I take good care of my body and I feel truly accomplished musically, but Ballet Nouveau Colorado makes me feel bad about myself. They are as close to a rock band and superhuman athletes as a dance company (or anyone, really) in Colorado can get. It’s not fair. The brilliant company creates experiences that are rich, innovative and highly accessible. A lot of the stuffy, classical components- which I still love about ballet- are replaced with a highly contemporary and hip twist while never sacrificing technique. It’s beautiful, it’s sexy and it fucking rocks- literally. I had chills watching the company perform emotional, erotic dances to Queen, INXS and David Bowie in their ROCK BALLETS show back in 2009. BNC performances are not something you suffer through for cultural points and bragging rights; they are something you experience and love.
Yesterday, I attended (along with many local music luminaries), CARRY ON, a breathtaking, multi-media tête à tête between BNC choreographer/artistic director, Garrett Ammon and popular Denver folk-band, Paper Bird, who wrote and performed a score specifically for this show. Now, something like this is tricky. There is room for all kinds of things to go wrong. Either the dancing or the musical performances could threaten to overpower each other, or underwhelm all together. And after having these concerns prior to the viewing, I was pleased to see and hear a rapturously harmonious bit of clever theater. The music Paper Bird composed and performed was gorgeous, dynamically moving and void of any self-congratulatory pretension; the music was for the dancers, and the dancers moved to the music. It was stunning, really. The real success, I think, is the air of effortlessness they all brought to this. Never mind that the process took almost a year to put together with over a two dozen talents- Once it came out the other side, it was as if it has always existed. That’s a huge accomplishment for both parties whose careful, creative involvement made something like, Carry On, one hell of a show and something that, ultimately, made me feel bad about myself. That’s success.