“The roots of my movement study are in modern and post-modern dance and ideologies, using dance to evoke thought and questions about human action and reaction. I’m interested in the connections between dancers and how this prompts imagery of humanity and universal connections to one another. My movement vocabulary is organic but unpredictable, visceral. I often encourage company dancers to bring themselves to the process and generation of material is informed by the group’s dynamic. I believe that EDD’s works are each amalgamations of the experiences of myself and the dancers, creation of something that is larger and more moving than any one story. As a movement artist, my research focuses on two main creative points: 1) the ebb and flow of creativity that is gleaned from various approaches to choreography and how this shapes the dynamic of the group and the work, and 2) how accessing raw humanity and vulnerability in the rehearsal process and performance creates a foundation for strength of creative work and genuine performance quality. As a human, my interests in these endeavors are to facilitate a community of artists that believe what we do with moving bodies and what we share with the world is valid, meaningful, and genuine.
I value the creative process because the artwork itself is not only the performance, but the journey from beginning to end. Research, cast discussion, and free-form writing help the company to gain a sense of the qualities, textures, experiences and overall structure of any given work we embark on. Within the overall process, collaborating with other artists is not only valuable but essential to the evolution of the company’s body of work and for the involved artists. I have collaborated with poets Ian Dougherty, Serena Chopra, Aubrey Lande and script writer Steph Hombo; with seated dancer Teri Westerman; with the late film artist Robbin Hammer; and with various musician, including guitarist, Janet Feder. My most long-standing artistic collaboration is with the company’s Co-Director and Composer, Amy Shelley—a collaboration of fifteen years creating movement and music.
The most intimate and moving aspects of expression involve the body. As an artist, I am most interested in revealing complex human emotion and interaction through the nuances of the moving form. Ask those forms to interact or react to each other and the complexity can be as multi-layered as humans themselves. What our bodies can hide, hold, reveal, reject, embrace, absorb or say through movement alone can be striking, beautiful, powerful.”
Amy has worked with Evolving Doors Dance since it’s inception in 2006 as a sound score designer, artistic consult, and live musician for performances and class accompaniment, as well as a composer. Amy weaves intricate sound scores of music, ambient sound, and text to create unique landscapes of sound for the work of the company.
Amy Shelley is a multi-faceted drummer with an eclectic background and training. She brings depth, nuance, and color to projects as she works and collaborates with artists in various genres and is involved with bands in the Denver area. She currently plays with Cuddle, along side Art Lande and Juli Royster. Cuddle weaves a cradle of complex textures and moods, while actually encouraging audience to participate in the very activity for which it is named. Amy is also part of High Fiction, a New York and Colorado collaborating band she shares with award-winning composer, keyboard player and vocalist, Gary Grundei. Amy and Gary do more play than work in developing the sound of High Fiction. The band has an ever-evolving sound with everything from the poignant and ballad-esque to the Indie rockish. Amy’s also recently joined Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene, a group with jump blues and edgy rockabilly style and the Colorado Blues Society Member’s Choice Award 2019 Band of the Year. Other musical endeavors for Amy have included work with Pony Trap, Lucky No. 1 Band, the Art Lande Trio, Supercollider, and Canoe. She has also played with Ace Trio, Ron Miles, Carmen Sandim, and Janet Feder. Amy is also a seasoned music educator for adults and youth. She has taught in studio, for community classes, and in university masterclasses. Amy currently teaches youth and adults via her own drum studio and at Neighborhood Music Stapleton.
Amy earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Colorado in 2001. Her approach to music is one that balances a deep excavation of musical ideas with a playfulness that is nearly childlike and a passion that conveys the respect she holds for the art form that is music.
Gretchen LaBorwit is an emerging dance-for-camera film maker. While pursuing her MFA in Dance from CU Boulder she was the Archival Director for the Dance Department where she had the opportunity to film every dance performance and her love for dance and film grew. She has conceptualized, filmed, directed, and edited the video works dug up, Whose There, Even Now We Remain, Se(d)ance, Clear View, and projected film for the live performance of Underland. Gretchen is thrilled to be creating a new dance for camera work in collaboration with Evolving Doors Dance and High Fiction. This is only the beginning for Gretchen with many more dance for camera works in the making.
Gretchen began work with Evolving Doors Dance as an apprentice and quickly moved into the a full company member role with the group, dancing in evening-length works beginning in 2013. Gretchen left the company to pursue her MFA at CU Boulder and has now returned to working with EDD as both a dancer and collaborating film artist. During her time with EDD, Gretchen also toured with the company in 2015.
High Fiction is Gary Grundei and Amy Shelley, two talented multi-instrumentalists who make densely layered, carefully constructed pop music that will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye — often at the same time. The two veteran musicians have spent most of their musical careers helping other people bring their musical visions to life. High Fiction’s music is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, confident and vulnerable, ornate and airy. Like a cool blanket on a hot summer night, the music of High Fiction is both unexpected and comforting. The band’s literary-yet-ingenuous lyrics combine with addictively hummable melodies and lush arrangements, resulting in songs that tickle the brain, warm the heart, and move the body. High Fiction makes music propelled by love, curiosity and an overwhelming desire to understand, connect with, and improve the world we live in.