3rd Dance / Theater Law – a Boulder-based arts organization that has been bringing inventive shows to audiences since 2001 – takes its latest performance to new levels, literally.
Wednesday marks the start of the innovative troupe “The Elision Vol. 4, “ which will take place in the multi-level parking lot of the Twenty Ninth Street Outdoor Mall. The structure, normally reserved for vehicles of buyers and moviegoers, will be transformed into an engaging place and will host a multi-sensory experience.
“Participants will go to all three levels of the garage,” said Katie Elliott, artistic director of 3rd Law Dance who created and choreographed the show. “We saw this as an opportunity to take our audience on a journey from the ground floor to the open-air rooftop. It has become an important symbol of how we all begin to emerge. “
Site-specific production, which people can navigate on foot, is a refreshing pivot away from the virtual offerings and drive-through shows that have sprouted in the wake of COVID-19.
“The pandemic certainly caused us to think outside the box when theaters were closed,” Elliott said. “3rd Law is very committed to bringing a live art experience to our community, so we looked for places where we could make it happen.”
Converting the garage – at 1700 29th St., adjacent to Century Boulder – was no easy feat.
“This is the biggest creative push I’ve ever faced,” said Elliott. “So much to consider when considering the sound quality for the musicians, the floor area for the dancers, the audience experience and, of course, the weather for everyone involved. We had a shot A, B, C and D. The magic will be created as a dark and cement parking garage is transformed into a theatrical setting with dramatic lighting, live music and thoughtful choreography that will tread a gritty cobblestone surface. on several levels.
While a song will be projected from speakers in parked cars, the majority of the music will be enjoyed live by various musicians. An intriguing soundscape will be provided by Colorado Saxophone Quartet, The Boulder School of Samba Ensemble Bateria Alegria and longtime collaborator of 3rd Law Paul fowler.
“Personally, I’m very excited to be performing in Boulder, my hometown, for the first time since I was a teenager,” said dancer Mara Driscoll, who also co-produces the imaginative show. “Although I have done a significant amount of production over the past year with Boulder Arts Outdoors, I have experience as a performer and I am delighted to be able to wear this hat.”
Members of the public are encouraged to bring an easy-to-maneuver folding or camp chair that they can carry around on each level. While the shows are sold out for Wednesday and Saturday, Tickets at $ 40 are always available for Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Parties are encouraged to arrive at 7:30 p.m., with performances starting at 8:00 p.m.
“The volume, scale, textures and out-of-the-box architecture of the garage offers so much that a traditional theater doesn’t and – in many ways – commuting to work is a great opportunity. Driscoll said. “The experience actually inspires Katie to think about using more outdoor and unconventional spaces for future performances – pandemic or not.
For Elliott and Driscoll, having the opportunity to deliver an inspired production after so many cancellations is welcome.
“Katie and I have a long-standing relationship – we met when she was my modern dance teacher at Boulder Ballet School – and we’re able to support each other as co-producers,” Driscoll said. “Working in this capacity gives a deeper context and meaning to my experience of dancing in the show and vice versa. As a producer, I work with all aspects of the program, from the ticketing platform to props and costumes – and living in the world we create as a performer is very special.
The layered piece aims to express the many emotions that emerged in 2020.
“The choreographic themes of this project were truly a vivid, vivid expression of the year that we all experienced,” said Elliott.
From isolation to terror to the long-awaited – but joyful – reunion, the moving choreography takes audiences through the many stages that coincide with a global health crisis.
“I think these performances will be cathartic for both the participants and the performers,” Driscoll said. “3rd Law Dance / Theater has been a part of the community for two decades and members of the Boulder audience enjoy a lasting relationship with the company, performers and Katie’s exceptionally creative work.
The troupe thrives on collaboration with local artists.
“Elision Project Vol. 3 ”of 2019 which took place at the Dairy Arts Center showcased a number of creatives from the region, including Ars Nova Singers and Bonnie Paine, formerly of the folk group Elephant Revival based in the Netherlands.
“I think it will be extremely meaningful for the company and dedicated members of the audience to come together live and in person for a performance that in many ways – including the unique location – speaks to the experiences we all have. experienced during this past year. Said Driscoll. “I expect spectators and performers to feel that this EPV.4 is a marker of our evolution through and out of the pandemic together.”
Signs will indicate to participants the entrance and parking of the garage. A bathroom is available on the ground floor, in addition to a lift.
“When we started rehearsing again, I was challenged to find ways to bond the dancers while considering their safety during a pandemic,” said Elliott. “The first piece that the dancers do not touch but on the contrary moves in line with the momentum of each one. The second piece they are connected with rubber bands to create the beautiful partnership negotiation can create. The third and fourth pieces that the dancers actually touch. We were masked throughout the rehearsal process. This evening really takes you through the many stages we have all been through with the restrictions of our last year.
For Elliott, exploring and decorating his new, unconventional performance space was reminiscent of the 1970 song “Big Yellow Taxi”.
“I found myself chanting, ‘Doesn’t it always seem like it goes without saying that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. They paved the paradise and built a parking lot, ”Elliott said. “Thanks, Joni Mitchell. We’re back together, we’re so excited to share our work in person with each other after being apart for so long. Our audience has been sorely missed. “