Reality Dance

Reality Dance
April 11, 2018 Shelly Chapple Clements
Choreography by Olivia Dwyer.
Choreography by Olivia Dwyer.

Choreography by Olivia Dwyer.

SPRINGBreak ChoreoFest got to be a part of kicking off the first night of the 5th annual Boulder Arts Week Celebrate Artists! on March 30 at The Dairy Arts Center.  The performance was organized by T2 Dance Project, a collective led by Erin Tunbridge that creates dance, community, and film projects.  This movement incubator was sponsored by Cindy Brandle Dance Company and Boulder Arts Commission.  

The presentation was brief and bare bones; just stage, music, lights and dancers.  The Grace Gamm \Theater at the Dairy Center is a state-of-the-art, yet intimate, space to enjoy dance and contributed to the informal hour feeling like a reality show.  Art is a process; it’s an evolution of growth that starts before dancer meets dancer in the studio, with a life of inspiration and influence. Critics, audiences, friends and family see the product but almost never the process.  The seven participating choreographers had a scant two and a half hours per day for four days of rehearsal to produce the piece being offered, so this experience was a step inside the beginning of the choreographic practice. The artists entered the week each with an idea, and that idea landed on stage after meeting their dancers in a collision of movement collaboration.  What a rush this type of time frame must have been!

Choreography by Madison Plummer.

Choreography by Madison Plummer.

The style of dance was modern/contemporary with the exception of a ballet piece which opened the show and featured a solo pointe dancer.  The indelible piece of the program was a multimedia, real-time dance experiment that started on the stage and ended in the parking lot. Thoughts of choreographer Olivia Dwyer‘s work linger; she is to be acknowledged for her innovation which, when intentionally defined, fully flourished and clarified, is going to turn heads.   The young choreographer spoke breathlessly about her idea after running down to the stage from the back of the house. She humbly asked for feedback as this was the premiere of the concept in front of an audience; more of the impromptu and informal stuff of which reality shows are made. Each choreographer spoke and each group danced, and in a flash, the hour was over.  

SPRINGBreak ChoreoFest was relevant and purposeful, it was accessible and community directed in a culture that can be competitive and cold.  It was a showcase of potential and possibility. T2 Dance Project offers Second Sundays, inviting dance interested folks to connect and celebrate individuals creating change among us.  The next Second Sunday is on March 11th and details are on the T2 Dance Project website.  Respect, inclusion, awareness, and creativity are alive in the Colorado dance scene.


Shelly Chapple Clements: I was raised in rural Pennsylvania, in Amish Country.  I was drawn to the city of Pittsburgh through dance at the young age of 9 and never looked back.  My dance education took me from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, to the National Academy of Arts in Champagne-Urbana, IL, then back east to graduate from the renowned Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts. After high school I enjoyed a professional modern dance career in San Francisco from 1990-2002.  I am a master instructor for young dancers and currently teach dance in Highlands Ranch and hold the position of Artistic Director of Youth Programs for DAMAGEDANCE. I have been a Colorado resident since 2002 and earned bachelor’s Degrees in Spanish Interpretation and Translation, Hispanic Literature, and Theatre Dance from Colorado Mesa University, and attended the master’s program at the School of Education and Human Development at University of Colorado Denver. I am an academic teacher for Summit Education Group, a public benefit company offering an alternative education platform as well as an ambassador writer for Presenting Denver where my passion for writing gives voice to the dancer who speaks not on the stage.

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