Storycraft | Denver Performing Arts Photography

Storycraft is a live storytelling show produced by Denver Storytellers Project. Think of it as Denver’s own The Moth show. There are four shows a year, hosted at Syntax Physic Opera. Laura Condi, the mastermind behind this project and one of the storytellers, asked me to photograph their debut show, at the beginning of the year. My brother, Josh (you might remember him from our Bird Fur photoshoots), was also one of the storytellers. The other storytellers were Joe Fleenor, Erika Holmes, Andrew Curtis Forlines, AJ Pape, Colleen Leggett.

Denver Storytellers Project’s website summed up the process well.

Modern storytelling has made a name for itself with This American Life, The Moth or Denver’s own The Narrators. It’s hard to describe, but once you see it, you don’t forget it.

Way back in October of 2016, Denver Storytellers Project got started when about 13 writers, performers and storytelling fans gathered to a meet-up in a downtown winery. We wanted to hear each other’s ideas, hopes and goals for starting a new show. A new show where we wanted to do something different, something a little more polished and curated. Most importantly, we talked about what. makes. a. good. story. and what’s the best way to tell those stories to an audience.

Then we got to work.

With an in-depth creative process, 7 stories were selected, workshopped, rehearsed and then performed in front of our first audience on January 19th 2017.

And although Denver Storytellers Project had a nice ring to it, we wanted to put our creative minds together and vote on a name for our show…one that spoke to our collaborative process; taking a story from rough draft to stage ready…

So that’s how Storycraft came to be.

For their future shows, they’ll be stepping it up another notch. Each story will be paired with a multimedia slide show to help bring them to life and connect with the audience on a whole new level.

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Want engaging event photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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At A Crossroads Rehearsal | Denver Dance Photography

Park Hill Dance Academy’s At A Crossroads dress rehearsal was just beautiful. A couple months earlier, we did a promotional creative session for this show, which was so much fun. Park Hill used those photos to promote the show on social media, and one of the images was used for the show’s poster. The student’s parents were so excited. Many of them helped out at the promo shoot and some of them came to watch the end of the dress rehearsal too.

At A Crossroads was performed at the Vintage Theater in Aurora, Colorado. In the first half of the show, all the students and a few company members danced together in a beautiful, moving piece. Some parts were performed by the younger students, some by the older students, and in some parts, everyone was dancing together on stage. It was really great to see students from different classes coming together for the show. I loved that they all had their lace dresses in different colors as well.

The second half of the show was comprised of multiple, shorter pieces, some by the Academy students and some by the company members. Each piece brought a different emotion to the show and they all complimented each other well. This second half started off with the slower, more melancholy feel of the first half, but got gradually more joyful and vibrant. By the end of the show, everyone was on stage, in fun, bright colors and having a big dance party. One of my favorite pieces, was lit by tiny candles the students held in their hands and danced with. (Don’t worry, they weren’t real candles.) It created a really beautiful glow.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

Opera Singer Brett | Denver Headshot Photography

I met Brett when he was a Young Artist, during my first season with Opera Colorado. Brett Sprague is a tenor from Tacoma, Washington. He played Tamino in the Student Matinee of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. You can see the production photos from that show here. More recently, he played Arturo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Colorado as well as other role’s across the country. Check out his full bio and website (with more photos) here.

For the past few seasons, he has been the Assistant Director of the Young Artist Program at Opera Colorado. He is always full of great ideas and has been a great mentor to the new Young Artists. He and Cherity, the Director of the Young Artist Program, make such a great team!

The two of them decided to book their headshot sessions together. It is such a great idea to book with a friend or coworker. You can encourage each other and help each other feel more comfortable. I switch off between the two of you, which gives you a few nice breaks from smiling so much. And we can do some fun photos of the two of you together! Plus, you can take advantage of a discount for booking back to back.

We did this session at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. I love this location for it’s clean, urban look. It is a cultural center of the city, making it a great backdrop for any kind of artist. We also got to go in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and use the theater for a few photos. These made for some really classy headshots at the end of our session.

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Looking for a relaxed, fun headshot experience, with a lot of character? Need updated portraits for your website, social media, or auditions? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

A Horseman’s Magic 1 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program growing. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast A of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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Cast A – Performed on 2/14/17 and 2/15/17

Zhuoma: Kristin Marie Stelter
Jinma: Ashley Rice
Horseman: Mark Gibson
Landlord: Michael Sater
King: K. Woodzick
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Samantha Vakiener (King’s costume, Cast A)
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

Stepping Out | Boulder Dance Photography

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to photograph a show by one of the biggest dance companies in the area. Boulder Ballet‘s show “Stepping Out” was a joyful, vibrant work. I was asked by Eli Akerstein to photograph the show alongside him. It can be very helpful to get a couple different perspectives at a dress rehearsal. I sat up in the seats, in the center to get lots of wide shots of the show, while Eli was up close, getting some interesting angles.

This show was a world premier of contemporary works. There were three pieces and they were each uniquely different from each other. The first piece was a light, classical piece full of pastels and fun interactions. This piece was accompanied by live music from Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. The last piece was bright and upbeat, with an Irish vibe to it. There was lots of plaid and even some Irish step dancing.

While I normally gravitate toward anything vibrant and colorful, the second piece was my favorite. It was moody. It was emotional. It was dark, full of tension, and had the perfect amount of weirdness. It was set to an original piece of electronic music called Light Fandango created by Robert North. As much as I love color, weird is my favorite and when it comes to dance photography, tension is everything.

This show had something for everyone and definitely left you feeling happy, which was the whole point. The artistic director, Ana Claire, spoke before the show and noted that “Stepping Out” was created to bring joy to an emotional time post-election, without ignoring the problems at hand. I think it did a wonderful job and it certainly lifted my spirits.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

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Two Roads | Colorado Arts Photographer

Some of the coolest parts of last summer’s Breckenridge International Art Festival were the trail performances. Along a few trails were art installation, often made out of the woods themselves. Throughout the festival, musicians would come and perform in the woods near the art installations. The Breckenridge International Art Festival is hosted in Breckenridge each August. They did such an incredible job combining various artforms together and with the stunning nature the town is known for. From acrobatic dance pieces to giant dinosaurs in the streets, there was an incredible variety of art at this festival.

We hiked up a mountain just outside of town to get to this spot, just in time for a live show. On the way up, we passed bikers and got some great views of the town below. We know we had made it because we could see the bright red of Konstantin Dimopoulos’s outdoor installation, “Two Roads,” through the trees.

From the festival’s website, Dimopoulos’s piece “is composed of branches collected from the forest floor, repurposed into chair-like structures. The skeletal quality of the frames provokes contemplation of negative space, or what is seemingly missing, while the branches, colored red, produce a vibrant contrast to the natural forest. The installation is both playful and thought provoking.”

We were then treated to a guitar performance by a local musician before hiking back down into town for some beignets, the perfect post hike food, at The Lost Cajun. Being serenaded in the woods, surrounded by nature and art is pretty incredible. I think if this were part of every hike, I would probably get way more exercise!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

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Family Day Part 2 | Colorado Performing Arts Photographer

Opera Colorado puts on a ton of awesome events to get kids excited about the opera. One of the biggest events they host is Family Day. On Family Day, kids and their parents come to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to watch a show and do crafts relating to the story. The shows are all abridged, kid-friendly, English language versions of classic operas and there is a Q&A session after each show.

Family Day is a big event so I split it into two blogs. This show was the Elixir of Love. It a great show about love potions and conniving salesman and it has the perfect mix of humor and drama. The kids made their own elixirs of love and colored some root beer kegs. Part of this opera takes place in a bar so to make it kid friendly, the bar in this version only served root beer! The show was followed by a question and answer session and then the kids got to come up to look at the set and take pictures with the Young Artists. They loved playing with the costumes and props.

Opera Colorado’s season is officially over. That means the Young Artists are off on their own again, and the halls of the Ellie won’t be filled with singing voices for a while. I get to meet the new Young Artists in September and then the first opera of the season is in November. Next season brings another exciting line up of three unique operas! The season opens with La Bohème, the opera that inspired the Broadway musical and then movie, Rent. Then in January, there will be a world premier of Steal A Pencil for Me, a true story about two people who fall in love in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. The season will end with Falstaff, a tale of greed, seduction, and buffoonery

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com