Modern Masters: Taylor and Wheeldon

Celebrating the choreography of cutting-edge
dance makers from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Boulder Ballet is honored to present the company premiere of “Airs.” An instant classic, “Airs” has been a hit since it premiered in the late 1970s. Choreography by Paul Taylor, performed to music selections by Handel.

Another company premiere, “Five Movements, Three Repeats” is an excellent example of Christopher Wheeldon’s signature blend of ballet and modern dance. Choreography by Wheeldon, set to music by Max Richter and Dinah Washington.

Gordon Gamm Theater, Dairy ARTS Center:

Opening night with Post Performance Celebration,
Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Tickets $75 Patron, $50 Adult

Saturday, February 22, 2020 @ 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Tickets: $50 Patron, $35 Adult, $24 Student/Senior

Sunday, February 23, 2020 @ 2:00pm
Tickets: $50 Patron, $35 Adult, $24 Student/Senior

Gordon Gamm Theater – Dairy ARTS Center
2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
TICKETS: or 303.444.7328

Paul Taylor, Airs

Paul Taylor (1930–2018) choreographed 147 dances between 1954 and 2018, premiering his last work only a few months before his death at the age of 88. A short news clip broadcast in memoriam of Paul Taylor from the PBS News Hour, August 30, 2018 reflects the exceptional breadth of his career and his groundbreaking contributions to dance in the world today. PBS NEWS HOUR INTERVIEW

Boulder Ballet will be performing Airs, the first production of this piece on the front range of Colorado. Airs, set to music by Handel, was premiered by the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1978 and is a bellwether example of what many have called Taylor’s “lyrical” works of classic beauty and embodied musicality, and it is a perennial favorite with audiences. Many of Paul Taylor’s dances, including Airs, live in the repertoires of the world’s best ballet companies, including American Ballet Theatre (USA), Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark) and Birmingham Royal Ballet (UK). As such, it is a dance that has proven its appeal to dancers and audiences far and wide. It is an exciting landmark for Boulder Ballet to add this masterwork showcase for their dancers and audiences.

Christopher Wheeldon, Five Movements, Three Repeats

Christopher Wheeldon is a choreographic superstar of 21st century contemporary dance, his works having been performed by many top-tier ballet companies in the US and beyond. He joined The Royal Ballet in 1991 and New York City Ballet in 1993, beginning his choreographic career in 1997 while still a dancer. He was New York City Ballet’s first resident choreographer from 2001 to 2008. Currently, he is the Artistic Associate for The Royal Ballet.

Wheeldon’s Five Movements, Three Repeats returns to Colorado, this time in a Company premiere by Boulder Ballet. The piece premiered at the Vail Dance Festival in 2012, danced by Fang-Yi Sheu & Artists, and is set to Dinah Washington’s rendition of “This Bitter Earth” and Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight.”

Five Movements, Three Repeats juxtaposes classical and modern dance. It features a cast of four dancers and is comprised of a selection of solos and duets that draw on the strengths of each dancer. The four perform their own phrases simultaneously, repeating the sequence three times in different directions. “…it’s a beautifully patient piece that glows with inventiveness. … [Wheeldon creates] a sense of harmony between radically different styles.” (Dance Magazine)

Read more Information about these two iconic choreographers.

Joining these two masters on the program will be a new work by our own Lance Hardin and Amy Earnest. Collaborating with composer Michael Schulze, the piece incorporates artificial intelligence. Because the dancers will help create the music while on stage, no two performances will be identical.

This piece introduces a new way to create dance: music being generated in real time under partial control of the dancers. Small sensors worn by the dancers transmit data to a computer which uses it to control various musical elements. At times, the choreography is determining which notes or rhythms will be played and modifying the sound of the musical timbres you will hear, all in interaction with the dancers. This use of live electronics means that no two performances of this piece will ever be exactly the same and runs contrary to the established practice of creating choreography entirely after the music is composed.

It is constructed much like a large ensemble jazz performance, where some of the musicians are asked to generate their own material spontaneously within a set of musical constraints. The result is a much more collaborative and interactive creative process between the composer, the choreographers, and the dancers.

Don’t miss this production of company and world premieres in Boulder. No travel to New York required!

Gordon Gamm Theater, Dairy ARTS Center:
TICKETS: or 303.444.7328



Photo by Amanda Tipton,
Costumes by Gene Moore in Paul Taylor’s Airs