BreckCreate announces inaugural Breckenridge International Festival of Arts | SummitDaily.com

BreckCreate announces inaugural Breckenridge International Festival of Arts

Summit Daily staff report
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“The Blue Trees” is a project by New Zealand-born artist Dimopoulos that brings environmental consciousness and social action together in a uniquely beautiful and captivating installation. In this internationally renowned event, a series of trees are colored with a water-based, environmentally safe, blue pigment, transforming the trees into sculpture.
Courtesy of Breckenridge Creative Arts |

Breckenridge International Festival of Arts schedule

Tickets for festival events go on sale Monday, June 1, and may be purchased in person at the Riverwalk Center Ticket Office at 150 W. Adams Avenue, by phone at (970) 547-3100 or online at breckcreate.org.

• 3, 4 and 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, to Sunday, Aug. 16 — “Swoon,” Australia’s The Fruits, Riverwalk Center Lawn, free

• Friday, Aug. 14, to Monday, Sept. 14 — “The Blue Trees,” by Konstantin Dimopoulos (Colorado premiere; on view daily), Blue River Plaza & Tiger Dredge Lot, free

• Friday, Aug. 14, to Sunday, Aug. 23 — “Abound,” by Julie Hughes (Colorado premiere; on view daily), Old Masonic Hall, free

• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15 — Michael Ward-Bergeman and Groanbox, with the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra (Colorado premiere), Riverwalk Center, $25-$40

• 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16 — ETHEL’s Documerica (Colorado premiere), Riverwalk Center, $25-$45

• 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, and Wednesday, Aug. 19 — VOLO by Diavolo, Riverwalk Center, $25-$45 for adults, $10 for kids

• Wednesday, Aug. 19, to Monday, Aug. 31 — ARTCRANK BRK (on view daily), Old Masonic Hall, free

• Thursday, Aug. 20, and Friday, Aug. 21 — Austin Bike Zoo (Colorado premiere; on view daily), various downtown locations, free

The remainder of the festival’s lineup, including the free musical entertainment and workshop schedule at the Arts District along with other supporting events, will be announced in early June. Visit breckcreate.org/bifa to learn more.

Breckenridge Creative Arts recently announced the inaugural Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, a celebration of adventure, play and creativity, which runs from Friday, Aug. 14, through Sunday, Aug. 23.

“We are thrilled to introduce BIFA, one of the newest multidisciplinary arts festivals in the U.S.,” said Robb Woulfe, president and CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts, the festival’s producer. “Our debut season offers an exciting lineup of local, national and global talent, including a number of Colorado premieres and Breckenridge exclusives. We look forward to BIFA becoming a significant addition to the state’s festival landscape and a premier destination event.”

Inspired by themes of environment and mountain culture, the 10-day festival brings together a variety of performances, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, talks and surprise collaborations, with an eclectic mix of music, dance, film, visual arts, open-air spectacle and family entertainment. Dozens of scheduled events, both indoors and outdoors, ticketed and free, will be showcased at venues and sites throughout town.

Festival highlights

One of the featured festival pieces is a temporary public art installation about global deforestation titled “The Blue Trees,” by Konstantin Dimopoulos, which brings together environmental consciousness and social action in a uniquely beautiful and captivating installation. A series of trees are colored with a water-based, environmentally safe, blue pigment, transforming the trees into sculpture. An ephemeral work, the striking ultramarine trees will gradually revert back to their natural state over a four-week period (www.kondimopoulos.com).

Australia’s The Fruits is a Melbourne-based, open-air performing arts company that produces and performs a remarkable style of work that fuses theater, dance and circus, using the unique elevated medium of sway poles. Perched atop 15-foot-high flexible poles of original design, the troupe will deliver a sublime performance of their show “Swoon,” bending and swaying in the air, captivating and engaging the audience in absolute fascination (www.strangefruit.net.au).

Acclaimed nationwide for eclectic programming and virtuoso performances, string quartet ETHEL visits Breckenridge for the Colorado premiere of “Documerica,” a multimedia performance event and a moving meditation on America’s relationship to our land, our resources and ourselves. Featuring new music by acclaimed composers Mary Ellen Childs, Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate and blues man James Kimo Williams, the soundtrack is also paired with stunning projections by renowned artist Deborah Johnson (www.ethelcentral.org).

The thrill and high-risk athleticism of extreme sports meets the grace and beauty of dance when members of Diavolo leap, fly and twirl from surrealistic sets and oversized structures in “VOLO.” Led by former Cirque du Soleil choreographer Jacques Heim, this company pushes the limits of contemporary dance with its gravity-defying choreography and heart-stopping aerobatics (www.diavolo.org).

Additional festival highlights include hyper-accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman and his roots trio Groanbox onstage with the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra (www.groanboxboys.com); famed National Public Radio host Ira Glass in “Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass”; mixed-media installation artist Julie Hughes; environmental sculptors Steuart Bremner and Terry Talty; a screening of the animated cult classic “The Triplets of Belleville,” with live musical accompaniment by Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville and composer Benoit Charest (www.dlartists.com); and a variety of local and regional artists of various disciplines and mediums.

Pro Challenge elements

As Breckenridge is a host city for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge cycling race, which rolls through town during the final week of BIFA, the festival will also present ARTCRANK BRK, an exhibit featuring hand-made, bicycle-themed posters created by local artists and Colorado-based designers (artcrank.com). Also in support of the cycling culture, the festival will present the bike-powered creatures of Austin Bike Zoo, a Texas collective that combines the beauty and strength of human movement with the artistry and theater of puppets.

In addition to the core events listed above, BIFA will include a number of free outdoor musical performances on the new Breckenridge Arts District campus, as well as a program titled Trail Mix, which combines hiking, biking, music and art along the trails of Breckenridge through “pop-up” concerts and environmental installations.

The Breckenridge International Festival of Arts is made possible with the support from the town of Breckenridge. Media partners for the 2015 festival season include 5280, 5280 Home and KUNC. For the most up to date information, visit breckcreate.org/bifa.

Detailed schedule

• 3, 4 and 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, to Sunday, Aug. 16 — “Swoon,” Australia’s The Fruits, Riverwalk Center Lawn, free

Australia’s The Fruits is a Melbourne-based, open-air performing arts company that produces and performs a remarkable style of work that fuses theater, dance and circus, using the unique elevated medium of sway poles. Perched atop 15-foot-high flexible poles of original design, the troupe delivers a sublime performance, bending and swaying in the air, captivating and engaging the audience in absolute fascination.

Since it began, this ingenious company has created an extensive repertoire that appeals to all cultures and ages and has thrilled audiences in 50 countries at more than 450 international festivals. The company will present their signature work “Swoon!,” a 20-minute performance where four daredevils tell a spectacular story of love, loss, joy and freedom against a breathtaking backdrop of the Ten Mile Range of the Rocky Mountains.

• Friday, Aug. 14, to Monday, Sept. 14 — “The Blue Trees,” by Konstantin Dimopoulos (Colorado premiere; on view daily), Blue River Plaza & Tiger Dredge Lot, free

“The Blue Trees” is a project by New Zealand-born artist Dimopoulos that brings environmental consciousness and social action together in a uniquely beautiful and captivating installation. In this internationally renowned event, a series of trees are colored with a water-based, environmentally safe, blue pigment, transforming the trees into sculpture. What was once taken for granted and unseen suddenly comes to the forefront of our attention and is the impetus for dialogue about global deforestation and its impact on world ecology and how we individually and collectively shape the natural world around us. An ephemeral work, the striking ultramarine trees will gradually revert back to their natural state over a four-week period.

During Dimopoulos’ visit to Breckenridge from Monday, Aug. 10, to Sunday, Aug. 16, the artist will engage in free public discussions about the importance of trees to the ecosystem. The week will culminate with Dimopoulos and a team of community volunteers coloring trees at several sites in downtown Breckenridge: in the Blue River Plaza, just off Washington Avenue and Main Street, up through the Tiger Dredge Lot, immediately next to the Riverwalk Center. “The Blue Trees” is ultimately a worldwide effort. The Breckenridge installation extends and reinterprets the original project launched in 2011 at the Vancouver Biennale.

• Friday, Aug. 14, to Sunday, Aug. 23 — “Abound,” by Julie Hughes (Colorado premiere; on view daily), Old Masonic Hall, free

“Abound” is an installation by San Francisco Bay Area artist Hughes. For this work, Hughes constructs a “forest” of cast paper tree skins and adorns them with handmade decorative forms, evocative of swarms.

Hughes’ work reflects on the fragile and sometimes fraught dynamic of our relationship with nature. Part theater and part blanket fort, her dream-like environments poke at the truth of our being in the world; the way we work things out for ourselves, navigate our experiences and construct our own realities.

• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15 — Michael Ward-Bergeman and Groanbox, with the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra (Colorado premiere), Riverwalk Center, $25-$40

Groanbox is the trio of accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, Canadian percussionist Paul Clifford and Franco-American guitarist and banjo player Cory Seznec. Their music is a melting pot of styles from Nashville to New Orleans, Mali to Romania, anchored by the “Freedom Boot” — a shamanistic six-foot stomping stick carrying bells, nails, rings and more than 400 beer bottle tops picked up on their travels.

Joined on stage by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra as part of an evening of artistic adventure, the always-eclectic Groanbox will mix its deep, Southern blues with Cajun music, European gypsy reels and woolly mountain folk, performing a unique blend of global roots music on accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica and myriad pieces of percussion, including a calabash and yew tree log.

• 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16 — ETHEL’s “Documerica” (Colorado premiere), Riverwalk Center, $25-$45

Acclaimed nationwide for eclectic programming and virtuoso performances, string quartet ETHEL visits Breckenridge for the Colorado premiere of “Documerica,” a multimedia performance event and a moving meditation on America’s relationship to our land, our resources and ourselves.

Inspired by the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Project Documerica” — a massive snapshot of America showcased in an astonishing visual trove of images from the EPA archive captured during the recession-plagued 1970s — this piece is a musical meditation accompanied by big sky vistas, ghost towns, mountains and slices of urban environments, capturing America’s complicated relationship to its natural landscape. Featuring new music by acclaimed composers Mary Ellen Childs, Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate and blues man James Kimo Williams, ETHEL is also paired with stunning projections by renowned artist Deborah Johnson.

• 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, and Wednesday, Aug. 19 — “VOLO,” by Diavolo, Riverwalk Center, $25-$45 for adults, $10 for kids

The thrill and high-risk athleticism of extreme sports meets the grace and beauty of dance when members of Diavolo leap, fly and twirl from surrealistic sets and oversized structures. Led by former Cirque du Soleil choreographer Jacques Heim, this company pushes the limits of contemporary dance with its gravity-defying choreography and heart-stopping aerobatics.

Part sideshow spectacle, part physical dance theater, “VOLO” features an ensemble of dancers, gymnasts, rock climbers and athletes who create imaginative and innovative works that thrill audiences of all ages.

• Wednesday, Aug. 19, to Monday, Aug. 31 — ARTCRANK BRK (on view daily), Old Masonic Hall, free

An international pop-up show of bicycle-inspired posters, ARTCRANK makes its Breckenridge debut with a multi-week exhibition celebrating bikes with top local design and illustration talent. The show coincides with USA Pro Challenge’s stopover in Breckenridge.

Billed as “A Poster Party for Bike People,” ARTCRANK BRK will feature hand-made, bicycle-themed posters created by 25 Colorado artists. Admission to the exhibit is free, and limited-edition, signed and numbered copies of all posters will be available for $40 each. The opening night party on Wednesday, Aug. 19, will also feature local craft beverages, live screen-printing, bike-inspired short films shown on an outdoor screen, DJ music and more.

ARTCRANK made its debut in Minneapolis in 2007 and has held shows in bike-friendly cities in the U.S., U.K. and France, including Portland, San Francisco, Denver, London and Paris. From the start, the show’s formula has been simple: Throw a party featuring affordable posters designed by talented local artists, celebrating bicycles and the people who ride them.

• Thursday, Aug. 20, and Friday, Aug. 21 — Austin Bike Zoo (Colorado premiere; on view daily), various downtown locations, free

The Austin Bike Zoo is dedicated to creating human-powered performances that enliven urban green spaces and celebrate the most energy-efficient mode of transportation ever invented. Featuring larger-than-life creatures powered by pedals, Austin Bike Zoo is a one-of-a-kind blend of puppetry and cycling. The group’s work was born out of a passion to combine the beauty and strength of human movement with the artistry and theater of puppets and a dedication to creating interactive works.

Explore the pedal-powered art of the Austin Bike Zoo as it brings a fleet of colorful monarch butterflies to Breckenridge during BIFA and USA Pro Challenge.


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