Ballet Nouveau Colorado is headed for Five Points -- and Wonderbound

Ballet Nouveau Colorado was started twenty years ago to fill what the founders perceived as a need for quality ballet training and educational dance programs in Denver's north metro community.

But you have to be on your toes to keep up with what Ballet Nouveau is doing these days, and we're not just talking about The Nutcracker, a Tradition Rediscovered, which opened on December 7 and will continue with performances through December 16. Today the company launched another program: an indiegogo campaign that will fund Ballet Nouveau's transition to Wonderbound. See also: - Best Collaboration 2012: Paper Bird and Ballet Nouveau Colorado - Let Ballet Nouveau make you feel like dancing - Ballet Nouveau Nutcracker Ballet at Pinnacle Charter School's Performing Arts Complex

Since artistic director Garrett Ammon and associate artistic director Dawn Fay took the lead at BNC in 2007, the organization's mission has broadened to include not just nurturing contemporary dance artists, but creating and presenting new choreography, and even developing new collaborative partnerships across artistic mediums. Partnerships like this year's award-winning production of Carry On, a collaboration with the musical act Paper Bird that will return in February.

Even as the mission is broadening, so is the territory that Ballet Nouveau covers. Next year, the organization will move into a building at 1075 Park Avenue West, at the edge of arts-rich Five Points, which it will share with Community Coordinating District No. 1. Developer Amy Harmon and other stakeholders in the neighborhood have been working through that group to envision a new future for the area, and adding this company to the mix is part of that.

"We're creating a space for people to work together to make our world a more beautiful place," Ammon says. "It may come off a little trite, but in the end, that's really what we're trying to do. I feel like what we do in our dance is kind of a physical expression of this amazing work that's happening around tables and groups to improve these public spaces and reimagine how the structures function."

As Ballet Nouveau's new mission statement concludes: "We must reach far into our past and strive relentlessly toward our future. We must be forthright about our frailties and lay bare our souls. We must dream, we must work, we must be rigorous. Only then might we glimpse the true possibility that resides within all of us. This is the essence of Wonderbound."

And that's the name that the dance company will be adopting.

"This name has served us well, but it's time to go in a new direction," says Ammon. "It's been an amazing journey and we feel very fortunate to be able to engage in this revisioning." The new vision calls for the organization to split into two parts: the professional dance company, which will be transformed into Wonderbound in its new location (which it hopes to move into on March 1) and the school, which will remain in Broomfield but will change its name to Colorado Conservatory of Dance.

"What we really wanted to do is have a name for the school that expresses the level and quality of training that the school provides," Ammon says. "We envision the two organizations will continue to work very closely deep belief that one day our professional company will be filled with graduates from our school. We'll be close collaborators, each with the freedom to engage the community in different ways.

"If I had to distill my creative approach to a single phrase, it would be 'a shared journey of discovery and possibility,'" he explains. "That has led me to work with an ever-growing list of collaborating artists and organizations. These undertakings have produced artistic creations that erase boundaries between mediums and engage artists and audiences in candid explorations of the human experience."

Want to become part of this journey? Contribute to Ballet Nouveau's indiegogo campaign here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun