Though Ballet Nouveau Colorado artistic director Garrett Ammon is known for his “rock ballets”—he’s choreographed to Queen and David Bowie—his new partnership with Denver-based band Paper Bird was something of a serendipitous accident. “It’s a funny coincidence,” Ammon says. A year or so ago, Ammon noticed that both BNC and Paper Bird were included in a local paper’s ‘Best of Denver’ section. A few months later, both Ammon and Paper Bird were featured in another Denver publication, 5280 magazine. Considering it fate, Ammon wrote the band an email proposing that they work together. “And here we are,” he says.
This February, Denver audiences can catch the result: Carry On, a work for all 11 of BNC’s dancers that features choreography and video by Ammon and new music by Paper Bird, which the band will perform live onstage. “I’m particularly excited about the possibility of interaction between the band members and the dancers,” Ammon says. “We’ve planned several opportunities for everyone involved to get to know each other, so that those interactions will be natural and comfortable.”
What is it that keeps Ammon coming back to rock music? “I love the range of possibilities that rock and pop bring to ballet,” he says. “They create an entirely different onstage universe than classical music does.”