Ballet Society of Colorado Springs dancers and their families are partnering with Springs Spree 2011 to bring aid to victims of the massive earthquake/tsunami tragedy in Japan. Inspired by artist, Talia Kauk, whose paper crane chains displayed outside the Denver Art Museum made headlines in Denver, Ballet Society plans to make 1,000 paper cranes and string them into chains. Each chain will end with a QR (Quick Response) code where anyone with at smart phone can read the code and make an instant donation to the Red Cross for Japan Relief via texting.
The paper crane chains will be on display all weekend at the Springs Spree Celebration at Memorial Park June 18-19. On Saturday the 18th at 6:00pm on the Cultural Stage, Ballet Society dancers from their three performing companies Colorado Youth Ballet, Jazzart, and Praise! Dance Ensemble will provide one hour of live dance performance intended to draw additional attention to the area where the cranes are displayed and encouraging people to make tax-deductible donations.
“We have had a small box for donations to the Japan relief efforts in the studio since the tsunami hit on March 11 and are very appreciative of the hundreds of dollars people here have already given,” said Ballet Society founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “But when we heard about Talia’s beautiful display in Denver we were inspired to recreate her vision here in the greater Colorado Springs community to help even more. The combination of a traditional art coupled with the latest in innovative technology resonated with us in a special way.”
at Ballet Society of Colorado Springs
Kauk, a former employee of Ballet Society, is now in her final term at the Denver Art Institute. She was surprised by all the attention her display has received. “It started out as a class assignment to create a work of art that could impact someone in their everyday life. A classmate painted a trashcan to look like a treasure chest, insinuating that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I began folding the paper cranes really as just a way to express my good will toward humanity and desire for peace on earth in a very general way. But then, just as I completed the project, the tsunami happened. The project took on a whole new meaning.”
Wanting to use her 1,000 paper cranes to raise awareness and bring aid to the people of Japan, Kauk and a friend strung the colorful chains outside the Denver Art Museum with QR codes to the Red Cross website attached. For a couple of hours that morning they blew in the breeze to the delight of passerby’s. Although the Denver Art Museum removed the crane chains as an ‘unauthorized work’ the display continued to garner media attention.
Kauk worked for a couple of years at Ballet Society’s front desk before moving to Denver to attend art school. “It was really a pleasure to return to Ballet Society for the paper crane demonstration,” said Kauk. “It’s great to see how beautifully the dancers have grown since I’ve been away at college. I miss working here. It is such an uplifting environment.”
“We see how art enhances peoples’ lives each and every day at our studio,” says Hoffman. “The opportunity to bring art out into the community in a way that benefits people’s immediate needs is a special blessing.”
“The Springs Spree is privileged to host Ballet Society of Colorado Springs because we share in supporting such a great cause,” says Rachel Stoval, Entertainment Coordinator for the event. “We are in agreement with all aspects of this special show and display area. We must remember our brothers and sisters everywhere in the world.”
“I am so thankful that people here are concerned for the trials my home country is experiencing,” said Atsuyo (Sue) Norman, the mother of two young Ballet Society dancers. “It is heartbreaking to see what my people are going through right now in Japan.”
For more information about Ballet Society of Colorado Springs go to: www.danceinthesprings.com
Who: Ballet Society of Colorado Springs Dancers performing to raise support for Earthquake/Tsunami victims in Japan
What: Springs Spree: A City in Celebration (Festival runs Saturday-Sunday, June 18-19, 2011)
Where: Cultural Stage at Memorial Park, Colorado Springs, CO
When: 6:00 pm, Saturday, June 18, 2011 Ballet Society dancers from performing companies: Colorado Youth Ballet, Jazzart and Praise! Dance Ensemble
Ballet Society dancers and their family members