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Ian Cooke, Chimney Choir, Queen, David Bowie and ballet?  Just your average evening, right?  Well, if you are in the company of Wonderbound and in the energy-charged city of Denver it is.

Friday, February 19, 2016, these esteemed performers wowed and entertained a packed house at the Performing Arts Complex at the Pinnacle Charter School. Rock Balletsopens with the world premiere of Sarah Tallman’s Unbroken Sky. Gold-lamé and strength in movement cover the stage. There is no need for set with this choreography. Amy Fogarty defies gravity and appears to lift weightless throughout the piece.  The synchronicity, enthusiasm  and compliment of original scores by Ian Cooke Band and Chimney Choir jolt you into rapid eye movement taking in each elongation, cape whip and leg jut of modern dance.

Upon a brief pause, the second piece, Love of My Life, by Garrett Ammon draws the audience in with more of a narrative and story-like quality set to the music of Queen.  The influence of traditional ballet is much more apparent in this piece, originally created in 2007.

After intermission, you are once again plunged into a narrative reality that has even the band in costume, donning all white garments, when in the previous two pieces they were in the quintessential black artist garb.  An Occasional Dream, originally premiering in 2008, pays tribute to rock legend, David Bowie.  With so many familiar tunes as in the piece prior, it is impossible to sit still during the performance.   The dancers portray an interpretation of the original sin and the attraction/extraction of love and lust.  As if locked in a Space Oddity, we grapple with the notions of right and wrong, desire and constraint.

When we lose legendary icons such as Bowie, it is sad. We have lost an innovator and leader of change.  Constantly pushing the norm to express and provide interpretations of art, life and humanity takes courage. It is clear Wonderbound and its collaborators are taking the recent passing with solemnity and urgency. Can you hear [us] Major Tom?  

All the madmen are taking the stage and it seems the audiences are flocking. This is Wonderbound’s first entire run of sold out shows, and no doubt the beginning of a trend.  Upset you missed your chance?  They are bringing Rock Ballets back in June.  Check the calendar and get your tickets now.


W. Celeste Davis Stragand: Published author, showcased artist and Denver transplant, W. Celeste Davis Stragand is not new to the art world. Her passion for delving into the root of existence and movement will challenge and praise both choreographers and the audience.  A graduate of Texas A&M University, Celeste holds two bachelor of arts degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in English. She is also a graduate of Naropa University holding a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. A former national slam team poet, Celeste is a graduate of the Downtown Denver Partnership Leadership Program and sits on the American Institute of Architects Colorado board.  Her passion and enthusiasm for the kinetic arts will frolic and frenzy through the upcoming season of performances with many hopes for an encore!

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