Katrina Tamminga - February 23, 2009
Colorado Ballet offers special $10 tickets in response to the economy
Colorado Ballet will feature two world premieres as part of its upcoming production, The Repertory Series, opening March 7 and running through March 21. The new works being performed by Colorado Ballet are choreographed by Edwaard Liang of Morphosesffhe Wheeldon Company and Amy Seiwert of Smuin Ballet, both of whom were named to Dance Magazine's prestigious annual "Top 25 to Watch".
The contemporary dance program will open with Liang's piece, Feast of the Gods, followed by Seiwert's Things Left Unsaid, and will close with famed choreographer Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room. Tharp was recently recognized as one of the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors recipients, which are awarded annually for exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts. Tharp's In The Upper Room is a Colorado Ballet premiere, thus all three works featured in The Repertory Series are new for Denver audiences.
"The Repertory Series is one of my favorite annual productions because we are able to offer our audiences engaging contemporary works that challenge the dancers and excite audiences," said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs. "I am particularly excited to bring new choreography and world premieres to Denver. If you enjoyed Colorado Ballet's debut at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, I urge you to not miss this spectacular dance featured in The Repertory Series."
Liang's Feast of the Gods celebrates the passion and history of a band of traveling gypsies. The music, Ancient Airs and Dances, was composed by the famed Italian, Ottorino Respighi. A former principal dancer with New York City Ballet (NYCB), Liang currently works as a dancer and freelance choreographer with Morphosesffhe Wheeldon Company, which was featured at the Vail International Dance Festival in 2008. Liang danced with NYCB until 2001, when he joined the Broadway cast of Fosse, and danced with the Nederlands Dans Theater. He has choreographed for NYCB, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, National Ballet of Norway and the Guggenheim's Works and Process.
In Things Left Unsaid, Seiwert has created an abstract work featuring six couples. With music by Felix Mendelssohn, the work incorporates group dancing, pas de deux, trios, and men and women sections. Seiwert recently retired as a dancer from Smuin Ballet and currently is the resident choreographer with the company in San Francisco. She also has her own dance company, "im-ij-re." During her tenure as a dancer, Seiwert was a protege of the late Michael Smuin who Colorado Ballet's Boggs has known for some time.
"I have great respect for Michael Smuin and his legacy," said Boggs. "Featuring a new work by Amy Seiwert, a young and talented choreographer mentored by Michael, is in some way, a tribute to him."
Tharp's In The Upper Room debuted in 1986 and has since gone on to be danced by companies worldwide. The work features two groups of dancers - the "ballet people" and the "stompers"two juxtaposing groups, which together, create a highly rhythmic and intense work. The music, composed by Philip Glass, bring the two contrasting styles of dance together beautifully. Tharp's impressive career spans four decades during which she has created 135 works, choreographed five movies, written two best-selling books, won a Tony Award and a couple Emmys, received 19 honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, a MacArthur fellowship, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts and the 2008 Jerome Robbins Award. In 1965 Tharp founded Twyla Tharp Dance and has choreographed for many companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
In addition to seven ticketed performances of The Repertory Series, Colorado Ballet will also present a student matinee on March 6 for children from area schools.
Ticket Prices range from $10 - $129. To purchase tickets for The Repertory Series please call 303-837-8888, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Colorado Ballet's Web site at www.coloradoballet.org.