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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Guangdong Modern Dance brings calligraphy to the stage, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY GUANGDONG MODERN DANCE COMPANY
  • Courtesy Guangdong Modern Dance Company

Guangdong Modern Dance Company

Jan. 29, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$55, uccspresents.org

China’s first professional modern dance company is visiting Colorado Springs for one performance featuring its most beloved program: Beyond Calligraphy, which has been performed on more than 100 stages. Founded in 1992, only three years after the historic, student-led Tiananmen Square protests, Guangdong Modern Dance Company has toured worldwide, sharing aspects of Chinese heritage and culture through movement.

Modern dance is known for rejecting the confining, often rigid structure and technique of more formal styles, though it requires exceptional skill in order to perform deconstructed movements in a way that connects with the audience and conveys the talent of the dancer.

Choreographed by company director Liu Qi, Beyond Calligraphy balances this complex dynamic. The inspiration for the show is reflected in its name, paying homage to the art of Chinese calligraphy, a stylized expression of the characters that make up the written form of the Chinese language. The practice of calligraphy has endured for centuries as an embodiment of China’s art, culture and heritage.

The first half of the performance features five dances, which interpret different calligraphic script styles. These styles in Chinese calligraphy each have a different purpose and level of complexity in execution, creating the perfect platform for developing distinct choreography that reflects each script’s unique characteristics.

The second half of the performance, titled “Ink Wash Landscape,” builds upon the first and interprets the Chinese technique of ink wash painting, exploring the soft, delicate harmony between the ethereal effect created in color wash and the precision of the script that sits upon it
In addition to the execution of Qi’s dynamic choreography, the dancers of the GMDC showcase incredible physicality, making each movement appear graceful and effortless while also conveying the clean, crisp precision required to keep the dance as elegant as the calligraphy that inspires it.

Lighting and costuming also play a role in elevating the drama, embracing the form and function of the human body with shadow and glow as the dancers put their bodies to the test. The carefully selected score adds the final component of the immersive experience.

Thirteen dancers will perform throughout the evening and attendees will have the opportunity to join a pre-show talk with the company about the evening’s performance.

Ultimate Indoor Garage Sale

Jan. 31, 5-7:30 p.m., 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $5-$10, ultimateindoorgaragesale.com

For decades, garage sales have served as an unofficial community recycling program, allowing people to get rid of unwanted items without adding to already overburdened landfills. This weekend’s mega garage sale at the Norris Penrose Event Center adds to the eco-friendliness by housing more than 150 sellers in a single location, reducing the environmental impact of driving from neighborhood to neighborhood in search of the perfect bargain. Purchase a ticket online and you’ll save $5, plus get early-bird access to hundreds of items ranging from common to obscure.

Blue Hands Festival

Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., $35, textileswest.org

Get your hands dirty, hang out with cool people and create something beautiful at Textiles West’s Blue Hands Festival, an indigo-dyeing party that will give you the blues in the best possible way. Learn shibori dyeing techniques and dye several pieces to take home. Bring items that could use extra pizazz like a plain white T-shirt, small washcloths or old pants and give them new life with color. Your fabrics should be made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk or wool to achieve the maximum indigo blue goodness.

Cerberus (Board) Game Day

Feb. 2, 4:30-9 p.m., 702 W. Colorado Ave., cerberusbrewingco.com

Despite the nonstop media coverage, not everyone is amped about football and the big game. If you’re among that crowd, Cerberus Brewing Company is offering a special game day of its own, sans refs and commercials. Gather up your favorite tabletop games and hit the brewery for friendly competition or show up and play one of their games instead. Of course, no game day is complete without beer and nachos, even one that doesn’t involve hollering at the television. Cerberus will be serving unlimited build-your-own nachos for $20 and 60-ounce craft beer pitchers for $15-$20 throughout the entire 41/2-hour event. (Note: Cerberus will have the game on, just in case you simply cannot bear to miss it.)

click to enlarge TIM BERGSTEN
  • Tim Bergsten

Super Half and Game Day 5K

Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., start at Plaza of the Rockies, 121 S. Tejon St., $25-$65, bit.ly/2019SuperHalfand5K

For some, running a race the morning of Super Bowl Sunday is a middle finger to the caloric gods — who cares how much fat is in guacamole or how many chicken wings are consumed when you’ve run 3 to 13 miles before the clock strikes noon? For others, the race is a kick-off (sorry) to a day of absolute rebellion against the commercialism and obsession that accompanies the annual big game. And still more of you are simply maniacs who enjoy running, even in the middle of winter, even on a day typically focused on sloth and gluttony. Whatever camp you happen to reside in, this run is for you.

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