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Biennial of the Americas: The city suits up for Denver Night tomorrow

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The world -- or at least the Western Hemisphere -- has come to Denver for the Biennial of the Americas. And tomorrow, July 19, the city gets its big chance to show off at Denver Night, night, when artist Nick Cave will transform Civic Center Park. Cave has an exhibition up at the Denver Art Museum, where his Soundsuits were such a hit last month; those Soundsuits will cross over to the park for a performance at 8 p.m. tomorrow. And at the History Colorado Center today, we got a sneak peak of the Soundsuits -- as well as some sound bytes from Governor John Hickenlooper, who pushed for the first Biennial in 2010. The Soundsuits are made from materials ranging from wigs to twigs, and are designed to make noise as the wearers move. Local dancers will wear these suits, which weigh up to fifty pounds, in pairs for the performance. Adam Lerner, executive director and chief animator of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, described Denver Night's "Concert with Musical Animals," which he co-curated, as "an eclectic mix of music, art and performance." And how: the event will feature everything from a barbershop quartet to a hip-hop DJ, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and The Fray. "The idea for a concert with music and animals really arose out of the collaboration with the Denver Art Museum," Lerner said. Lerner says that he and Chris Kallmyer, his fellow co-curator on Denver Night, realized they could work with the Denver Art Museum to present Cave's performance Heard-DAM, in which textiles meet modern dance, and thought it was a great opportunity to build the evening around the animal theme. "Singing animals, could it get any better?" asked Hickenlooper.

Thus far, the governor said, the Biennial has managed to avoid the anxious sophomore slump. "Rome wasn't built in a day," he noted, "but the Biennial is growing by leaps and bounds, and we can expect that in two years it will be all that much better."

From our archives: "Guide to the 2013 Biennial of the Americas"

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