A joyful return: 3rd Law Dance/Theater’s “For Example”

Review by Barbara Hamilton

It was an absolute joy to experience 3rd Law Dance/Theater back in the Gordon Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center on Friday night, in For Example. An enthusiastic opening night crowd delighted in the company’s first appearance in a theater in two years.

Katie Elliott

For Example consisted of a selection of works that were created over the last 2 years, during the pandemic.  

3rd Law Dance/Theater, made up of 7 women contemporary dancers, sets an impressive standard for gorgeous and emotive contemporary dance in the Rocky Mountain region.  The dancers are well matched physically, and incredibly in tune with each other.  I have rarely seen dancers so well synchronized in their movements and choreography.  Speaking of choreography, Artistic Director Katie Elliott’s imaginative and whimsical choreography captures so many moods that we all experienced over the last two difficult years: isolation, loneliness, distance- but also hope and trust in our fellow human beings.

3rd Law in performance at the 29th St. Garage

The first work, You Are Here, was originally performed at the 29th Street garage in Boulder during the pandemic in spring 2021. Set to Phillip Glass’ 3rd string quartet, the work evoked a sense of our pandemic struggles, but also a wondrous sense of connection between the dancers. Car Stories, a film by L. Ashwyn Collins, captured 3rd Law dancers again in the 29th Street garage, moving gracefully around a cement stage, backlit imaginatively by the headlights of parked cars. 

3rd Law dancers in “Weaver BIrd” (Heather Gray photography)

In Concerto, with Vivaldi’s Bb violin concerto as backdrop, the combination of live dancers in elegant gray attire was juxtaposed with a zoom video, compiled from participants in 3rd Law’s Dance for Parkinson’s. The result was very poignant.  The company’s offering to the disabled community during the pandemic via zoom was full of generosity, and got people moving in a beautiful way.  The Parkinson’s Dance program is ongoing via zoom, at the Dairy Arts Center.

A Plastic Love Story, 3rd Law’s ebullient final piece, presented a lighthearted and humorous teasing about classic ballet attire, with contemporary dancers in clean lines underneath their hilarious tutus. Paul Fowler’s energetic setting of “Mister Cellophane” created a jazzy soundscape, where all manner of shiny objects (both on and off the dancers) drew the audience in for the playful final work on the program.  

This was a performance that acknowledged our collective pandemic experience, and showed the relief and joy, at coming out the other side.  Bravo, 3rd Law Dance Theater.  We’re so glad you’re back in person.

Three more performances this weekend- run, don’t walk, to get tickets:

Saturday, April 23 at 3pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, April 24 at 3pm


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