From colorful joy to grey tension –

From colorful joy to grey tension –

Masterworks by Colorado Ballet

The white shirt loosely follows the dancer’s smooth arm movements, and the bold necklaces worn by the rest of the female characters go up and down in the beat of the repetitive music – Boléro by Ravel. I cannot believe that it is already the last of the three pieces that are shown that night at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts by Colorado Ballet. Three pieces that could not be more different in their dynamics, costumes, and characteristics – and at the same time, similar in their perfection and beauty.

The evening starts with “Rubies”. In red costumes, the dancers follow the choreography, which alternates between group formations featuring one solo dancer and an intricate pas de deux. Stravinsky’s jazz-influenced Capricco, skillfully played by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra featuring pianist David Korevaar, lies the pulsing foundation of the explorative dance. Sharp movements with fast synchronous changes characterize the scene when coming back from the pas de deux to the corps de ballet, continuously highlighting the outstanding solo dancer. As four male dancers manipulate her limbs into various positions and guide her movements like a puppet, eliciting laughter from the audience, she eventually regains control of her body, prompting joyful amusement.

Jennifer Grace and Jonnathan Ramirez in George Balanchine’s Rubies

The second piece, “Three Views of a Mountain,” is as joyful to watch as the first. Performing Denver got the chance to interview the choreographer Lauren Lovette a couple of weeks ago. If you want to learn more about her inspiration and the working process with Colorado Ballet, read our article with many details and behind the scene insights: https://presentingdenver.org/summiting-creativity-exploring-lauren-lovettes-three-views-of-a-mountain/

In a hiking destination like Colorado, the audience experiences a strong resonance with their own hiking adventures as they witness the performers skillfully recreating a collective mountain experience. From start to end, the music composed by Kip Jones, who is featured as a violin soloist himself, drives the fast-paced movements on stage. With the motivating rhythm and moving melody lines, the audience has a hard time not jumping up and joining in with the dancers’ movements. Starting with “The Climb,” two dancers need to find and continue their own path while constantly meeting, touching, and influencing each other. “The Clearing” features a human chain formed among the ensemble, dynamically holding each other, intercepting the constant flow on stage. The final part of the choreographic composition, named “The Descent,” makes gravity visible, speeding up the already fast movements and reminding the spectators of the new wave of energy and motivation that overcomes us when descending from a mountain and returning home.

Kenny Allen in Lauren Lovette’s Three Views of a Mountain

The Boléro continues. The repetition of the famous theme from Ravel’s masterpiece does not become boring, especially due to the overwhelming density of movements on stage. Featuring one solo performer who finds herself trapped in formations of male dancers and female dance formations taking turns, the piece explores many different kinds of body movements, some more, some less typical for classic ballet dancing. The movements combined with the costumes give the piece an oriental touch, rounding up the evening’s experience.

At the end, the spectator leaves the hall with many new perspectives on the world of dance. Witnessing such a wide array of performing arts within a mere two-hour timeframe presents an extraordinary opportunity.

Ariel McCarty and Artists of Colorado Ballet in George Balanchine’s Rubies

LILITH DIRINGER

Lilith Diringer is a young graduate student in the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies Public Policy Program, and in parallel enrolled in the Jazz program with a vocal focus at the Lamont School of Music. With a diverse background in performing arts, Lilith has been on stage since childhood, displaying her versatility as a musician, theatrical performer, and on-screen actor. She has participated in dance theatre performances directed by notable figures such as Olek Konrad Witt and choreographers like Olimpia Scardi, exploring various dance forms, including hip-hop, modern, jazz, and rock’n’roll acrobatics. Additionally, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of dance, intertwining it with other disciplines, such as circus arts, combining dance and partner acrobatics, and exploring aerial dance. Beyond her performances, Lilith’s academic research focuses on the role of Performing Arts in international diplomacy and Development and Peace projects for at-risk youth globally. Her work delves into the storytelling elements in performances and addresses sustainability both on and behind the stage. Since 2014, she has also worked as a journalist for many newspapers and online magazines, including covering the Paralympics in Tokyo and Beijing for the biggest newspaper in Berlin, Germany – the tagesspiegel. Lilith Diringer stands at the intersection of academia and artistry, bringing a unique blend of passion, versatility, and a commitment to positive change through Performing Arts which she loves to comment on in her articles.