Kelly Archer

Kelly Archer
May 29, 2018 W. Celeste Davis Stragand
Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography
Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography

Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography

Personal. Intimate. Connected. Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement is bringing the internal external in their new piece, Reaching for Hope, A Mountain of We, for the Presenting Denver Dance Festival. The choreographic concept was conceived by Artistic Director Kelly Archer and Artist-in-Residence Judi Daniels.

Daniels is battling Stage IV cancer, which has made her keenly aware of the importance of relationships. She wrote the story, wrote and performs the spoken word, and writes and directs the films for Chadash performances. David Wilton composed the music.

The stories underneath, the stories of the dancers and of Archer’s choreography, are now shaping the work’s evolution. During rehearsal, the dancers provide feedback. With 10 performers, this adds many layers.

Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography

Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography

Reaching for Hope, A Mountain of We is about our interpersonal relationships and connections; it is about supporting one another in life. The fact that this is an all-female piece adds another layer to the conversation about life and how easy it is to become isolated. Throughout the journey — if we truly see each other and really support each other – there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

According to Archer, “dance is so powerful – it involves body, soul and spirit. I think it is the only art form that encompasses the whole human to such a degree. Some things cannot be expressed in words and can be expressed in movement. This allows us to connect in such a visceral way that is transformative.”

Find your connection by watching Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement on June 23 and 24 at the Presenting Denver Dance Festival.


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!

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