Tonight I will go to the Mary Miller Theater in Lafayette to see “A . . . My Name Will Always Be Alice,” and tomorrow to The Avenue Theater in Denver for “Unfolding,” a one-woman show by Delta Donahue. Wednesday I heard the CU Jazz Combo play live Latin jazz at the Broomfield Audi. Great stuff, sounds to rave about and savor the memory of. Life is scary good these days.
Consider this: Last night I went with friends to a performance in Denver that will stay with me for a very long time. Control Group Productions presented “Salon Romantik, Op. 3: Fear & Prophets.” This interpretive, multimedia event happened in multiple venues, with the audience moving from a bridge over Cherry Creek, to an alley, a park, and a remote wildlife sanctuary. The four female dancers were accompanied by recorded music that changed with each venue. The black (yes, black) bus that transported us to the park and the sanctuary was stocked with refreshments and featured an amazing video at the rear of the bus. These are the bones, but the rest almost defies description or understanding.
The theme was “apocalyptica,” the revealing of a world beyond our control. As the program notes say, “The world becomes greater than us.” The dancers and their attendants, led us to experience this sense, which the director, Patrick Mueller, says is at the heart of the romantic. We are one with the world, and everything that happens, from intentional performance to random interventions by the urban and open-space inhabitants becomes part of the artistic experience.
This is not a beautiful performance in the commercial sense of balance and aesthetic, but beautiful in its energy, its risk, its provocative dislocation. The not-so-new news is that what man creates nature ignores or reclaims. Chernobyl and Rocky Flats now belong to non-human beings. This is bigger than a message; it’s truth.