Zikr Dance’s ‘Lifting the Veil’ Brings Metaphysical Ballet to the Dairy Arts Center – Boulder Daily Camera


As restrictions loosen and vaccines are administered, in-house shows are starting to return to theaters across the region.

Dancers Melissa Zoebisch, Greg Gonzales and Ben Winegar perform in Zikr Dance Ensemble’s “Cham Mandala” in June 2017 at the Lakewood Cultural Center. (Scott Hunt/Courtesy photo)

Extending well beyond the essence of “Swan Lake”, the productions of Zikr dance set are known to amaze audiences. Blending a Cirque du Soleil vibe with a metaphysical vibe, the contemporary dance company continues to attract a fan base eager to see productions that stray from tradition, while incorporating the refined grace of ballet.

“Lifting the Veil,” the latest offering from art director David Taylor – who founded Zikr in 2009 – features jaw-dropping film projections and digital graphic effects created by the company’s cutting-edge visual artist Travis Powell. multimedia design from Denver. Deep space drive-in.

Zikr’s local tour kicked off on Wednesday with a preview performance at the Southridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch.

While the majority of upcoming performances have sold out, including Monday’s date at the Dairy Arts Center, interested viewers can stream the show later this month. The dates for the virtual option will be posted on the company’s website.

A limited number of tickets were still available for Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. show at the Denver Ballet Theater Academy in Littleton on Thursday. Tickets from $18.12.

With demand for tickets high, organizers added another show on April 18 at 7 p.m. at the Lakewood Cultural Center. Tickets are $30.

“Zikr” comes from the Arabic word meaning “to remember” and is a ritual prayer practiced by Muslim mystics. Performances by the innovative Denver-based company of the same name have a ceremonial quality not usually found in typical dance productions.

Dancer Zac Bigbee performs in Zikr Dance Ensemble’s “Runes” in June 2019 at the Lakewood Cultural Center. (Peter Strand/Courtesy photo)

Sometimes it feels like we’re getting a glimpse of the practices of an ancient or future society.

Fusing intriguing visuals with acrobatic marvels and dramatic musical scores, a Zikr production usually manages to be masked with palpable mystique, international flair and raw edge.

The latest program will also give audiences a taste of the troupe’s two critically acclaimed works, “Oracle” and “Runes.”

In 1979, Taylor founded the David Taylor Dance Theater – Denver’s first contemporary ballet company. Throughout his career, the prolific choreographer has created over 100 original works and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

We caught up with Taylor – who has been professionally involved in the Colorado dance community for the past 50 years – to find out what it’s been like to bring his work back to the region’s stages again, how old he started her journey into dance and what’s next for the company.

Daily camera: I imagine this has been a difficult year with so many live productions being canceled due to the pandemic. How does it feel to finally have dancers back on stage in front of a live audience?

DavidTaylor: Simply fantastic. We had a bigger than usual turnout at the auditions as everyone wanted to get back into acting and as a result, we have the strongest cast Zikr has ever assembled.

Dancers Tracy Jones and Sean Omandam perform in Zikr Dance Ensemble’s “In your Eyes” in June 2018 at the Lone Tree Arts Center. (Peter Strand/Courtesy photo)

CC : What inspired “Lifting the Veil?”

DT: I find it difficult to explain this. Often, I don’t know where the ideas come from. I honestly feel that the ideas come from somewhere other than me. Of course, through my metaphysical studies, I have been aware of the idea of ​​the “veil” that separates the physical from the spiritual. Something sprouted in my subconscious to explore this idea.

CC : What can audiences expect from this production? I read that there will be film screenings and digital graphic effects.

DT: Zikr still uses slide shows. This year we are adding digital graphic projections to “Lifting The Veil”. But I don’t want the public to “expect” anything. I prefer that they simply open up to the experience and take away their own unique intuitive experience.

CC : I know your dance career spans decades. But, I’m curious what attracted you to the dance form in the first place. Do you remember any aha moments when you knew this art form would play an important role in your life?

DT: I had no idea, never even thought about dancing until I was 20. My spiritual mentor here in Denver, Richard Denny, then dancing with the Colorado Ballet, got me started.

Dancers Caitlin Ellis-Valentine and Sean Omandam perform in Zikr Dance Ensemble’s “Parallel & Elevated” in June 2018 at the Dairy Arts Center. (Peter Strand/Courtesy photo)

CC : Once this show is over, what’s next for Zikr? Are you working on new choreography and planning future shows?

DT: We are planning a fall tour of rural Colorado communities on the West Slope.


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