The Object of Her Affections

University of Colorado at Boulder dance professor Michelle Ellsworth is like the Roz Chast of performance: neurotic, quirky, concerned with the minute. But humor isn’t her intention when she creates a new work, which invariably employs choreography as a vehicle for something much more complex than sheer movement.

“People think its funny, but it’s not a part of my agenda in any way,” Ellsworth insists. “I actually tell sad stories, and people incidentally think it’s funny.” In her newest piece, The Objectification of Things, a multimedia venture into a more complicated world of simple objects, she uses everything from a miniature green screen to shadow puppets to study life from a very different, scientific perspective. “I’m tired of the centralized nature of the human agenda,” she explains. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with objects, and that’s meant in the most respectful way.” In the course of the work, said object experiences sex (in a stop-action animation), torture and death (without meaning to give away too much, death spurs a section called the “Wheels of Blame and Explain,” which include a foray into Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief).

Ellsworth and troupe will perform Objectification tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Irey Theatre, in the Theatre and Dance building on the CU-Boulder campus; admission is $10 at the door. For more perspective, go to www.michelleellsworth.com.
Fri., Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd