Rattle the cage

Rattle the cage

Divisions | Flobots and Wonderbound | www.amandatipton.com | Photo by Amanda Tipton. Image courtesy of Wonderbound.
Divisions | Flobots and Wonderbound | Photo by Amanda Tipton. Image courtesy of Wonderbound.

I wanna speak less because I am choosing to see. See the diversity, the spectacle, the candor, madness and grace of our existing times. In its world premiere on Friday, April 14 at the Performing Arts Center at the Pinnacle Charter School, Divisions with Flobots combined the artistic genius of Garrett Ammon of Wonderbound with the lyrical aptitude of Brer Rabbit (Stephen Brackett) and Jonny 5 (James Laurie) of Flobots accompanied by the rest of the band and Spirit of Grace to shake the rafters, rattle our minds and move our souls.

Part live music video, part social protest commentary, part love story, the evening enchanted and provoked. From the beginning, the audience is prepped for an interactive performance. Reminiscent of a Grammys® special, the juxtaposition of musicians with dancers filled the nearly sold-out theater. In its fifth year of live music coupled with dance performance, this evening was unique in that it was Flobots’ release of their new album, NOENEMIES. Not only was the audience experiencing never before seen dance, but also never before heard music.

Having seen a number of Wonderbound performances, it is clear the company has reached a new level. The synchronicity, clarity of movement and ease of action were a delight. The interplay of body upon body with robotic pull/push movement was mechanical yet fluid. Shining as not only star-crossed lovers, but also the sterling performers, Damien Patterson and Amy Fogarty captivated the audience with their intertwined connection. When dancing with one another, whether connected in a lift or adjacent on the floor, their movements synced as if magnetic. The joy of Sarah Tallman was palpable and the extension and height of Connor Horak’s jumps were awe-inspiring.

Prior to the second act and after surprise audience participation, it was inevitable that one begin pondering the definition of existence and how much (mis)information we blindly accept. In a tumultuous, fragmented state of unrest, our society teeters between ardor and apathy. As if to address this intensity, our lyricists respond: soothe my soul and open my eyes/ fill me with a fire inside/ lift my spark up to the divine/ elevate me higher and rise.

Together we shine. Together we rise. It is in unity we find clarity. The amalgamation of sound, movement and touch brings us closer. Wonderbound has taken physical movement and crossed genres and boundaries to bring it to the 4th dimension. Their performances fill your body and mind with hope. We are enough. Dancing in the shadows. Dancing on stage, dancing in the quiet of our homes. We are enough as humans to rally, to make a difference, to rattle the cage.

Interested in seeing the show so you too can enjoy? Performances run through April 30 and tickets may be found here: https://wonderbound.com/shows-events/divisions/

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 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!