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Paper Bird stretches its wings with Ballet Nouveau performance piece

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Looks like Paper Bird is bringing its talent for folksy harmonies and rootsy string work to the world of fine arts. The folk outfit is pairing with Ballet Nouveau Colorado for Carry On, a performance piece running later this month that taps into "themes of memory, dream, innocence, illusion, and some others too."

Paper Bird previewed a few musical snippets from the ballet during their New Year's performance at the Oriental Theatre, and while the music bore the familiar hypnotic harmonies, easy cadences and string-heavy contours of the band's previous material, the material seemed more meditative and detailed.

Apparently, the effect comes from a lot of hard work. The ballet, says the band, represents the "longest, most involved project we have ever embarked on. It is going to be an awesome ballet, the likes of which I don't think the world has ever seen before."

The performance also represents a renewal of sorts for the Ballet Nouveau. Last year, the beleaguered company put out a fundraising call for nearly $200,000, a sum officials claimed they needed to avoid "the suspension of operations." Ballet Nouveau, a nonprofit run out of Broomfield, includes a school that serves about 300 students annually. Ballet Nouveau's Artistic Director Garrett Ammon is directing choreography for Carry On and providing film excerpts for the multi-media piece.

The collaborative ballet will run over two weeks, with performances at 8 p.m. from Friday, February 4 through Sunday, Febuary 6 at the Lakewood Cultural Center (470 South Allison Parkway in Lakewood) and from Friday, February 11 through Sunday, February 13 at Performing Arts Complex at PCS (1001 West 84th Avenue). Tickets run from $15 to $45, and 50 percent of the proceeds from February 13 date the will go to benefit Denver's SAME Café.

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