Monday, November 1, 2010

Two LeDoux Tributes

A Wyoming cowboy and musician, posthumously recognized with a “Pioneer” award by the Country Music Association, is at the heart of tributes being staged in Wyoming and New York this week. Chris LeDoux died in 2005 but he was forever memorialized in bronze by the dedication of a life-and-a-half size bronze in a downtown Kaycee, Wyoming park in June. LeDoux and his wife raised their family in Kaycee. He won the pro rodeo world championship in bareback riding prior to his success as a musician.

His music inspired New York-based choreographer Robert Royston from his childhood following of the pro rodeo circuit and Royston has now developed a new dance musical featuring Chris LeDoux songs, ten professional dancers along with live music performed by LeDoux’s band, Western Underground. The show is being performed in Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows, NY through Sunday. “I watched the dancers rehearsing to Chris’ music when we got here and it was very emotional,” said Mark Sissel, Western Underground lead guitarist. “The first night I stood on the stage with this show I was overcome with emotion. It’s like bringing Chris’ music to life,” he added.

“One Ride” tells the story of a young rodeo bull rider, his quest to win a world champion’s gold buckle and his struggles to succeed. Royston conceived the story based on LeDoux songs. He directs and choreographed the show that is in the workshop stage. Backers hope to eventually bring “One Ride” to theatres in cities that host major professional rodeos. “One Ride” opened last Friday and live performances continue through Sunday.

“A Tribute to Chris LeDoux” western art show, rodeo and concert will return for its sixth annual staging in Casper this weekend. “We’ve been able to provide several young people with scholarships to Casper College because of this event,” said Dona Vold Larsen, event organizer.

The art show opens Friday evening at Parkway Plaza in Casper and the pro rodeo/concert is Saturday night indoors at “The Arena” on Central Wyoming fairgrounds. More information is available at: www.ledouxtributerodeo.com

Media Contact: Contact: Mark Sissel–PH: 615.477.8466; Dona Vold Larsen- PH:307.259.1674

Photo cutline: “Good Ride Cowboy” was dedicated in Chris LeDoux Memorial Park, Kaycee, last summer. The bronze monument was created by Buffalo, WY artist/sculptor Mike Thomas. Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

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