“White Mirror” commissioning a first for Denver’s Public Art Program

Sep 10 2015

Denver Arts & Venues’ Public Art Program is pleased to announce the commission of “White Mirror” an original site-specific public dance performance for Babi Yar Park, by internationally renowned choreographer Robert Sher-Machherndl of Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet. “White Mirror” will be performed by Lemon Sponge Cake dancers and collaborator, Sharon Wehner, Principal Dancer with Colorado Ballet.

The free performance will be held on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m., at Babi Yar Park in Denver located at South Havanna Street and East Yale Avenue. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, bring a blanket or seating pad; pack a picnic dinner and stroll the park. There is no permanent seating in the park, only lawn seating.

The production of “White Mirror” marks the first time Denver Arts & Venues’ Public Art Program has commissioned dance as public art.

“This performance will be a unique art experience for those in attendance, and will be well documented for those unable to attend,” says Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Manager, Michael Chavez.  “We are thrilled to collaborate with Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet to bring attention to one of Denver’s most distinctive parks.”

The focus of the commission is to serve as an educational and living memorial in dance for the thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Ukrainians and others that were brutally murdered from 1941 to 1943 at the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev, Ukranine during World War II.  “White Mirror” will be documented by filmmaker Barbara Sandick; the documentary film will be screened, in conjunction with a panel discussion, soon after project completion.

“White Mirror,” utilizing Sher-Machherndl’s movement language, offers an investigation into the nature of human existence, a reflection of the world’s fragility, power and mortality. Its goal is to radiate energy, make audiences think, build bridges between past and present, artist and spectator. “I believe we all should live peacefully together,” says Sher-Machherndl. “My art presents an opportunity to raise community awareness about human rights, freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Denver’s Public Art Program was established in 1988 as an executive order under Mayor Federico Peña. The order, enacted into ordinance by Denver City Council in 1991, directs that 1% of any capital improvement project over $1 million undertaken by the City, be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects. Over the past 25 years Denver’s Public Art Collection has developed more than 350 artworks. Many have become iconic symbols for Denver, including historic and donated works of art. The public art collection has expanded the opportunity for Denver residents to experience art in public places, creating more visually engaging environments.

For more information, please visit artsandvenues.com/publicart or lemonspongecake.org.

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