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Boulder arts: Helander Dance Theater explores Empty Spaces


Photo by Shari Regenbogen; Graphic Design by Page Zekonis

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Picture a local building abandoned in the recent economic distress. What new inspirations, dreams, and opportunities can be uncovered there?

Friday, April 23 thru Sunday, April 25 and Friday April 30 through May 2 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m.), the Helander Dance Theater presents Empty Spaces at the Old Rayback Plumbing Building (2775 Valmont Street, Boulder, CO), a space donated by Tebo Development Company.

Empty Spaces is a new, collaborative, multimedia, dance theater production by the Helander Dance Theater, which will artistically bring to life the contemporary issue of the empty spaces that are all around us and within us. It will be an exploration of the uncharted inner terrain that exists in all of us and the potency, hopefulness, and sorrow embodied in these spaces.

Founder and artistic director, Danelle Helander, creates modern dance theater that is powerful and experimental. Helander's choreography is edgy, whimsical, athletic, abstract yet descriptive with a touch of humor. There are flowing moments with controlled technique; the dance represents the confusion and fascination that we all have in life. This time it expresses our empty spaces.

"The empty space between you and me. The choice or necessity to empty your space. The decision to keep or to let go. We are looking into the inner work of how we decide what is important and what we will have to leave behind," explained Helander, "How do we leave the spaces in our lives so they can be filled again?"

Boulder musician Michael Zekonis once again joins Helander Dance Theater to create a multi-dimensional live electronic and acoustic sound score that captures the diverse sonic elements inherent in the notion of empty space.

From the shuttered storefronts on our streets to the internal emptiness we experience as we try to make meaning of our lives and communities, Empty Spaces will go straight to the  heart of what remains when existing physical and psychological  structures are stripped away, either through circumstances or by intention. Through experimental music and soundscapes, evocative  choreography, sculpture, and multimedia, the artists will create a site-specific performance that asks each of us to confront the fear and embrace the creative possibilities of the blank slate.

As Helander summizes, "We can let go and be hopeful. We can bless these spaces and love them."

Tickets are $15 general admission for all performances. For tickets and information about Empty Spaces, please visit the Helander Dance Theater website at, Brown Paper Tickets at or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Empty Spaces

Event Details

What: Helander Dance Theater - Empty Spaces
When: Friday April 23, Saturday, April 24, Sunday, April 25* and Friday, April 30, Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2; Fridays and Saturdays starting at 8 pm and Sundays starting at 7 pm
Where: Old Rayback Plumbing Supply Building - 2775 Valmont, Boulder, CO 80303
Tickets: $15 General Admission
Purchase online:
Or call: 1-800-838-3006
Sponsored by Tebo Development

*Sunday, April 25th will be a benefit performance, $1 donated per ticket sold, for the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA).

Artistic Director and Choreographer: Danelle Helander
Performed by: Sarkis Renjilian Burgy, Danelle Helander, Sean Owens, Kelsey Jean Kempfer
Music Composed by: Michael Zekonis
Rehearsal Director: Nina Rolle
Costume Design: Susan Perry
Installation Artist: Sara Rockinger
Lighting Design: Scott Oliver
Photography: Shari Regenbogen

Empty Spaces Trailer:

Shoshana Fanizza is the founder of Audience Development Specialists.  For writings specifically about audience development, please visit the Audience Development Blog.


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