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The Ballet of Masculine & Feminine Divinities

Riley Anne Martin and Michael Thompson
Riley Anne Martin and Michael Thompson
 
Theatre companies draw from a variety of talent pools—including their own company members, as well as those with whom they've worked or seen, and those who break through in an audition—but Denver's famous bohemian coffee house, restaurant, and performance space, Mercury Cafe ("the Merc"), has an entirely unique gestalt—with productions often drawn from a pool of talented patrons and waitstaff, including, in this case, actors, dancers, and musicians—as we see in this imaginative creation, back by popular demand from its November premiere.

Kyle Terwilliger
Kyle Terwilliger
 
This experimental feast for the senses incorporates a spectrum of elements that beg comparisons to Fellini, Cirque du Soleil, Russian expressionism, and after-hours jazz, with enrapturing dances (including a few on roller skates), an assortment of weird characters, and whimsical scenery and props, all scored to evocative live musical atmospherics.

Bodhi Rader and Riley Anne Martin
Bodhi Rader and Riley Anne Martin
 
The piece was conceived and written by Riley Anne Martin last year in New York City as her response to the environmental degradation she was experiencing there. "The environment in NYC is truly terrifying," says Martin. "I do hope change can be promoted from voices of people at the Mercury Cafe, especially since this establishment is the greenest of the green." The Merc is run on solar and wind power, and serves an organic menu.

Riley Anne Martin and Bodhi Rader
Riley Anne Martin and Bodhi Rader
 
As the title suggests, the ballet involves a dynamic between the masculine and feminine forces spread across human history and our natural environment—intertwining animism and elves, royalty, religious superstitions, and the commodification and despoilment of nature and people, all wrapped in phantasmagoria of color, sound, and movement—that leads to a union of the masculine and feminine, the cleansing of the forest and the water, and a higher state of being and consciousness.

The ensemble's collaborative refinement of the parable continues with a "repeat," but intentionally changed, performance on February 28th, from 8:00-10:30 PM in the venue's upstairs ballroom. Mercury Cafe is located at 2199 California Street in Denver. Show tickets are $20. Additionally, dinner and drinks are available before the show. Doors open at 8. Show time is 8:30. Call 303-294-9258 for dinner reservations. Visit MercuryCafe.com and Mercury Cafe Denver on Facebook; also @MercuryCafeCo.

Bob Bows



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