A Dangerous Liaison


Wonderbound dancers in Garrett Ammon's A Dangerous Liaison with Baroque Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Amanda Tipton. 2017.

Wonderbound presents A Dangerous Liaison. Sill-Terhar Motors sponsors the production, which runs February 10-19, 2017 at the Pinnacle Performing Arts Complex located north of Denver on 84th St. A Dangerous Liaison, two ballets in two acts, premiered November 2, 2012. At the time, Garrett Ammon announced his commitment to collaboration with musicians and to presenting dance with live music.

The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado provides the set and the music for the evening of ballet. The orchestra is centered on stage, dressed in black, setting the scene as a large room full of possibilities. This perfect pairing of music made to be heard in the intimate setting of a palace chamber, with a story that unfolds from the drawing rooms of bored aristocrats in a Parisian mansion, weaves two tales of quirky human connection.

Act I boasted the ballet “In Between Seams,choreographed by veteran dancer and budding choreographer, Sarah Tallman. Tallman joined Wonderbound in 2004 and has created several works for the company. The music was Vivaldi and the story was like a Gatsby party turned murder mystery. One scene became the next as a cast of characters in black and white, except for one man, allowed the audience to look on through an evening of frolic, lust, deception, and connection. The Wonderbound dancers are always flawless and fully invested in the story. These pros become their characters, deliver the choreography, and provoke reaction with the ever-present tongue-in-cheek statements that Wonderbound works are known for.

Wonderbound's Sarah Tallman and Conner Horak in Garrett Ammon's A Dangerous Liaison with Baroque Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Amanda Tipton. 2017.

Act II was a playful cat and mouse chase, “For Pity’s Sake, My Love,” choreographed by Garrett Ammon and accompanied with music by Giuesppe Tartini. The ballet began with a promenade of beautiful young ladies followed by the boisterous and playful entrance of fresh men in caps. A game of flirtatious torment ensued and the scene tumbled from ensemble phrases to lusty pas de duex works. The feisty energy that the dancers created with the choreography provoked giggles, ooo’s, and awww’s from the house. Eventually, a lady chooses each man and the message you are left with is dare to connect, dare to love—it’s only human.

In a time of social unrest, Wonderbound brings the human experience back to that which creates rather than destroys. A Dangerous Liaison is a show for everyone, and yet an elite experience for those who appreciate and understand fine art and the way init enriches and raises our quality of life.

The Wonderbound company mission statement bears repeating:

“Wonderbound uses dance to deepen humankind’s common bond through uncommon endeavors of discovery and creation.” 

As those who are well-versed in the Wonderbound ways know, this statement is spot on. The uniqueness of the ballets created by Artistic Director Garrett Ammon and wife/Producing Director Dawn Fay has earned the company recognition as an innovative American dance company to behold. I encourage readers to go to the Wonderbound website and read the inspiring story of the rise of this one-of-a-kind ballet company.


Shelly Chapple Clements was raised in rural Pennsylvania, in Amish Country.  She was drawn to the city of Pittsburgh through dance at the young age of 9 and never looked back.  Her dance education took her from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, to the National Academy of Arts in Champagne-Urbana, IL.  Shelly returned east and graduated from the renowned Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts after which she enjoyed a professional modern dance career in San Francisco from 1990-2002.  She is a master instructor for young dancers and currently teaches ballet in Littleton and Highlands Ranch and is the Artistic Director of Youth Programs for DAMAGEDANCE.  Shelly has been a Colorado resident since 2002 and holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Spanish Interpretation and Translation, Hispanic Literature, and Theatre Dance from Colorado Mesa University, and attended the master’s program at the School of Education and Human Development at University of Colorado Denver.  Her passion for writing gives voice to the dancer who speaks not on the stage.

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