THE INNER HUMAN
Principal dancer, resident guest artist, choreographer, athlete: Gregory Gonzales has worn many hats, all of which revolve around movement. For the 2018 Presenting Denver Dance Festival, Gonzales directs four dancers — including himself — in a moving new piece that functions as an exploration of the evolution of darkness into light. Working with music from Derrick Hamley, Gonzales took the all-piano melody and began to explore its range.
Starting rather macabre, the modal key changes vary and contain elements of surprise interspersed with rays of sunshine. Dancing en pointe and using contemporary style, the performers work with a proscenium front.
According to Gonzales, “it’s in our darker stories that we connect to the inner human. The darkness can create the pressure for growth. This is where we connect.” One wonders: If darkness/struggle/obstacles provides the “where” of connection, perhaps growth/art/progress is the “how.”
Building from experience with one another as dancers and pulling from each others’ expertise, the quartet embodies movement configurations at a swift pace. Gonzales is continually revising and reformatting the evolving piece. His goal? To “try each day to put the ego aside to understand ‘what will serve’ based on the space, dancers, music.”
As an audience, we look forward to setting the self aside to delve into the darkness, swing from the rays of sunshine and lose ourselves in the mellifluous piano that will caress our ears during Gonzales’s piece at the Presenting Denver Dance Festival on June 23 and 24.
W. Celeste Davis Stragand: Published author, showcased artist and Denver transplant, W. Celeste Davis Stragand is not new to the art world. Her passion for delving into the root of existence and movement will challenge and praise both choreographers and the audience. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Celeste holds two bachelor of arts degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in English. She is also a graduate of Naropa University holding a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. A former national slam team poet, Celeste is a graduate of the Downtown Denver Partnership Leadership Program, sits on the Programs Committee for Women’s Transportation Seminar and works for Denver Regional Council of Governments managing their Way to Go Program (www.waytogo.org)providing mobility options for those in the Denver region. Her passion and enthusiasm for the kinetic arts will frolic and frenzy through the upcoming season of performances with many hopes for an encore!