When contemporary ballet company Wonderbound’s A Gothic Folktale—a daring blend of folk music, dance, and the art of illusion—hits the stage this month (October 18 to 27), front-row tickets will sell quickly. But we’ve got a better seat, and it won’t cost you a thing. Miles away, behind grungy garage doors in a repurposed 1920s post office garage downtown, you can catch a glimpse of the dancers perfecting their craft right in front of you during rehearsal. When Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado) moved into its new digs in March, artistic director Garrett Ammon opened rehearsals to the public. Simply call or email ahead of time to confirm the schedule, and you’ll get an up-close look at how Ammon and his wife, Dawn Fay, transform their vision of American folklore into a production set to music by singer-songwriter Jesse Manley and accompanied by illusionist Professor Phelyx. Wonderbound isn’t the only organization letting you behind the scenes, however. Below, see three more ways to get insider access to popular Denver performances. wonderbound.com



• Get an inside look at Colorado Ballet during a Behind the Scenes Luncheon, in which patrons enjoy lunch and conversation with artistic director Gil Boggs before sitting in on 30 to 45 minutes of dress rehearsal—all for about half the price of a good seat at a performance.
Details: October 2 (Giselle), noon, Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House, $50; future luncheons February 12 (Cinderella) and March 26 (TBD)

• If you think dancers have fancy footwork, just wait until you see the Colorado Rapids’ fleet feet in practice. You can attend the soccer team’s prep sessions just about any day of the week, except the day before a match. Call ahead (303-825-4625)to confirm the time and location.
Details: 9:30–11:30 a.m., Field 20, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, free

• Rub shoulders with the artists who perform at Swallow Hill Music in the lobby, where many hang out after their sets (think Brandi Carlile and Peter Yarrow). Or, get even more intimate with a lesson: Some musicians—like Canadian James Hill, who’s in town for Denver Ukefest this month—offer hands-on workshops at the venue before or after their concerts.
Details: October 11, 4 p.m., Temple Event Center, from $75


Leon Gallery owner Eric Dallimore spent a year following Wonderbound company members through rehearsals and performances. His documentary photographs serve as a time capsule of the creative experience. Opens November 1, Leon Gallery, 1112 E. 17th Ave., leongallery.com

This article was originally published in 5280 October 2013.
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.