Colorado Public Radio brings dancing to the radio

By Ben Mook

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble performing 'Uhuru.' (Photo: Courtesy of  CPR, Stan Obert)

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble performs “Uhuru” as part of Radio Dances.
(Photo: Stan Obert, CPR)

Colorado Public Radio launches its as-of-yet unnamed weekly arts show today, premiering with an unlikely pairing of mediums — radio and dance.

The inaugural episode leads with the first in a special series, Radio Dances, which explores how the medium of dance translates to radio. Producers in CPR’s multimedia arts bureau worked with dance companies, students and members of the public to create 30- to 60-second dance pieces that were choreographed with a radio audience in mind. The segment will be accompanied by an interview with This American Life’s Ira Glass, whose own treatment of live storytelling and dance served as the inspiration for Radio Dances.

“Our weekly arts show is intended to shine a light on our state’s cultural diversity and richness, while also raising the level of critical discourse around Colorado culture,” said CPR Arts Editor Chloe Veltman, in a prepared statement. “Radio Dances is an example of the type of stories we’ll cover, but it’s really just the beginning. Listeners can expect a wide variety of content both on air and online, from interviews and reviews to in-depth stories accompanied by photos and videos.”

The new show is a keystone in CPR effort to increase arts coverage in Colorado, and is backed by a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

Correction: An earlier version stated that Radio Dances was backed by a grant from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, the new arts show is funded by the grant.
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