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The times they are a-changin’ at the Newman Center.

Choreographer/dancer David Dorfman of David Dorfman Dance says his figurative, representational style moves in and out of favor, and right now, riding a wave of Obama-inspired national hope, it seems to be making a comeback, along with the ’60s-based ideas of community participation and taking action toward change.

The time, he thinks, couldn’t be more perfect for underground, his dance inspired by ´60s radical group the Weather Underground, which counted such names as Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers among its ranks. Dorfman’s interest in the group began after the chance viewing of a 2002 documentary on the movement that left him fascinated. “It made an impression on me,” he says. “I found it riveting and moving, and I’ve watched it more than a dozen times since.” Part of that feeling was a kind of nostalgia, he admits, but it also struck a note, bringing back memories of himself at thirteen, living on the outskirts of Chicago when the 1968 Democratic Convention exploded downtown. “I was too young to go down there and be a part of the riots, but I was formed in some way by this idea of protesting against what you felt was unjust.” And though those protesters, including the Weathermen and others, didn’t always make the right choices, Dorfman notes, their “audacity” is still inspiring. “Let's not let history make itself; let’s make history. We may do it the wrong way, but let’s at least look at history and try to take responsibility for making a better world.”

Underground, which includes a contingent of local dancers from the community in addition to Dorfman and ensemble (the Denver auditions had the largest turnout of any he’s held), will play out on stage in Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. For tickets, $28 to $52 (a steal in this intimate, well-made hall), go to www.du.edu/newmancenter or call 303-357-ARTS.
Sat., Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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