#84: Garrett Ammon
Ballet Nouveau Colorado's transformation into Wonderbound is nearly complete. The forward-thinking troupe that has been dancing under the direction of visionary choreographer Garrett Ammon since 2007 will make its last appearance as BNC in April with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. After that, it will formally segue into Wonderbound, essentially doing more of the same -- collaborative, multidisciplinary works, danced with contemporary style -- only more so.
That transformation began earlier this month when BNC/Wonderbound hopped from Broomfield into its new downtown Denver digs. What remains to be seen is where Ammon will lead his company of wild things. It's not by mistake, after all, that Wonderbound's logo is a racing rabbit, hightailing it straight into the great unknown. We asked Ammon to answer our 100 Colorado Creatives questionnaire; continue reading to learn what he thinks about Denver, the arts and being Wonderbound. Westword: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
Garrett Ammon: Over the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive process to reimagine the basic structures of Ballet Nouveau Colorado. In the coming year, we will be implementing this new vision in full. We just moved the professional dance company to an amazing garage space at the gateway to RiNo, and we have been rolling out our new brand to the community.
We have already had some warm afternoons when we have been able to throw open our garage doors to Park Avenue West during rehearsal. It has been amazing to see the reaction of people being suddenly confronted by art in such an unexpected way. I think our whole world as a dance company is going to change as we get settled into our space and get to know all of the wonderful people, organizations and businesses in our neighborhood. I'm excited to see how all of it unfolds.
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
I guess I've never really thought about it in those terms. We live in a remarkable age and the world is changing in unimaginable ways. I am loving working with the incredible artists located right here in Denver, the ones who are asking what it means to be alive in this moment and in this place.
We have a slew of new shows that we are creating with old friends and new collaborators in the coming year, so I am right where I would like to be. We are anxious to share our inaugural season with the public, which we will announce in April at Perpetual Beauty with the Colorado Symphony (our final production of the current season, and as BNC).
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I'm creating a new ballet for our upcoming show right now. When I am choreographing, the company dancers are hands-down the most interesting people in the world to me. They constantly inspire me.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I don't know. I don't think I keep track of art trends.
What's your day job?
Directing Wonderbound is my day and night job. I feel deeply fortunate to do what I love, every day.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
I wouldn't take it. I think of the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention," and I think of art in the same terms. Artists are, in the end, inventors. Constraint infuses a healthy tension that requires you to be creative to achieve your vision while stripping away all of the superfluous things that aren't needed. It keeps you honest.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Denver is becoming the next great art capital of the world, and it's happening right now. I think there is still a tendency to think of the local arts community as provincial, and it may have been in the past, but the community is growing up and is now overflowing with world-class artists. We should celebrate this and shout it from the mountaintops!
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I honestly couldn't begin to choose. In music there is Paper Bird, Jesse Manley, Ian Cooke, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, the Colorado Symphony, Ofer Ben-Amots and Hal Aqua. There are writers like Michael J. Henry, David J. Rothman and Chris Ransick, and photographers like Mark Sink and Kristen Hatgi. There are visual artists like Theresa Clowes, Sarah Scott and Clark Richert, and designers like Debbie Clapper and Daniel Braha. Not to mention Curious Theatre Company, as well as illusionist and mentalist Professor Phelyx. And I don't feel like I've even begun.
Throughout the year, we'll be casting our radar on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.
Who rocks your world locally? Do you have a suggestion for a future profile? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.
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