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Wonderbound comes through with another offbeat creation

`Madness, Rack and Honey’ ties purposeful poetry and randomness to music


Wonderbound Ballet’s newest production, “Madness, Rack and Honey,” comes at an especially appropriate time: April is National Poetry Month!

Inspired by poetry as well as familiar classical music, “Sinfonia Concertante,” by Mozart, choreographer Garrett Ammons premiered his “Madness, Rack and Honey” with the Smuin Ballet in San Francisco in 2016. Now, Colorado audiences will experience this new work, with its name based on a collection of lectures by award-winning American poet Mary Ruefle: “Madness, Rack and Honey,” as well as on a random, word-generated poem created by Ammons in a cadence that matches the score. Performances are scheduled April 27-May 6.

Members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will perform with the talented dancers of the Wonderbound contemporary dance company in “Madness, Rack and Honey,” as well as with company member Sarah Tallman’s new piece, “I Didn’t Hear You, I was Away With the Fairies,” performed to Mozart’s music as well.

Tallman drew inspiration from 20th-century poets, such as Langston Hughes and e.e. cummings and works with her dancers amid “a garden of Chiavari chairs, filling the stage with a grandiose joy that matches Mozart’s `Divertimento No. 11 in D major,’” according to Wonderbound’s Amber Blais.

Claude Sim, associate concertmaster of the CSO, has happy memories of previous projects shared by orchestra members and Wonderbound: “Over the past seasons, we’ve had the great honor of working with the superbly talented Garrett Ammons and Dawn Fey on past performances at Wonderbound …”

Ammons’ way of collaborating with one or another musical group is nourishing to all the artists concerned with a mutual project — stretching the imaginations and enriching already considerable skills. The performances are characterized by a very special sense of joy that also rewards an audience with a new way of presenting a beautiful art form.

San Francisco critics praised the piece as a “rollicking” and “infectious good time.” Sounds like a perfect celebration of spring as well as of the arts.


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