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Dance Initiative finds its space

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Dance Initiative finds its space

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By Lynn Burton

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Sopris Sun Staff Writer

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Dance Initiative is the realized half of Peter Gilbert’s dream.  The dream’s other half is the not-yet established Carbondale Academy of Performing Arts. Gilbert’s entire vision is inching toward reality, however, after he signed a year’s lease on a 3,000-square-foot upstairs space in the industrial park (aka Foulkrod’s industrial park) immediately north of town hall.

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About 800-square-feet of the space is an existing dance studio (complete with a floor-to-ceiling wall mirror that runs the length of the room and makes it seem twice as large); it’s being called Studio C. Gilbert is turning the remaining space into a large room that he hopes  will be used for groups and individuals to rehearse dance, music, theatre and other arts-related activities — maybe even the martial arts.

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“It’s a raw space with great possibilities,” Gilbert told The Sopris Sun. “It can be used for classes, workshops … people have already asked me about using it for music … loud music is not a problem.”

At least one other business, Distinctive Boards and Beams, shares the two-story concrete structure with Dance Initiative, which at one time housed a car repair company and various industrial enterprises. The entire industrial park was once owned and operated by Mid-Continent for coal-mine equipment repair and maintenance, truck parking and related activities. Neighbors sometimes complained about coal dust blowing onto their lawns, fences, cars and houses.

Gilbert founded Dance Initiative in 2008 to support local choreographers and dancers from Aspen to Rifle, and to produce events such as Spectrum Dance Collection that gave performances and offered workshops at the Third Street Center last fall.

This weekend, Dance Initiative presents CoMotion for the space’s first performance (for details, please turn to page 4).

Now that Dance Initiative has found its legs, Gilbert is turning more of his attention to creating the Carbondale Academy of Performing Arts. “Maybe this is the start of the Carbondale Academy of Performing Arts … now that they (the dancers) have a home.”

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