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I’ve never claimed to be objective about poetry. I like narrative handrails. I like humor. I like to feel emotionally invested. Michael J. Henry’s work has always been among my favorites, ever since I stole his graduate MFA thesis and read it with a bottle of cabernet sauvignon in front of the fire. When it comes to ballet, I confess to equally pedestrian yearnings. I want a story. I want to lose myself in it. As I’m leaving the theater after those rude lights come up, I want to mumble to strangers that I just got something in my eye. Might I borrow a Kleenex?
When choreographer Garrett Ammon first put Michael Henry’s poetry to dance, it was part of a longer show on love. When the Lights Go Down was about a group of people living in close proximity who loved each other, hurt each other, and ultimately saved one another–a show shot through with gorgeous poetic imagery, impeccable music (always thoughtfully chosen by Ammon, who seems to have an encyclopedic mind), and such grace and presence of character that I honestly forgot I was watching a ballet. The world changed. The experience worked on more levels, somehow, than I had naively believed ballet capable of: the narrative, the poetic, the musical, and the pure stunning grace of the physical. It inspired everyone in the audience on a cellular level.
See for yourself in the reprise of Ammon’s full-length Intersection, based this time on an original chapbook by Henry. The poems follow the rippling effects of a young man’s disappearance on the community he leaves behind. It’s breathtaking and unforgettable–and showing this weekend and next in Lakewood and north Denver. Well, the trailer (with Henry’s voice in the background) captures it better than I ever could:
Come see it. You won’t be sorry. We’ll see you there!
Showing at the Lakewood Cultural Center theater on Sept. 16, 17, and 18.
Showing at the Performance Complex at PCS on Sept. 23, 24, and 25.
Lighthouse members can use promo code BNCLHOUSE and receive 25% off on Prime & Standard tickets