Ormao Dance Company’s patrons, donors, dancers, students and director have spoken.

They voted this summer on the best of the company’s pieces over the past decade. Those five selections will be showcased Sunday during “Ovation” in Shockley-Zalabak Theater at Ent Center for the Arts.

One of the challenges of doing such a show is remembering the choreographer’s original intention and movement. For the piece “Umbreller,” by Thailand-based Hsin-Yu Kao, which was performed three years ago, Ormao executive and artistic director Jan Johnson and Kao went over the piece via social media.

The umbrellas represent memories, life changes and dreams, and they originated from Kao’s memories of hiding with a new girlfriend under an umbrella during a Thailand rainstorm.

“Is this still how he feels about it?” asked Johnson.

In other cases, the choreographer is still in town. Tiffany Tinsley Weeks, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs faculty member, helped re- create her piece “Proximity” from five years ago. Dancers use two wooden boxes on stage as a way to investigate the compartments in which we live, such as relationships.

Former Pilobolus dancer and choreographer Mike Tyus’ family now lives in Colorado Springs, making it easier for him to visit. His piece “Lapsus,” performed four years ago, is an ode to his recovery from a nervous breakdown.

“It’s heart-wrenching to watch,” said Johnson, “knowing what he’s been through.”

“Fear Silences,” by Ila Conoley Paladino, is the director’s choice. The choreographer, who created the piece before the 2016 election, uses movement to look at the FBI and its first director, J. Edgar Hoover. It asks questions about the transparency of governmental institutions.

“That was interesting,” Johnson said. “We need to put it on a big stage so the audience can see all the things happening. There’s so much going on.”

“Ovation” also features one new piece. “On the nature of daylight” by Patrizia Herminjard, a former Martha Graham dancer and current Colorado College Artist in Residence, features solo dancer Prentiss Benjamin exploring the human psyche and the use of gestures, repetition, routine and the disruption of cycles.


Contact the writer: 636-0270

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