ABOUT

We are a Colorado-based, globally-faced platform for contemporary performance research, production, distribution, and advocacy. With a revolving team of extraordinary artists, we pursue deep collaboration, rigorous research & development, and critical innovations in form and contents.

We aim to create delicately calibrated, entirely novel aesthetic experiences – immersive, transportive, able to momentarily reconfigure the relationship between imagination and sensory reality. Our project-based creative process uses a malleable intermedia approach, with each new work eliciting its own constellation of needs – media, techniques, materials, mode of engagement – letting each process define the nature and contents of its product(s). We bring attention to the full context of the work, cultivating rich immersive experiences responsive to their site, situation, and audience.

Our artistic research focuses on the interface between person and environment – sensory-perceptual matrices, subtle energetic topographies, the limits of individual control and agency, malleabilities in the boundaries between things. The work freely intersects reality and imagination, interlacing visceral sensory experiences, fundamental structural reconfiguration, and richly evocative action and imagery, toward the construction of precarious utopian proposals for confrontation and transcendence.

    

HISTORY

Founded in 2008 by artistic director Patrick Mueller, Control Group has created 15 major works to date, ranging from stage performances to site-specific, installation, and film projects.

Through our Artist Services program Control Group has founded two Denver venues – The Packing House Center for the Arts (2008-10) and work|space Denver (2011-15) – where we incubated new works, presented events by dozens of local and touring artists, hosted artists in residence, and provided other services to the local professional community. The company currently enjoys a multi-year artist residency at Colorado Conservatory of Dance, with whom we co-administer much of our Artist Services programming.

Control Group has received project and commissioning support from The Biennial of the Americas, Denver Theatre District, the Denver Office of Arts & Venues, and BINDERY|space; and its work has been presented by RedLine Gallery, Naropa University, Dance Initiative Carbondale, American Dance Festival’s MFA program, Boulder Fringe Festival, and others. Our work is supported by Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment for the Arts, Colorado’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Broomfield Community Foundation, the Dugas Family Foundation, the Gilbert Family Trust, and other foundations, trusts, and individual donors.
       

PEOPLE

 
photo by RJ Hooker

Patrick Mueller (Artistic Director) grew up in Colorado and studied dance and performance art at Pomona College (Claremont, CA). He spent a year as a Graduate Fellow at Ohio State University, and holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and American Dance Festival.

Patrick served as a member of various companies in New York and Europe, including Ben J. Riepe Kompanie (DE), Mancopy Danse (DK), and Troika Ranch Dance-Theatre (NY). He recently collaborated on and performed in DCPA Off-Center's immersive spectacle Sweet & Lucky by Third Rail Projects (NY), which enjoyed for a 12-week extended, sold-out run.

As artistic director of Control Group, Patrick guides the conceptual and artistic development of all works. He directs all major works, and regularly performs and designs lights and physical environments. His work stands at the forefront of Denver's contemporary performance scene, driving innovation and supporting a revolving team of extraordinary collaborating artists. Patrick's commitment to collaboration has also yielded presenting partnerships with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, The Biennial of the Americas, Redline gallery, Denver Theatre District, the Denver Office of Arts & Venues, Dance Initiative Carbondale, Naropa University, and many others.

Patrick has created commissioned works for Open Dance Project (Houston, TX, artistic director Annie Arnoult) and Dance Initiative (Carbondale, CO, artistic direction Deborah Colley). He recently served as choreographer for DCPA Off-Center's immersive production of The Wild Party (Wolfe/LaChiusa version).

As a curator of two Control Group-founded venues, Patrick has presented over one hundred events featuring leading voices in the local dance and theatre scene, and has helped birth several other new companies. He works regularly as a collaborator with other local artists, creating lighting designs and physical installations.

Patrick has taught dance technique and theory at Naropa University; Red Rocks Community College, where he helped establish an Associates Degree in Dance; the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive; Colorado Conservatory of Dance; Excel Summer Program at Williams and Amherst Colleges; and at various other studios, schools, and festivals. He lives in Lakewood, CO with his wife Kristine and their hilarious, adorable 3-year-old son Levi.


photo by RJ Hooker

Todd Bilsborough (Composer) was born in Denver. He served in the US Army from 2003 to 2006, with deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning to civilian life, he went on to study music at Naropa University. He has been playing and performing in various styles and on various instruments for over two decades. Todd has been featured both as a live musician and sound designer in dozens of theatrical and concert performances since 2010.

Todd's work has appeared in performances by square product theatre and Wild Heart Dance, and he has composed for and performed in all Control Group Productions works since 2014. He regularly performs on electric bass with the acclaimed avant-garde music ensemble Hamster Theatre, and his improvisational percussion work can be heard on Janet Feder’s album T H I S C L O S E.


photo by Amanda Tipton

Jake Fry (Performer / Costume Designer) grew up in Utah and studied dance and musical theatre at Brigham Young University. He danced with Malashock Dance Company in San Diego and Aemp Dance in New York, and performed on several cruise lines. He played Jinx in Forever Plaid, Gideon in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Bobby Child in Crazy For You. He has choreographed several musicals, taught dance and musical theatre in Utah and Zurich, Switzerland, and worked as a dresser in New York on 12 Broadway musicals.

Jake joined Control Group for SETTING FIRES (2017), and is excited to be collaborating (performance and costume design) on upcoming projects peripheral ephemera proliferate (2018) and Aggregate Immateriality (2019).

Bailey Harper (Performer) is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, where she began her training with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet. She continued her education at the University of Alabama, graduated in 2009 with Honors and a B.A. in Dance and Kinesiology. After college, Bailey spent four seasons with the Montgomery Ballet. During that time she had numerous opportunities to be pushed technically and to cultivate her stage presence.

Since relocating to Colorado, Bailey has worked as a member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, and Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet. Recently she has also begun producing her own work. Bailey began working with Control Group in 2017.


photo by Bruce Cohen

Irene Joyce (Performer), born and raised in Santa Fe, N.M., began her dancing career with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at age 17. She ultimately focused on contemporary dance forms as a member of Sweden’s Gothenburg Opera Ballet, where she danced works by Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, and other seminal international choreographers. In recent years, her love of dance has manifested as a collaborative melting pot of performance art, including installations, poetry, film-making & singing. She began working with Control Group Productions in 2017.


photo by Amanda Tipton

Ben Waugh (Performer / Designer / Stage Manager) is a performance artist with an MFA from Naropa University. His work ranges from the pure enjoyment of human skill to the postmodern questioning of experience and performance. He has recently performed with Boulder’s The Band of Toughs in I Miss My MTV and As You Like It as well as the Frequent Flyer’s production Theatre of the Vampires. He recently founded The Great Perhaps Performance Collective, based in Boulder, co-directing the production of Beckett’s Play.

Ben has worked with Control Group since 2016, including designing and operating a mobile installation / puppet for ALONE WITH TODD (2016) and acting as performer and stage manager in SETTING FIRES (2017).


photo by RJ Hooker

Kristine Whittle lives, works and frolics in Denver. She studied dance at Arizona State University, and has danced with Ann Ludwig Dance Theatre, Barbara Grubel Dance, Aura Fischbeck Dance, KC Chun, and others.

Kristine currently dances with Tara Rynders and Kat Gurley/Wild Heart. She also works as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Yoga Instructor, with focus on restorative and therapeutic practices. She teaches anatomy, restorative yoga, and other topics in 200-hour and 500-hour teacher trainings at Kindness Yoga, Samadhi Yoga, and The Freyja Project.

Kristine is a founding member of Control Group, and has performed in, co-directed, designed for, or consulted on every Control Group work to date. She and Patrick have also collaborated on the creation and cultivation of the most adorable human in the world: Levi, age 3.

     

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