Vertical dance, music and aboriginal stories coming to Thermopolis

Dancing in air, Australian aboriginal creation stories, and original music with roots in classical and folk -- it all comes together in a special performance, Thursday, January 14, in Thermopolis. The program features the outstanding University of Wyoming Vertical Dance ensemble; Paul Taylor, master Australian storyteller; and Lights Along the Shore quartet. Vertical dance is an art form blending modern dance and rappelling. University of Wyoming student dancers use climbing ropes and harnesses that suspend them above the audience. The dance ensemble will perform new compositions on ropes rigged above the stage. The dance group was formed by University faculty members Margaret Wilson and Neil Humphrey. Vertical dancers have been performing in the Laramie-Cheyenne area since 1998 but have rarely been seen in other parts of the state. Paul Taylor, who was born in Australia and now lives in Laramie, has been a long-time member of the Wyoming Artist Roster program. Taylor teaches Australian folk art and music in schools throughout the state. He will celebrate aboriginal life with stories, movement, sound and visual images. Lights Along the Shore will add original compositions and arrangements for piano, clarinet, percussion and flute. The group consists of music professors Dr. Steve Barnhart, percussion; Rod Garnett, Moldovan pan pipes and traditional flutes; Blake McGee, clarinet; accompanied by Lisa Rickard, University of Wyoming staff pianist. They combine a variety of wind instruments with keyboard and percussion to create a unique sound. The public performance is 7 p.m. in the Hot Springs Co. School District Auditorium. Tickets are available at Broadway Bygones. Performers are in Thermopolis for a three-day residency in the public schools and the community. Community activities include a short program at the Pioneer Home, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m., and a House Concert, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. #springcity #news #whatshappening