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Photo courtesy of From the Hip Photo

The Coolest Things to Do in Colorado This Month, June 2018

A zany TED talk parody, an anti-cancer boxing tournament, and a new dance festival top the list of the best events in the state.

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Paranormal Therapy | June 10

Photograph by Sarah Boyum

In the middle of the night in September 2013, Junior Burke saw a bear and a mountain lion prowling the street outside his Lyons home. If the bizarre sighting didn’t shatter the illusion that the Naropa University associate professor was safe from harm, the next week’s catastrophic flooding—which destroyed his family’s home and nearly all of their belongings—certainly did. Burke’s new horror novel, A Thousand Eyes, reflects his attempt to deal with the traumatic memories. “These days, what’s normal is so disturbing that the paranormal almost seems a welcome escape,” Burke says. The book was released May 25, and he’ll be at the Tattered Cover Book Store on Colfax Avenue this month for a reading and a talk about how the writing experience helped him come to terms with vulnerability.

Heavyweight Contributions | June 14

Photo courtesy of Haymakers for Hope

The Boston nonprofit Haymakers for Hope has raised more than $8 million through amateur boxing events to put cancer on the ropes. This month, Denver becomes the third city to host the raucous affair ($50 to $125, at the Fillmore Auditorium). By the time the big night of matches arrives, the 28 competitors will have undergone an intense four-month-long training program with coaches from local boxing facilities and raised a minimum of $5,000 each for local cancer-fighting organizations. Translation: They’re well prepared to fight the battles they face.

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State Of The Arts | June 24

The zany folks at Buntport Theater have parodied TED talks for a few years now, sourcing topics—such as “Bears: Are They Real?”—from social media. The spoofs have proved so popular that the avant-garde theater troupe is taking its skits to the next level via a partnership with Warm Cookies of the Revolution, a local group that’s dedicated to improving civic engagement. This event, called Artsy Fartsy (it’s free, but donations are welcome), will focus on the ways art is used to both inspire and manipulate Mile High City residents. Some topics will be culled from online suggestions while other ideas will come from Buntport performers and local poets, who hope to discuss topics such as how graffiti, an art form that was once labeled as a gang practice, is now often used as a marketing tool by brands. The goal is to communicate these complicated ideas with humor—because the most memorable jokes also make you think.

Debut Dances | June 23-24

Now you don’t need to drive two hours to the Vail Dance Festival for a host of high-level performances. The inaugural Presenting Denver Dance Festival will showcase eight world premieres by Colorado artists at the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts for just $35 total. Collectively titled New & Now, the pieces will span three genres (ballet, contemporary, and modern) and feature both established and emerging dancers and choreographers.

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