RZA Stretches Artistic Wings With His First Ballet


RZA’s 36 Chambers of Shaolin and A Ballet Through Mud shows are part of the Colorado Symphony’s Imagination Artist Series.

RZA has teamed with the Colorado Symphony for his first ballet, which debuts at Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall on Friday (February 17).

The Wu-Tang Clan member’s ballet opens as part of a double-header presentation titled 36 Chambers of Shaolin and A Ballet Through Mud. The performance features dancing, orchestration and spoken word.

“We’re excited here but a little bit nervous,” RZA told the Denver Post. “Denver is the first place that will see this dream, but it’s something we want to show to other people as well.”

RZA devised A Ballet Through Mud during the pandemic. He enlisted the Colorado Symphony and choreographer Yusha-Marie Sorzano to bring it to life.

“I gave [Sorzano] the story of the ballet and she put her brain to it, pulling a great cast of dancers who are also acting out their roles and characters,” RZA said. “We started this project here in Denver a year ago … when I was out here having Valentine’s Day dinner with my wife. We had to come out to see the vibe and if we could get the dancers to find the groove and the tempos, you know? To see if the music was speaking to them.”

RZA’s ballet is scheduled for a second performance on Saturday (February 18). Tickets for both shows are available here.