Zikr Dance Ensemble Finishes Touring at ASU

Daniel Allsup
The Paw Print

The Zikr Dance Ensemble finished their Colorado tour Sunday afternoon in Alamosa. The Adams State Theatre was at its capacity to see the finale.
The Zikr Dance Ensemble, while composed of ballet dancers, performs dances beyond the traditional ballet format. The performance offered the crowd a spectrum of works based on dance rituals from many different ancient cultures, combined with contemporary dance realizations. They did this with a goal to educate and entertain the audience, while promoting multicultural respect, diversity and tolerance.
The show featured eight separate dances. The ritual dances came from the cultures of Tibet, Assyria, Bali, the Anasazi, and the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Another dance titled “Time’s Up” intended to show development and evolution spiritually as the physical, emotional, and mental bodies align. When this alignment occurs, linear time no longer exists.
The final dance was “Rainforest,” which was actually just an excerpt from a longer, original “Rainforest” choreographed by David Taylor and created by him and other collaborators in 1995. Taylor’s former dance company, David Taylor Dance Theatre, previously toured the United States with the full-length “Rainforest”.
Between sets, Taylor briefed the audience on the upcoming dance. Before “Rainforest,” Taylor was adamant about the importance of protecting and understanding the world’s most incredible and fragile ecosystem, the rainforest.
Taylor said the message of the Zikr Dance Ensemble performance as a whole was “for the audience to appreciate the beauty of the dance…. Because the dances are focused on the spiritual aspect of dance as well as the rich culture that so many people from around the world bring through the expression of dance, I hope they come away with something that touches them in some way.”
Taylor felt that the Ensemble reached their goals in the performance. He acknowledged that, “just about everywhere we’ve had full houses and received standing ovations; people are just so appreciative.”
Taylor has had many performances in Alamosa through the years with his David Taylor Dance Theatre. He expressed his thankfulness to be able to perform in the Adams State Theatre, which has all the necessities for ballet theatre. Taylor said, “You have to be incredibly flexible and adaptable, because a lot of venues don’t have much equipment, or technology, so you’re just having to do things on the fly. But it still works out because the audiences are just so appreciative.”
He said the most rewarding part of the Zikr Dance Ensemble was “bringing dance to the smaller communities, who don’t get an opportunity see dance like this, and the wonderful responses we’ve gotten.” The Adams State University community showed their gratitude to the Ensemble by giving the dancers and Taylor an extended ovation for their work.

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