Spectrum Dance Festival elevates dance arts in Carbondale | PostIndependent.com

Spectrum Dance Festival elevates dance arts in Carbondale

Denver company Control Group Productions will perform at the Spectrum Dance Festival on Saturday. Founder and Artistic Director of the company, Patrick Mueller, will teach a workshop as well.
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Friday, Oct. 16

Local Color performance, featuring local dance artists Meagan Shapiro, Chloe Burton and CoMotion; 7:30-9 p.m., Thunder River Theatre, $15 adults, children free

Saturday, Oct. 17

Broad Spectrum performance featuring Wild Heart, Control Group Productions and Grass Roots Project; two performances at 5:30 and 8 p.m., Thunder River Theatre, $20 adults, children free at 5:30 p.m., $10 adults, children free at 8 p.m.

Workshop: Flying Low with Patrick Mueller, 10 a.m. to noon, Open Studio at The Launchpad, $15

Workshop: Rhythmic Tap Dance with Amanda Liese, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Studio C at The Launchpad, $15

Workshop: All Levels AcroYoga with Jen Cameron and Austin Goodman, 1-3 p.m., Open Studio at The Launchpad, $15

Workshop: Chicago Footwork (Adults Only) with King Charles, 1-2:30 p.m., Open Studio at The Launchpad, $15

Workshop: Youth Footwork Fundamentals with King Charles, 2:45-4:15 p.m., Studio C at The Launchpad, free

Workshop: Youth Aerial Silks with Meesh McGlone, 3:15-4:15 p.m., The Launchpad, $15

Workshop: Adult Aerial Silks with Meesh McGlone, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Open Studio at The Launchpad, $15

Sunday, Oct. 18

Workshop: Ground and Air with Kat Gurley, 10 a.m. to noon, Studio C at The Launchpad, $15

Festival Passes

The Full Spectrum: Includes one Friday evening performance at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday performance at 5:30 p.m., three workshops of your choice. $65

The “I Don’t Dance, I Watch” Pass: Includes one Friday evening performance at 7:30 p.m. and one Saturday evening performance at 5:30 p.m. $30

Workshop Pass: Includes three workshops of your choosing on any day. $40

Tickets and passes are available at http://www.danceinitiative.org/spectrum-dance-festival

With each year that passes, it seems Dance Initiative is building a stronger network with dance artists on the Front Range. Between its new artist in residence program and the fourth annual Spectrum Dance Festival, the organization is working toward making Carbondale a dance destination.

“We are building relationships with dance companies, dance schools and artists from the Front Range,” said Peter Gilbert, founder and director of Dance Initiative. “It’s still growing. We are building a dance community.”

This year’s Spectrum Dance Festival will feature performances by Boulder’s Wild Heart and Denver’s Control Group Productions. Kat Gurley of Wild Heart will also teach a workshop on Sunday, and Patrick Mueller of Control Group Productions will teach on Saturday.

Mueller, who was also Dance Initiative’s first artist in residence in March, will be coming to Spectrum Dance Festival for the third time this year.

“I love that part of the state, and I really love what Peter and Deb [Colley, associate director of Dance Initiative] have created,” Mueller said. “Bouncing ideas back and forth, it was really clear right away that we’re kindred spirits. It’s a good fit for everyone involved.”

Gurley is also returning to the festival for the third time this year. She said it’s what brought her to Carbondale for the first time, and now it’s a town she’s grown to love and look forward to coming back to.

“Personally, I really like Carbondale,” she said. “It’s got a small-town vibe, but it feels very vibrant and full of life. So that kind of struck me the first time I came out. And when I started to work with the people, I felt like the audience was really warm. I felt like they were interested in what we had to say and were very present. So that’s always exciting as an artist to participate in a festival where people are excited.”

The Spectrum Dance Festival also draws national dance artists and companies, like footwork master King Charles from Chicago, and it highlights local dancers and companies, like CoMotion: a conscious movement project and Meagan Shapiro.

Shapiro is a CoMotion dancer, but she’s also a choreographer who will have her own piece, “So Far & Then,” performed on Friday. She moved to Carbondale from the Front Range last year thinking she would need to start her own dance company if she wanted to dance at all. But then she attended Spectrum Dance Festival and found CoMotion. She started dancing with the company in February.

“It was kind of amazing to move to this tiny little town and find that,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro’s piece questions the limits of technology, which can only take you so far. And then what?

“It’s pulling movement and content themes from the experience of having to do a lot of research and use a lot of science and technology to accomplish something,” she said. “There’s this point where, to take something all the way to fruition, you have to connect with other human beings and connect with your own heart.”

Spectrum Dance Festival offers elevated workshops for dancers and performances for audiences, and it also offers a nice, long weekend getaway for Front Range and national artists to enjoy a beautiful mountain town and share their art with new, eager audiences and students.

“I think to get exposed to nationally renowned choreographers and movers up here in this setting is the best of all worlds colliding,” Shapiro said.

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