Cirque du Soleil is dazzling, but audience members often find themselves gasping as much from the high-flying prices as from the high-flying stunts. For the next two weeks, Boulder's Frequent Flyers offers some relief, with Cirque-like performances at prices that won't make spectators queasy.
Starting today, the Flyers' annual Aerial Dance Festival hits the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder, with classes, lectures and exhibitions involving bungee cords, stilts, metal bars and all the other things that send dancers up to the stars. Enjoy a two-week course on "Poetics of Aerial Performance" or the "Illusion of Flight Repertoire," or try one of the many less-intensive one-week classes, such as "Intro to Fixed Trapeze."
Classes cost between $80 and $220, but you can watch students' "graduation" performances for free. And just because the shows don't have Cirque-level prices doesn't mean you'll be watching aerial crash-test dummies. "The people who are going to be in those classes are professional aerialists from all over the country," says Flyers founder Nancy Smith.
Adaptability is just one beauty of dance: The art form is as comfortable on the highbrow stages of the ballet as it is in the streets. Even modern dance can take a detour without missing a step, as Boulder's Interweave Dance Theatre proves with Cabaret Diva, a campy, vaudeville-style performance that combines dance, music and comedy. To really put it over the top, Interweave is bolstering its large cast of professional dancers -- many from the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop -- with a few unexpected additions, including Seattle drag chanteuse Phoenicia (aka Wade Madsen), Boulder choreographer/stand-up comic Nancy Cranbourne and pianist Trent Hines.
Shows are at 2 and 8 p.m. today at the Charlotte Irey Studio Theatre on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus; for tickets, $15 to $17 in advance/$18 to $20 at the door, call 303-492-7945. -- Susan Froyd
The Beat spirit lives on
The Beat generation and its poetry have a lot to thank these parts for, if only because of Neal Cassady's skid-row Denver roots and Beat progenitors Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg's migration to the area. Beat ideas persist today in the flavor of local poetry, its wild rants living on in the skins of young, torch-carrying slam poets. It's still all about the now, the here, the incandescence of the mind's eye. Those scribes will show off their Beat-itude at Denver Poets Day, taking place today from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the pavilion in Cheesman Park, Eighth Avenue and Franklin Street. The day is dedicated to Tony Scibella, a Denver-based bard who once hung with the Venice Beats, and will feature ongoing readings by national and local poets, many of whom knew Scibella well, along with groups performing music/poetry mergers and five-minute open readings by the public. For more information or to join in, call John Munson at 720-570-0930 or visit www.denverpoetry.org/cgi/cal.php. -- Susan Froyd