kris Collins, almost always avoid audience having to decide whether to focus on the video projections or the dance. They do that in numerous ways, which include creative melding of the two so that choice is not necessary, or by various uses of stillness in the dances to allow space for the projections.
Other dancers in this work not mentioned above are Marian Faustino, Julia Meng, Bob Delony, Colby Foss, Brandon Freeman, and Corbin Kalinowski. All are outstanding, and BNC dancers can really make anything look good. But, Ammon's choreography - although at times repetitive - makes them all look stunning. Vance McKenzie's lighting sculpts all the dancers well, and Rachael Kras costumes are just right - accentuating beauty and love without upstaging the dance.
Next weekend (February 10 - 12, 2012) "Love in the Digital Age" moves to the Pinnacle Center in Federal Hights. See http://bncdance.com/company/box-office/individual-tickets/ for ticket information.
Donald K. Atwood
© Copyright World Dance Reviews 2012