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Despite the Pandemic and Vandalized Performance Space, Wonderbound Keeps Dancing

2020 has been a particularly challenging year for contemporary ballet company Wonderbound as they not only faced pandemic restrictions on their performances but also vandalism of their performance space. On November 7, 2020, intruders stripped their building of its copper wire, leaving it uninhabitable.

Luckily for Wonderbound, ingenuity is at their core. In fact, the ballet company has been thinking outside the box ever since the pandemic arrived in Colorado.

Founded by Dawn Fay and Garrett Ammon, Wonderbound was established in 2012 as a reenvisioning of Ballet Nouveau Colorado. Fay and Ammon saw Wonderbound as a company that lived at the convergence of tradition and innovation, vulnerability and courage, and intimacy and openness.

A scene from A Little Escape directed by Dawn Fay and Garrett Ammon

These values have guided the company throughout the pandemic, leading them to offer free virtual dance content and produce 129 brilliant short dance films during the past eight months for audiences to enjoy for free online. For example, their Dance Along series is the perfect movement break for our current stay-at-home lifestyle, while Wonderbound Shorts, and in particular, A Little Escape, are visually striking and slightly off-kilter tales to enjoy during a pause in your day.

Fay and Ammon have continued to pay Wonderbound dancers despite the fact that they have not been able to host ticketed events, and the cost of moving has only increased the impact of the pandemic.

However, they have found a new home for the company in the former art studio of Ed Dwight, the first African American in the country’s astronaut program and a major Denver sculptor, and they still plan to present their (postponed) winter show Winterland: A Discotheque Cabaret in January 2021.

While Fay and Ammon are optimistic for the future, especially with the outpouring of support that they’ve received from their community, this year has taken a substantial toll on the company.

Consider making a gift to a local arts and cultural organization, such as Wonderbound, or to one of the cultural relief funds. For even more ideas on how to give and support the arts this holiday season, check out all of the ideas at Arts through it All.