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Choreographer and dancer Kate Speer. Courtesy of Bailey Anderson.

What to Do in May

Your short list of the coolest events happening in Colorado this month.

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Mic Drop | May 5
Denver alt-rock band the Flobots will release their new album, Noenemies, which addresses timely topics such as climate change and immigration.

A City In Motion | May 11, 19 & 20
If you’ve experienced the chaos of I-25 during rush hour or logged five miles lapping RiNo while looking for a parking spot, you’ll understand Kate Speer’s “Borderlandia,” a dance and theater performance that meditates on the Mile High City’s overcrowding problem. Over a two-month residency at arts nonprofit Platte- Forum, Speer hosted public Q&A sessions with commercial and residential real estate agents to talk about how space, or the lack thereof, relates to their professions. She plans to incorporate the insights into her performance, which will feature a Mexican folklórico dancer and several house dancers, many of whom hail from different Denver neighborhoods. “I’m hoping to craft rooms particular to each dancer,” Speer says, “or other ways to divide the space so the audience can walk through it like a maze and feel cramped—and then think about what would happen if we got rid of each room’s walls and created one open space.”

Run, Relax, Repeat | May 18-21 
You know that endorphin high you get during a Sunday morning run? Score a four-day dose during the Runner’s World Getaway ($1,550 to $1,850), held at Beaver Creek’s Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa. Participants can work their calves on daily trail runs before unwinding with yoga classes and massages at the luxurious Spa Anjali. Bonus: The Westin’s kitchen will mine Run Fast. Eat Slow, a clean-eating cookbook by Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky, for post-workout fuel.

Visit the 10th annual Salida Circus. Courtesy of Heather DeYoung

Circus With A Purpose | May 26-29
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, it probably seems like the circus is a dying art. (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will present its final show, near New York City, on May 21.) But Salida Circus founder Jennifer Dempsey sees the future of the big top differently. “The circus is a historical artifact, but it’s figuring out how to exist in contemporary times,” Dempsey says. For Dempsey’s decade-old troupe, that means championing social justice through performance: The organization partners with the Chaffee County chapter of the Boys and Girls Club to offer after-school programs, and locals can adopt an acrobat, raise a ringmaster, or sponsor a stilt walker to help keep vulnerable teens out of trouble. And at Memorial Day weekend’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, expect speakers from international nonprofits like Red Noses Palestine and Project Education South Sudan in addition to Cirque du Soleil–esque acrobatics—proof that the show must evolve in order to go on.

Placemaking | May 27- Sept. 10 
Put on in conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Denver Art Museum’s The Western: An Epic in Art and Film compiles paintings, sculptures, and film clips to show how art contributed to the mythical construct of the American West. Expect everything from a Civil War–era painting by landscape artist Albert Bierstadt (yes, like the mountain) to clips from the Westerns of director John Ford, who shot portions of films, such as How The West Was Won, in the Centennial State.

Looking for more to do in Denver? Check out our events calendar.

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