DENVER – Approximately 45 to 50 refugee families from five different countries -- some listed under President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration -- were invited to experience the beauty of dance and music at the Colorado Ballet Thursday morning.
Families from Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and the Republic of the Congo were invited to a student matinee performance of Ballet MasterWorks with more than 1,000 local students and teachers.
The families were recent arrivals to the Denver metro area, according to Sanya Andersenvie, a spokesperson for the Colorado Ballet.
Susan Bailey, a board member for the Colorado Ballet, invited the families to the production, which included “Serenade,” “Petite Mort” and “Firebird.” The refugees were connected to the Colorado Ballet through the International Rescue Committee in Denver.
Gil Boggs, the artistic direct of the Colorado Ballet, told Denver7 the invitation was in no way political.
He said that since children of the families have no residency status and therefore, cannot attend school, the ballet saw it as a good opportunity to be inclusive and show new community members what life in the Mile High City was about.
But will these types of invitations extend beyond refugees and include other disadvantaged groups in Denver?
Boggs said if the opportunity presents itself, the Colorado Ballet could look at ways to provide the same experience for other people who may not experience ballet otherwise.
Ballet Masterworks’ production of “Serenade,” “Petite Mort” and “Firebird” will run from Feb. 17 to the 26 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. For more information, go to the Colorado Ballet website.