"I was captivated by the rocks and of their proportions," says Nail Ibragimov, a renowned Russian choreographer, in reference to his trip to Garden of the Gods, the inspiration for his recent work, "Among Wandering Stones," commissioned by Ormao Dance Company. "Nature is giant in comparison to us, but it's also tiny."
Ibragimov's creation, a 25-minute performance dealing with the relationships between humanity and the environment, is a featured segment of "Interplay 2.0," a collection of original dances investigating how two or more bodies affect one another, commissioned by Ormao and sponsored by the Colorado College dance department.
Though Ibragimov was transfixed by the landscape and rock structures unique to the foothills of Colorado Springs, he also recognizes that nature represents commonalities across place and culture. There are countless stories, metaphors and parables that speak to the power of rocks of all sizes.
Russian proverbs and American sayings both caution against throwing stones; landscapes have long been subjects for literary prose and poetry. A news story earlier this year told of a woman in Yemen who cried small stones instead of tears.
"Stones are sources of knowledge, and also sources of wonder," Ibragimov says. "They were here before we were, and will remain long after we're gone."
To Ibragimov, dance is an abstract language that communicates important messages and stories, says Ormao's executive director Jan Johnson. "Among Wandering Stones" explores transfers in energy within individuals and between them, with dancers carrying and dispersing small rocks in one segment of the performance but later embodying geological trends by binding together and breaking apart.
In composing the piece, the choreographer saw the movement of his dancers as a lens into their individuality. He saw stones as symbols of challenges facing his performers, and dance as a response to these burdens.
Rebecca Celli, The Gazette, firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Colorado College Cossitt Hall Theater, 906 N. Cascade Ave., $22 adults, $10 seniors, students and children, 719-471-9759, ormaodance.org