By Gil Boggs
While sometimes art serves as a distraction for the viewer and helps them to forget their troubles, other times art challenges its audience to think about issues in the wider world.For this reason, I chose to bring Light /The Holocaust & Humanity Project to Colorado Ballet. Choreographed by Stephen Mills, Artistic Director at Ballet Austin, Light is set in 5 movements and is based on the life of one Holocaust survivor. After 9/11, Mills was inspired to create a ballet with an impact. He interviewed more than a dozen survivors during his 18 months of research before beginning work on Light.
Mills came to Denver in late January to teach his powerful work to the dancers of Colorado Ballet.
Right now the dancers are working to learn and perfect all the dancing in Light. This is a very emotional ballet, for the audience and the performers. The dancers must attempt to put themselves in the shoes of those who were subjugated during the Holocaust. The level of suffering those people endured is hard to understand, let alone to portray through dance.Many of Colorado Ballet’s performances, like The Nutcracker, bring a temporary halt to the stress of everyday life and transport viewers into another realm for a short time. Other works, like Light, have the power to make the audience share empathy with those different from themselves and to think about what’s going on in the world today.
This ballet promises to have a stirring impact on all those who experience it. People survived and lived on to thrive even after everything they endured. This is the message I hope viewers take away from Light.