André Breton claimed the Surrealist movement a revolution. This unlocking of the imagination created pathways for artists and writers to push beyond the boundaries originally established within the traditional artistic academy. Belgian, Rene Magritte is well-known for his piece, The Son of Man, where a man’s face is covered by a green apple, and he is wearing a bowler hat. The bowler hat makes a number of appearances in his paintings. It also made an appearance in Sarah Tallman’s world-premiere, Son of Man during Wonderbound’s presentation of Enduring Grace with the Colorado Symphony this closing weekend at the Pinnacle Charter School’s Performing Arts Complex.
Tallman’s work of art captured the audience immediately with its minimalist set consisting of suspended black umbrellas that hovered over the dancers throughout the performance. Donned in white almost Clockwork Orange-esque tops and bottoms, the male dancers had black sports coats and bowler hats with the females wearing only bowler hats to accompany their all white leotards and bubble skirts. These “props” proved to be central in their movements. From sharing jackets to lifting and shifting the hats, the movements proved that structure and grace within a surrealist performance do exist.
Magritte happens to be my favorite artist, so the juxtaposition of this overt appreciation greatened my enjoyment of the performance. The audience seems enthralled with the rapid almost semaphore hand/arm motions and the heal-toe-heal-toe shuffles across the stage. Pairing this with Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite performed live by the Colorado Symphony touched both visual and auditory sensory systems.
Post intermission, Garrett Ammon’s Serenade for Strings took the audience through Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C major with a melodic intensely ballet flirtation going back and forth with the dancers using one another’s body to guide themselves back and forth.
The love affair with creation and the artistic process proclaimed itself the winner of the evening. As Magritte says, art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
While Enduring Grace has ended its run as the opening piece for Wonderbound’s 2014-15 season, Winter is around the corner and looks to be a positively outrageous performance tantalizing all five senses with opportunities for both an appetizer and dessert show. Tickets and more information may be found on Wonderbound’s website: www.wonderbound.com.
W. Celeste Davis Stragand: Published author, showcased artist and local Denverite, 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 and sits on the American Institute of Architects Colorado board. Her passion and enthusiasm for the kinetic arts will frolic and frenzy through the upcoming season of performances with many hopes for an encore!