If practice makes perfect, Ballet Nouveau Colorado (BNC) and Denver based band Paper Bird are about to give a flawless performance of their previously sold out collaboration of music and dance. “Carry On”, the full-length contemporary ballet is back for a one night only showing at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Friday, September 7 at 8 p.m. The collaboration is the perfect pair as a tale of love is spun through music and graceful, whimsical dance .
“Carry On” originally debuted February of 2011 and was an instant success selling out tickets. I was lucky enough to catch their rehearsal this week in preparation of their show and the experience was one I won’t forget.
Artistic director, Garrett Ammon and BNC originally teamed up with the seven members of Paper Bird after he fell in love with their music and approached them about a possible collaboration. Soon, they were creating the entire show together from scratch.
Set in simpler times and utilizing a large screen, the amazing backdrop transports you to scenes of a prairie and moonlit sky while you travel the emotions of love and loss along with the main characters. (Julie King and Colby Foss.)
Here’s where I have to admit, my only image references of ballet had come from snippets of popular classics like “Swan Lake” or “The Nutcracker.” However this ballet broke all those boundaries. The movements of the dancers were consistently graceful the entire time, morphing from contemporary to classic style so seamlessly and artistically. It was inspiring to watch Ammon encourage his dancers into their own perfection with their form saying,
“Risk it, Risk all of it.”
As I watched the dance take form and the music from Paper Bird fill the studio, it was enough to lull anyone in who was loitering just beyond the rehearsal doors. Faces were gathering outside the windows, like jellybeans filling a jar.
The music is like a fun time warp but yet trendy and fresh. It’s a creamy, smooth mix of folk, jazz, bluegrass and rhythm and blues. This is music that I have to agree is by Paper Bird’s own definition, “joyful”.
“Carry On” is upbeat, exciting and gets you moving to the live sounds playing. This is music I want to listen to. It’s toe-tapping, get your body swaying and put a smile on your face music.
The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Tickets can be purchased at www.bncdance.com/company/performances/.