6 days in denver

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We met Margaret Brown, Welcomed Western Week, stomped Mount Evans, echoed Echo Lake, graced the Garden of the Gods, jammed at Red Rocks Amphitheater, waved to Buffalo Bill, caught a hailstorm at the top of Seven Falls, and got stranded in Wyoming.

Being stuck at a rest stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming with a busload of people- right around dinner time- may not seem very fun. Especially if that bus begins its venture at 2:30 am and ends up running out the dear,  sweet driver’s legal driving limit in “bumpa-da-bumpa” traffic. But what you might not know, the thing that makes all the uncomfortable attempted napping positions and dangerous hanger conditions worth it, is totality. On August 21, 2017, we spread blankets, strapped on glasses, and cranked Pink Floyd to witness the total eclipse of the sun. As the moon made its way into line, we watched the light grow dimmer, felt the air cool. For a few sublime moments, the sky put on a 360-degree sunset. The sun circled hugged the moon in a perfect, glowing ring. Jaws dropped. Eyes widened. And we listened:

All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy, beg, borrow, or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that’s to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

-Pink Floyd, Eclipse

a short stay in…

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…Boulder! These past few days have been the perfect blend of exploration and relaxation between busy Vail and a full itinerary awaiting us in Denver. A few stops worth mentioning:

Boulder Bookstore. We made 2 visits to this beautiful bookstore in the heart of the downtown area to peruse/get lost. I came away with Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B, and M bought a few nerdy business books ;)

Zeal. The grilled peach with goat cheese, honeycomb, and balsamic. Oh, boy. Wish we had more time here just so I could do another meal at this farm-to-table spot.

Boxcar Roasters. Sharing a space with the boutique foodie shop/cheese and charcuterie counter/wine corner, this coffee shop screams expert curation. I had a really yummy jasmine green tea, and M reports that the coffee was good, too.

The flatirons. We hiked up around the flatirons loop early in the morning. The weather was gorgeous. We decided to stop at the top and sit on the big stretch of rocks that overlooks the valley. In a series of unfortunate events (ahem), my phone was dropped several feet below the layers of rocks. M recalled a quote from Confucious as we pried up heavy boulders and used long branches like chopsticks to fish it out. An hour later, the phone was cracked and dirty, but in my hands. Save to say, the hike was still beautiful, just hang on to your slippery electronics!

Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. This teahouse was built in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, then disassembled and shipped to Boulder, where it was carefully rebuilt as a sign of friendship and peace between the two cities. Quite simply, the building is stunning, the tea menu is pleasingly extensive, and my Mediterranean salad was delicious.

Alpine Modern Cafe. This is fast fine-dining in a design-happy environment. Our brunch was so nutrient dense and filling, we were still quite satisfied when dinner time rolled around.

behind-the-scenes

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Ah, Vail Dance Festival. A beautiful whirlwind of art and connection, effervescing with life. When I wasn’t fangirling world class dancers (or holding light reflectors in their faces), I found myself wrapped up in the serenity of Vail’s mountain air. What a completely magical place for a celebration of movement and music. I feel honored and humbled by this entire experience. Some behind-the-scenes photos, if you’d like to see…

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for more #bts from the Vail Dance Festival, check out @settingthebarre on Instagram.

off to colorado

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Welp, friends, we’re off to Colorado! I’m putting on my journalist hat, so follow along here and on Intagram (@settingthebarre) and Twitter (@setthebarreblog) my Vail Dance Festival reviews. I might even vlog(?!) so stay TUNED people! For now, a few fun links from around the web…

A touching piece on the often untreated mental health of young dancers.

Seeing this beauty perform live soon, but for now, this pretty music video will do.

Vintage photos of dancers at Jacob’s Pillow.(!!!)

An update from Pointe on the status of my strong friend, Jordan. Thanks to all who donated and sent some light his way!

Have you guys joined The Whole Dancer Facebook group? Tips, encouragement, and support, right this way.

So excited for the release of the inaugural issue of The Wonderful World of Dance. Look for my interview with ABT Soloist Calvin Royal III, coming soon!

the fading of light and love

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We enter the back of a sublimely bare church, the void of prayers sated only by a rich wash of morning light.  Soothing acoustic plucks guide a white dress through satisfyingly simple, narrative movement.  Intimate perspectives drift over pews, peeking their way down into a dreamy scene.  The videographic rendering of indie rocker Rob Drabkin‘s Stay (The Morning Light Fades) is refreshingly elegant.

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Featuring clean choreography by Amanda Copple of Denver’s Michelle Latimer Dance Company, the music video is indulgently fluid in all of its facets.  Copple, partnered by charming fellow MLDC dancer Luke Kamppila, weaves the melody into each step, chords rolling over shoulders like a third dancer, visible only through the expression of its creator.  As our trio of dancers spill out from the pews of Colorado Springs’ Shove Chapel, we follow their “catch and release” love story, desperate movements shadowing the beauty and pain of an endangered relationship.  Copple and Kamppila float in and out of each others arms, the discord in their energies demonstrated by opposing directional focuses and out of sync turns.  They swim through the open air into feathery lifts and gentle connections, then combust into an irreparable dissonance.  Director Dillon Novak reflects on the result of a “once in a lifetime” videoshoot, offering,

 “Partitions of stained glass and countless rows of outstretching pews and columns become the physical bounds of a relationship. Beginning in the back of the sanctuary, a history of love unfolds into a dance. Their story travels through radiant light and crushing darkness, fighting their way towards the front of the church.”

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The composer and musician Rob Drabkin himself, who chose the video’s venue not for any religious or nuptial semblance but for the pure enchantment of its natural light and stained-glass windows, sheds perhaps the most insightful light on the collaboration.  Drabkin’s soulful singing reflects his own experience with the ache and relief which shadow the ultimate expiring of a faded relationship.  Stay‘s delicate chord progressions materialized as movement in Drabkin’s mind from the moment he conceived them, and when the song was complete, a need for choreographic accompaniment became impossible to ignore.  “It was time to take a risk and put the idea into motion.”  And we’re so glad you did, Mr. Drabkin.

Catch the full music video on vevo.

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