Author: Corinne Baud

Big name dance companies bring their art to the Boulder stage and classroom

“People kept saying, ‘Oh, you got the apprentices from the Young Ensemble?’ No. Batsheva. The full company is coming to Boulder,” recalls Head of Dance Department and Artist Series board member Erika Randall.

This spring, the Artist Series hosts two world-class dance ensembles, Batsheva Dance Company and Dorrance Dance, in Macky Auditorium. Both are known for pushing the boundaries of 21st-century dance—and their global reputations make them a huge “get” for the Boulder community, says CU Theatre & Dance Department Chair and Artist Series Board Member Erika Randall.

“People kept saying, ‘Oh, you got the apprentices from the Young Ensemble?’ No. Batsheva. The full company is coming to Boulder,” she recalls.

Known to be at the forefront of modern dance in the 21st century, Batsheva Dance Company uses Gaga, a movement language developed by Batsheva house choreographer and former artistic director Ohad Naharin. Coincidentally, CU dance students learn Gaga in class today.

“Once Batsheva found out how deeply Gaga was incorporated into our dance department, they were blown away,” says CU Presents Executive Director Joan McLean Braun.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students. We received a Roser Visiting Artist Grant to fund two weeks of master classes prior to the concert,” adds Randall. “Being able to have deep investigatory time in this immersive and demanding technique—while also witnessing the company onstage—is a rare gift.”

Dorrance Dance, too, has redefined modern dance. Aiming to honor tap in a new and dynamic way, Dorrance revamps the rhythmic and technical traditions of the art form that have enticed audiences for generations.

“They’ve evolved tap into a contemporary context, looking at is as a musical expression and percussive nature of feet,” says McLean Braun. “The buzz around the company is remarkable. They were just in Vail a few summers ago and audiences were completely impressed.”

Both dance companies complement the other genres and art forms of the Artist Series this season.

“The Artist Series really looks to bring experiences to Boulder that will be both entertaining and transformative,” says Randall. “And these two companies definitely deliver that because of how they move people into feeling.”

Batsheva Dance Company performs March 20; tickets start at $34. Dorrance Dance performs April 6; tickets start at $20.