The Last Show

Sunday November 17, 2013

Today when I go to campus I will put to rest the last show I will ever supervise at the University of Colorado.

I will never again roll up vinyl dance floor, strike scenery, move black velour curtains, turn off the dimmers, and congratulate the run crew and the choreographers and performers on a job well done.

After 37 years of assisting young women and men as they discover who they wish to be, what they wish to say, what they wish do with their lives, I will say goodbye to them all and say hello to the memories.

Charlotte York Irey does not remember me now, but it was her and Nancy McElroy, and later Toby Hankin, who first offered me a chance  to come work with them as they formed what is now one of the strongest university dance programs in the country. Assisted by extraordinary individuals like Marda Kirn and Nada Diachenko, Michelle Ellsworth and David Capps, our visionary department chair Bud Coleman, and so many, many others, I  was able to make a contribution that helped mold a program that gives young artists a strong foundation for using their talents to create art.

I am satisfied with what I have done, and of the strength of the structure I leave behind for whoever will sit at the desk in Room W108 next year. I believe I built it well, and that it will serve many more artists well into the future, as new classes of students, and new generations of teachers, push forward the boundaries, and grow and change the art form of dance.

I wish them the best, and may I say for the last time, “merde”, and mean it with all my heart.

Author: RJMS

11 thoughts on “The Last Show

  1. Bob – Mexico, eh? Now that’s pretty darn great. New chapters, vistas, visions, prospects, possibilities. I’m really glad you’re finding them all — you deserve them. And you deserve to look back on the (many) years at CU with real satisfaction. To leave behind a beautifully functional facility, a legacy of artistry and professionalism in stagecraft and lighting, many generations of students and faculty who’ve learned from you, a community that has felt and appreciated your presence in so many ways, that’s pretty great too, and I hope you will be able to cherish that knowledge even as you start a new phase in your life. I will always be truly grateful for the light that you shed on much of my work, and still don’t understand how you make the air light up. I’ve never found another designer who can do what you can do – your work is the measure I have to carry around when I watch dances now. One day, maybe that treatise on your lighting techniques and ideas will appear to the world, as so many dances have appeared by your hands.

    Many good wishes for the future and congratulations on your retirement!!

  2. Senor Bob, I’m honored to be on the relatively small recipient list for this post. Speshly since I became a breeder, we haven’t had much chance to hang out, even AT work, but you need it in writing that I’m blown away by what you’ve done over the past 30 years for this program. The facility itself is staggeringly “turn-key” for your successor, right? But everything beyond the physical is going to either blow them on their ass out in the parking lot, or we are going to notice a drop in things getting done before we knew they needed doing. You are awesome, and man do you deserve to chill a bit (while not stopping the designing part, please). Sorry bout the curve ball at your last tech rehearsal. It’s been an honor to serve with you. We will miss you!
    Jesse M
    P.S. You are the only remaining person on this faculty who has seen me in a unitard. Uh, hopefully you forgot that show….

  3. Bob:

    Congratulations and “merde” to you as you pursue many new adventures! You certainly made a HUGE difference. I will always remember your encouragement, patience, and wisdom during my time at CU. You were always available for bouncing ideas, digging deeper, an keeping things real. Thank you for letting me light a match on stage…….I’m sure it made you nervous ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for all of the support you gave to bring my and (and all of the students’) ideas to life. Please keep in touch!

  4. Enjoy the show, Bob.
    And continue to enjoy the show – (as I know you will. Its in your nature!)
    All the best to you.
    kris morrison
    dancer, artist, employee, friend ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Bravo on a very successful long run.

    Dear Bob,

    I know I speak for 100s when I say, “thank you.” Thank you for your artistry, your intelligence, your dedication, and your love of learning (both your own and assisting others in that joinery). And while today may close one chapter, I know there are many more ahead of you. I am grateful for all that you have done for CU Boulder, and I look forward to what explorations lie ahead for you.
    bon voyage !

  6. Congratulations Bob. You have been a profound and irreplaceable part of my dance life. I am so grateful. I wish you a deeply satisfying next chapter.

  7. This brought tears to my eyes, lovely Bob. I wish every department had a “Bob” and there’s no doubt CU will miss theirs… Thank you for all the love and support you’ve given to CU dancers throughout the years. Lots of love, joy

  8. Wow, what a nice tribute to end your “season” in the dance department! As others have mentioned over and over again, we can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve done to help build a strong and successful university dance program. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to work with you the past few years. and will definitely miss you!


  9. Bob, my good friend and long time colleague,
    Yes, you should be satisfied with what you’ve done and you certainly did build well. I wish Charlotte was capable of thanking you for all you did for “her” dance program. I know she always valued your work ethic and dedication. I have to thank you a million times over for all the times you helped me. I asked things of you that weren’t your job and weren’t much fun to do but you always did them and made my job so much easier for so many years. I know you’ll miss the building and especially the students, just as Charlotte, Toby and I did, but retiring gives you the time to pursue those things you love and leave behind the things you don’t.

    Happy Trails to You!!

    Nancy Mc

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