Exhibit to Celebrate the Lincoln Center’s Big 4-0!

As part of the upcoming exhibit celebrating the Lincoln Center’s 40th Anniversary, we will be exhibiting artwork created by the Fort Collins community and inspired by the Lincoln Center. We invite you to come to the Lincoln Center, get inspired and submit artwork for our exhibit.

If you want to be part of the show, please deliver completed artwork to The Lincoln Center Gallery on October 10, from 4–6 p.m. The work doesn’t need to be framed, but please provide the method for display.

We invite the community to stop by and be inspired, Saturday, October 6, from 1-5pm. Bring your art supplies and spend some time creating on site.

In addition to community supplied artwork, the 40th Anniversary Exhibit will feature artifacts from the Lincoln Center’s past, as well as new creations using historic Lincoln Center Theatre seats as a base by Fort Collins artists Anne Bossert and Amelia Caruso. Anne and Amelia will be creating in the Gallery during the month of October.

The exhibit will be open October 16-December 1. For information, visit LCtix.com/exhibitions.

An Interview with a Vampire

Halloween isn’t the only night to experience vampires and ghoulish tales in Fort Collins. On October 23, the Lincoln Center presents PUSH Physical Theatre’s Dracula, a classic tale of seduction, desire and madness.

Dubbed “The Masters of Motion Theatre,” PUSH trades their usual dance performance ‘silent treatment’ for a performance that combines their well-known acrobatic movements and stunning lighting effects with powerful dialogue and interactive video and sound.

Darren Stevenson, PUSH’s artistic director who also performs the role of Dracula, calls the work “cinema of the mind.” He goes on to elaborate, “By using the bodies of the other performers we are able to lift and climb and fly with physical manipulation of the body. There are moments where a character appears to be crushing someone or flying in the air but in reality, it’s just movement using vertical space.

“What has always interested me about this work is that the audience often describes something that they saw that they thought we did, but it never really happened,” says Stevenson. “They created it inside their mind.” It’s this blurring of reality that amplifies the appeal of this twisted tale.

However, this is not simply a spooky tale worthy of inducing nightmares, this story is also about love and loss, and the light and darkness that lives in every one of us.

“The terrifying reality is we all have a monster inside us,” says Stevenson. “Humans tend to justify their terrible actions. We thought, why would Dracula be any different?”

As the audience gazes into the darkest corners of humanity, they begin to see the humanness that lies within one of literature’s most famous villains. “We are able to give Dracula a backstory and a life,” says Stevenson. “He is able to speak for himself.” The line between good and who is evil starts to blur as Dracula is given a voice that has never been heard before.

You won’t want to miss this chilling, fast-paced adaptation that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Tickets starting from $15, available at LCtix.com.

Flying Off to Neverland

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, or at least they think they do. But did you know there is an incredible true story that lies behind the fairytale?

Finding Neverland, which soars into the Lincoln Center Nov 8-10, tells the story of real-life playwright J.M. Barrie. Struggling to find inspiration, Barrie meets a troop of young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother who will go on to shape some of the world’s most beloved characters. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie leaves his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

“The story of Peter Pan has always excited everybody, that’s why it’s been around since 1903,” says Conor McGiffin, the actor who plays the role of  Captain Hook in the nationally-touring production. “There’s just an idea of a boy who will never grow up that resonates with them. Finding Neverland is another way to explore that story.”

Based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name, Finding Neverland audiences may find familiarity with the movie but the musical expands on the story to make everything feel grander. “Everything seems bigger,” says McGiffin. “You’re able to put yourself in the heart of London, Kensington Gardens, or even in Neverland.”

“It’s about the power of one’s imagination,” continues McGiffin. “We all wish we could add something beautiful to the world, and that’s exactly what Barrie does.” The story illustrates that “no matter how bad your life may get, there’s always a chance for you to change it and to make an impact.”

While the show is magical and wonderous, part of what makes Finding Neverland so impactful is how it confronts real issues. “One of the most important things about this show is the way it treats kids,” says McGiffin. “The show is about the creation of Peter Pan, especially about the boy who inspired the character, Peter. It treats Peter like a real person, a kid that not only has joy and happiness but sorrow and loss.”

Add choreography from So You Think You Can Dance’s Mia Micheals, and music by the pop sensation Gary Barlow, Finding Neverland promises to be an enchanting ride. “All of those elements really come together to make a truly unforgettable experience about an unforgettable story.”

Come be a part of the magic and wonder at Lincoln Center beginning November 8. Tickets start at $20 and are available at LCtix.com.

5 Ways Laughter Helps Your Heart

Laughter really is the best medicine when it comes to your heart health. A small change to how you go about your daily life can make big difference. You can add laughter into almost anything and it will help your heart health.

“People find enjoyment from different activities and interactions,” said UCHealth cardiologist Dr. Justin Strote. “Working on reducing stress in daily life is very important and adding laughter is a great way to do so.”

Here are some tips and information on why it’s great to laugh your way to a healthier heart.

Find the funny, feel better.

Have you ever felt worse after having one of those laughing fits that you just can’t stop? The kind where your stomach hurts afterward? No?

Well, there’s an actual physical reason and amazing benefit to your heart health when you laugh.

– Your body’s natural feel-good chemicals, endorphins, are released, which can give you a sense of overall well-being and relieve pain temporarily.
– Your body actually decreases stress hormones and increases overall immunity to fight off disease.
– More blood starts pumping through your body, which is always a good thing.
– The physical effects of laughing can last up to 24 hours.
– Laughter yoga – it’s a real thing.

Laughter isn’t a replacement for going to the gym or getting active, but it does burn more calories than not laughing. Try listening to a comedy station when you go to the gym for an added bonus.

Who makes you laugh?

Spending time with the people who make you laugh is always a good thing. Whether it’s going for a walk around the park or going out to (a healthy) dinner, whenever you get together with those friends and family members who make you smile, the result is that you feel good, which means your heart feels good too.

Mind over matters of the heart

We’re not referring to your love life, but more how laughter can help your mental state. How you’re feeling can impact your heart health in all sorts of ways, both good and bad. That’s why laughter is so great. It makes you feel good. If you were in a bad mood, you laugh a bit and now you’re in a good mood. You were stressed, you laugh, less stress. Simple.

“Periods of high stress and resultant high adrenaline levels have been linked to causing heart attacks,” Strote said. “If we assume those who laugh more generally have lower stress levels then those who do not, it stands to reason laughter can aid in general wellbeing.”

Look for a laugh.

There are opportunities all around you. Here are a few examples to start with:

– Have a game night with your family or friends.
– Goof around. Kids can be an endless source for this activity.
– When you watch TV, check out online videos or go to a movie, try to select a funny option more often than not.
– Check out a book from the humor section of your library.
– Just be silly, even at work.
– Do activities you think are fun – maybe laughter yoga.

Understanding these five ways laughter helps your heart is just the beginning. Remember, laughter is an especially powerful and positive part of improving your overall physical, mental and – especially – heart health.