Dance, Preview

Lost in Place: 3rdLaw Dance/Theater at the Dairy Center

Katie Elliott and Jim LaVita
Photo: Heather Gray

A preview by Barbara Hamilton

3rd Law Dance Theater’s upcoming performances of Lost in Place this coming weekend at the Dairy Center will be a tribute to the beloved co-founder of the company: Jim LaVita. Jim is survived by his wife and artistic partner Katie Elliott, who helped to choreograph Lost in Place. The work is the last piece that the team crafted together, and the performances will be all the more poignant for that. It was also their first collaboration together, over 20 years ago.

Jim, who passed away on October 25th, 2017, and was affectionately known to all as “Jimmy”, was a true force of nature in the Boulder and Denver arts world. His gentleness, warmth and wit, fun-loving nature, and great intelligence contributed to his success as co-Artistic Director of 3rd Law Dance, as well as to reaching tenure as a professor at the University of Denver. He not only held dance degrees and taught dance, but also garnered two PhD’s in anthropology and applied mathematics. His passion for traditional dance was balanced by a great love of modern forms and the use of digital media.

Lost in Place deals with issues of migration, ethnicity, culture and spirituality- all timely issues in our current world. The theme of losing a sense of place in the world-  either by choice, by force, by chance – runs through the work. As with many other 3rd Law productions, video and photographic images will be projected. In the case of Lost in Place, the images include shoes, suitcases, birdcages, typewriters and modes of transportation from tricycles to trains. 

Katie Elliott has chosen the structure and framework of a social security number to connect with the individual identity and character of each performer. Ms. Elliott said about her dancers in 3rd Law that “each dancer is intensely involved in creating the movement. The magic is how individual interpretation becomes unified when informed by the same choreography.”

Jim wrote about Lost in Place before he passed away:

Lost in Place
Photo: Annabelle Denmark

Humans cultivate a deep feeling of belonging, cultural identity and personal narrative by identifying and memorializing the places they arrive from, return to, and draw memories from. But what if we have no tangible item to attach to a memory, how do we not forget? What memories do we take with us and what do we leave behind? What unifies and divides us on our journey?” 

This weekend’s performances at the Dairy Center promise to take the audience on a rich and thought provoking journey, and perhaps will take people to an entirely unexpected place.

Jimmy would have loved that.  

Tickets may be purchased at the Dairy Center Box Office by telephone at 303.444.7328 or online. 

The Dairy Center is located at 2590 Walnut Street (26th & Walnut) in Boulder. Tickets range from $18 to $30.

Lost in Place
Photo: Annabelle Denmark


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