Spectrum Dance Fest returns to Carbondale | PostIndependent.com

Spectrum Dance Fest returns to Carbondale

Will Grandbois
will@postindependent.com

Schedule and ticket prices

Local Color

Sept. 16 at 7:30pm at Carbondale Middle School

Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door, and youth are free.

Workshops

Sept. 17 & 18 at The Launchpad

$15/workshop or $35/3 workshops.

Saturday, 10-11:30am | African Dance with Rujeko Dumbutshena & live music by Musekiwa Saturday, 11:45-12:45 | FREE Youth Hip Hop Proper with Larry Southall, adults welcome Saturday, 1-2:30pm | Contemporary Mix Up with Katie Swenson, intermediate

Saturday, 2:45-4:15pm | Move to Heal with Black Belt Nia Teacher Jill Factor

Saturday, 4:15-5:15pm | FREE Introductory Tango with Cynthia Gottlob & Sean Ericson Saturday, 5:15-6:15pm | Intermediate Tango with Cynthia Gottlob & Sean Ericson

Sunday, 10am to 1pm | Site Specific Dance Making with Laura Ann Samuelson, all levels -

Broad Spectrum: Rennie Harris’ Grass Roots Project

Sept. 17 at 7:30pm at Carbondale Middle School

Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door, and youth are free.

(Contains violent imagery and explicit language which may not be suitable for young children.)

Milonga Intermediate Tango

Sept. 17, 9-11pm at The Launchpad

Free

Festival Passes

Local Color, Broad Spectrum & two workshops: $50

Local Color & Broad Spectrum: $30

Three workshops: $35

For more information and to register, visit​ ​www.danceinitiative.org​.

Dance Initiative’s fifth annual Spectrum Dance Festival takes place in Carbondale this weekend with workshops and performances by local dancers and nationally known professionals.

“It’s a really special weekend,” said dancer Meagan Shapiro. “This program of performances is not to be missed, and the workshops are a really good entrance point for people who may have felt intimidated by dance.”

Shapiro is one of several featured choreographers for Local Color, a performance of original work by local dance collective CoMotion, as well as Dance Initiative’s recent Artists In Residence Alya Howe, Meg Madorin and Laura Ann Samuelson, among others. The performance kicks off the festival 7:30 p.m. Friday at Carbondale Middle School.

Shapiro’s contribution takes advantage of the wide range of skill levels at the event.

“The piece is about half and half people with a ton of experience and people who are really new,” she said. “It’s an exploration of the creative process, and it’s really refreshing to draw on the natural movement that comes out.”

Also included in Local Color is a performance of Howe’s “Vacuum,” a special project by Howe commissioned by Dance Initiative to engage the community.

The accompanying video featuring various community members talking about their vacuum cleaners was well-received at the Colorado Creative Industries Summit this summer along with a partial performance. The full dance includes a solo based around the idea of falling in love with your dirt and a tango that conjures the process of cleaning with your feet.

For Shapiro, who is also performing in the piece, the depth of the idea clicked when Howe asked, “What could you suck out of yourself with this vacuum that would make your light shine brighter?”

“It’s light, it’s humorous, but it also has an edge,” Howe said. “I like to look at how we make certain decisions and take a lens to things. Ask yourself, what is your dirt really in your life?”

Howe emphasized that complete understanding isn’t necessary to enjoy dance.

“What do you see? What do you notice? What catches your attention? That’s enough,” she said. “People love watching animals — the indulgence in the movement of horses running or eagles flying. It’s the same invitation to watch humans moving. We’re all in a body, but we’re not all taught to feel and express through it.”

Folks can receive just that sort of training Saturday and into Sunday with workshops ranging from Zimbabwean Dance with Rujeko Dumbutshena, original ensemble member in the Broadway musical production of FELA!, to Argentine tango with former Joffrey Ballet company member Cindy Gottlob and her partner Sean Ericson.

The workshops are really the crux of why gave the festival exists in the first place.

“What Dance Initiative has tried to do from the beginning is grow the community of dancers and those who can learn to appreciate the art of dance,” said founder Peter Gilbert. “The Festival happened because we figured if we were bringing artists in to teach, we can get them to perform as well.”

This year, the flagship professional performance is nationally acclaimed hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ “Beautiful Human Lies,” a suite of works inspired by the personal abuse Harris witnessed as a child. Performed by Boulder Based Grass Roots Project, it takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Carbondale Middle School.

Gilbert hopes that the quality and accessibility of the dance on display will help overcome the biases that make dance a relatively underviewed art form.

It helps that Dance Initiative has been laying the groundwork for the better part of a decade.

“I think for the size of this community, it’s an overwhelming success,” he said. “These teachers have really increased the number of people who are not just watching but learning to move.”


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