MY ART STORY by

Paul Noel Fiorino

Denver
Colorado

I have been working as a dancer/choreographer and singer-songwriter for over 40 years and teaching for the city of Lakewood. Nutcracker gave me my start, and seeing the children growing year by year with a love for arts makes a heart happy and a community healthy.

I want to also acknowledge the two who gave me a great appreciation for the arts: my father Emilio, an artist and retired architect, and my mother Madeleine, a choir director and author. All those wonderful teachers throughout my education and career, I thank you—being a part of this recent yet dynamic history over the last 50 years, from my first paid performance in Carmen with the Central City Opera at ten to singing Verdi with Dr. Antonio Brico and discovering the dance through the DCHS theater department with Mr. Wally Larson, who produced West Side Story.

The highlights of a long career: with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble as a charter dancer; a South American tour with the Dallas Ballet; my three-year involvement with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet Education Department, taking his work into schools in the tri-state area until the master's passing in 1983; serving as a principal and guest artist for many companies and university positions; and coming back west to take on the well-established Ballet Arts Center/Theatre since 1993, offering all forms of dance education and performance for all abilities. I am amazed to be dancing at 60 after suffering a bout with Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which gave me a great appreciation for the smallest of movements. Thanks again to my children, family, relatives, and all the medical staff that got me through.

With great care and rehab I was able to dance and choreograph the first televised Easter Sunrise Service at the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. Dance has the ability to transform and is the most natural fountain of youth we look for. I developed Choreo-Cals, aka Choreographic Calisthenics, for the Olympic Training Center with an emphasis on ballet technique as a base, and the teams went on to medal glory in the 1984 LA Games.

People watch the human body in motion to emulate and participate in something greater than themselves. Dance is the new next form to be acknowledged for health, fitness, and disease prevention, not to mention enjoyment into old age. I am feeling that sense of accomplishment seeing Colorado come to this place of fruition in the arts with a trace of what Agnes DeMille said, "that bells will not toll."

Bringing it all together is the fact we have reached a pinnacle to maintain the arts and humanities here at the top of the nation, to bring some healing to our country through both giving of our creativity and imagination.

Thanks for this chance to tell of The Man Who Came To Dance [Fiorino was featured in the PBS documentary] and share this time with all of my fellow citizens who love, work, and support the National Endowment for the Arts & Humanities and all art happenings throughout our state and nation all year long.