Wonderbound Artistic Director Garrett Ammon To Bring Work to National Stage

This October, Garrett Ammon’s “Serenade for Strings” will open in Denver featuring musicians of the Colorado Symphony and premiere on the West Coast with Smuin Ballet. DENVER (July 30, 2014) – Denver’s Wonderbound is gaining national attention this October as Artistic Director Garrett Ammon’s “Serenade for Strings” premieres with San Francisco’s Smuin Ballet. In addition, […]

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Hochman: Peyton Manning flagged for illegal motion


FUNKYTOWN — The dancer had the flamboyance of Carlton Banks on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the rhythm of Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld” and the scare-off-women moves of Benjamin Hochman on wedding dance floors.

Peyton Manning’s dance at a recent Broncos practice continues to be the talk of the town and Twitter.

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I’m Not Perfect.

This article was originally published at sarahtallman.com Yup, you read it here first. I was born with the need to be perfect. No comments from the peanut gallery please! It’s the thing that keeps me up late at night, and gets me up early in the morning. It’s what called me to my first ballet […]

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Project Generations: How Will You Dance?


“Spell your name with your butt, and it’s like you’re dancing,” advises Heather Sutton, whose sparkly, silver TOMS are quickly becoming a topic of conversation amongst her nine dance partners, and she laments the fact that she could not find a pair in red.

It takes five aluminum walkers, two wheelchairs and an oxygen tank to get this group ready to dance, but here they are.

‘Here’ is The Argyle, an assisted living facility in Denver.

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Morning Rehearsal at Denver’s Wonderbound Ballet Company


“Wonderbound is an amazing contemporary ballet company that I have been lucky to call my client over the past year. Their rehearsal space in the RiNo district is amazing and open to the public. I just had to grab my camera and head down there one morning to capture the spirit of the space, the dancers and the creativity that flows from the building.”

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Art and Artist: Charles MacLeod on Colorado Theatre Guild lighting panel


Charles R. MacLeod, an Aurora native and resident lighting designer at the Denver Center since 1987, was part of an educational and, yes, illuminating public forum on the art of lighting design held by the Colorado Theatre Guild on Monday night at the Ede Theatre in Lakewood.

MacLeod, who started at the Denver Center as a carpenter 31 years ago.

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Denver struggling to keep performing arts complex relevant


How do you keep a civic gem from becoming an urban relic? That’s the question facing the Denver Performing Arts Complex and Denver Arts and Venues, the agency which owns it.

DPAC, as the complex is known, is the second largest of its kind in the U.S., after Lincoln Center. Massive performance halls house the city’s flagship classical arts companies: the Colorado Ballet, the Colorado Symphony, and Opera Colorado. Patrons can see a variety of performances there, from Broadway shows to cutting-edge theater.

But walk through the glass-roofed galleria when a show isn’t playing and there’s one thing you won’t see: people.

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Heading West

After closing “Love” in mid-February, Wonderbound leapt into the studio process to create “Gone West” with poet Michael J. Henry and singer/songwriter Ian Cooke. Mike, Ian and I had been meeting for a year to develop the concept for this new evening-length performance, and having worked with Mike twice before, we returned to our shared […]

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The dance artists of Wonderbound present Industrial Project in their space at Junction Box May 2-3, 2014

Denver (April 16, 2014) Although the 2013­2014 Wonderbound season has come to a close, the dance artists at Wonderbound are still working hard ­ for a good cause. On May 2 and 3, they will present the 5th annual installment of Industrial Project — a program of innovative dance works produced and performed entirely by […]

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Steal This Track from Jesse Manley


On April 26, Jesse Manley will debut the live recording of “A Gothic Folktale,” music he wrote for a ballet in collaboration with Wonderbound and mentalist/magician Professor Phelyx. Steal “The Rules” now.

What do you get when you cross a folk musician, a dance troupe and a magician? No joke, you get a gothic folktale.

In early 2013, Denver folkster Jesse Manley teamed up with Garrett Ammon, artistic director of Wonderbound, the dance company formerly known as Ballet Nouveau, to create a work of art that transcends music and dance, and enters the realm of magic.

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Wonderbound Goes West: A {Dd} Exclusive with the collaborators


Wonderbound is celebrating the essence of Denver in its final production of its 2013-2014 season with Gone West.

The story takes place at a campground, with the interpersonal dynamics of the characters as the groundwork for Garrett Ammon’s choreography. Michael J. Henry of Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop wrote new poetry for the piece, and Denver musician Ian Cooke composed new work, for a collaborative feast only Wonderbound can produce.

I chatted with Cooke and company seamstress Rachael Kras about their involvement in the ballet.

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Wonderbound dance company’s “Gone West”


With its reputation for crowd-pleasing, cross-genre collaborations, Denver’s Wonderbound dance company (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado) has become a reliable way to see ambitious new works. Its latest premiere, “Gone West,” continues this weekend with live music from acclaimed cellist and singer-songwriter Ian Cooke and Lighthouse Writers Workshop co-founder Michael J. Henry. The multimedia show, which press materials describe as.

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Wonderbound’s Brave New World


And scene: up-tempo, heavy drum roll and a cello – the makings of a good night! But, wait, I am here for a dance performance, and I have a live band before me (ian cooke), the magnificent dancers of Wonderbound and the eloquent words of Michael J. Henry? What kind of Denver dance icon came up with this collaboration at the Performing Arts Complex, Pinnacle Charter School? Garrett Ammon, artistic director of Wonderbound is the acclaimed choreographer/visionary to thank.

The last show of Wonderbound’s season, Gone West, invigorates the senses.

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‘Gone West’ combines Colorado poetry, dance and music on stage


For the latest production from Denver’s Wonderbound dance company, artistic director Garrett Ammon collaborates with poet Michael Henry to explore the natural, mythical, social and political landscapes of Colorado.

“Gone West,” which marks the third partnership between the choreographer and poet, also incorporates original music by songwriter/cellist Ian Cooke.

The story is set in a drive-in campground which characters who represent different backgrounds and beliefs temporarily call home.

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Wonderbound troupe offers new creation at PACE Center


Wonderbound is a dance company under the direction of Garrett Ammon and Dawn Fay — 11 dancers who are known for unusual movement and collaboration with other artists in the community, as new works are created.

The most recent creation is “Gone West,” with 11 new poems by Michael J. Henry, director of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and 10 new songs written by Denver musician Ian Cooke, a cellist with a popular band, which will accompany the dancers.

Ammon writes of the “collection of beautifully flawed humans” brought to life in Henry’s poetry, while Cooke said, “My inspiration for `Gone West’ comes from the relationships humans have with each other and the earth.

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Denver-based Wonderbound gets campy for ‘Gone West’


Denver-based dance troupe Wonderbound, formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado, doesn’t shy away from exploring different medians of art. Artistic director Garrett Ammon often speaks of his inclination to explore where different artistic disciplines intersect. And, with past productions like “Carry On,” “Intersection,” and “A Gothic Folktale,” the list of Wonderbound collaborators is long and diverse.

For the company’s season closer, “Gone West,” Ammon and his kindle of Wonderbound dancers teamed up with local musician, singer/songwriter Ian Cooke and Michael J. Henry, a poet and the executive director of Lighthouse Writers Workshop — original costumes were designed and built by Rachel Kras, wardrobe supervisor and costume designer at Wonderbound.

As a guest for Wonderbound’s recent “Gone West” teaser, held at the company’s downtown Denver headquarters known as Junction Box on March 19, I got a sneak peek of what to expect for the two-week run in early April.

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Wonderbound: Beyond Dance


For the final performance of Wonderbound’s 2013-2014 season, artistic director Garrett Ammon and Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop executive director Michael J. Henry collaborate for the third time to produce “Gone West”—a cross between Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and a KOA campground.

Sound like an unusual concept for a ballet? It sure is. But with these two creative talents at the helm, expect only the extraordinary.

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Photos: Wonderbound’s Hare Ball


Wonderbound, the dance company formerly known as Ballet Nouveau Colorado, hosted its first Hare Ball — and for anyone wondering how that name was chosen, it’s because Wonderbound’s logo is a bunny rabbit. There was a through-the-looking-glass theme, and the added attraction of “no auctions, no special appeal … no kidding! Leave your checkbooks at home!” In addition to dinner, the evening paid tribute to Susan France, former director of programming at the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. There also was a 360-degree projection mapped experience made possible by the immensely talented Kristopher Collins and a performance by Wonderbound dancers. The event was held at Junction Box, which is where Wonderbound is headquartered.

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Library Spotlight: The Most of It


We interrupt our regular library spotlight for a quick pas de deux: a minute (and two seconds) that gives voice to movement and movement to voice.

In The Most of It, dancers Amanda Copple and Brandon Freeman use rhythm, phrasing, emphasis and texture to create a dance… for ears only.

The Most of It was commissioned by Colorado Public Radio’s brand new arts bureau, as part of their ongoing experiment in translating dance to the radio. What does Ira Glass have to do with it? And how did the Wonderbound dancers approach this challenge? Find out.

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Wonderbound to Premiere ‘Gone West’


This April, Wonderbound invites audiences to experience a brand new creation that is best described as a cross between Shakespeare’s The Tempest and a KOA campground. A collaborative work featuring the choreography of Garrett Ammon, music of Ian Cooke and poetry of Michael J. Henry, this world premiere work, entitled Gone West, will close Wonderbound’s 2013-14 season.

“Each time I have worked with Michael J. Henry, he has pushed me to new and unexpected places. Gone West is no exception. Mike has brought a collection of beautifully flawed humans to life in these new poems,” said Ammon. “Having Ian Cooke and his band join us on this adventure is adding an entirely new dimension. Ian’s music is as layered as Mike’s characters, creating a richness and depth that is utterly inspiring. It is a privilege to work with such dedicated and honest artists.”

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