Presenting Denver would like to shine a community spotlight on Ryland Eary & Braeden Barnes and Symbiosis! 


Photo by Heather Walker. Courtesy of Symbiosis.
Photo by Heather Walker. Courtesy of Symbiosis.

Artist: Ryland Eary & Braeden Barnes

Organization: Symbiosis


Education: San Francisco School of Ballet

Hometown: San Francisco & Chicago



Presenting Denver: If you are not a native, why did you choose Denver?

Ryland Eary & Braeden Barnes: We believe that we can bring a creative collaboration of new art mediums such as visual arts, original costume design, contemporary dance, ballet, technology that is new and unique to the art community in Denver.


PD: Give us a snapshot of a day in your life.  

RE & BB: We start our day with either Ryland or Braeden teaching company class for the dancers at Symbiosis. Ryland will usually teach ballet, while Braeden will teach contemporary. Following class, the day consists of learning or reviewing company repertoire from the two co-founders or a guest choreographer. While one of the choreographers is working with the company, Ryland and Braeden will multi-task by looking at buildings for new spaces, costume designs with local Denver creator Chelsea Early of Luckyleo Dancewear, and work on testing the technological aspects of the current show. The day ends with both Ryland and Braeden going to teach dance at local dance studios. 


PD: What is one way in which your work has positively impacted your community? 

RE & BB: Our debut performance was a big success. The positive feedback that we received was that it brought in many people who normally don’t go to see dance events in Colorado. We strive to reach out to non-dance audiences and bring them in to see our show in order to see dance in a new light. We want a diverse audience in order to help the arts grow in the Denver community. We want to offer work that is accessible and enjoyable for all. 


PD:  What advice would you give another aspiring person in dance?

RE & BB: Everyone has a place and a purpose in dance. The hardest part is finding what your purpose is in this field. It takes hard work and dedication to both your craft and yourself, but it also takes an openness and a willingness to explore. We danced in many different places before creating Symbiosis. We believe that we have found what we are meant to do by creating our ideal environment. 


PD: How do you determine which music is appropriate for your organization or choreography? Do you start with concept or score? Talk about your relationship with music and/or musicians. 

RE & BB: We believe that the concept and idea comes before the music. We create full evening length works centered around these concepts. Therefore, we are picky with our music because it has to reflect the idea we are trying to portray. We have similar music tastes. We take months trading songs and artists back and forth to pick the right one to fit each section of the show. In the end the final choice comes down to a feeling. Does it help the idea come to fruition? or is it not necessary. In our most recent show, we collaborated with composer and musician Chris Cozzi, who has a classical music background but predominantly works within the horror movie and video game genre. He composed an original composition for us that we used in our most recent show that fit into our overall concept.


PD:  Tell us why you continue to fight for the right to dance and to share dance.

RE & BB: Without dance and art we would lose our humanity. Dance helps us express ourselves, heal, and challenge our physical bodies.