The idea for Suite danced to life when Sugar Space founder Brittany Reese Dew was inspired by a New York City dance series highlighting women choreographers. In general, “There’s not a lot of support for them,” Dew says. Believe it or not, most are male, a phenomenon of the past 50 years. So, sorry, boys, this is a girls-only showcase. In its first year, and designed to continue as an annual spring concert, Suite offers women their time to shine.
“We wanted women that are out there experimenting. Also, we want to support new choreographers. There are very few people creating their own work [in Salt Lake City], and with less opportunities to perform, that [creativity] suffers,” Dew says.
So, three up-and-coming Salt Lakers were chosen: Ashley Anderson, Erin Kaser Romero and Hillary Van Moorleghem. To promote feedback and mentorship, they work closely together and have feedback sessions throughout the rehearsals. However, since each contributor brings unique roots in dance, the 20- to 25-minute pieces differ drastically in aesthetic sensibilities.
Each choreographer collaborated with a female designer. Anderson, with Amelia Whitworth, created “Ways and Means Committee” in a tableux vivants (living pictures) style, with music from classical to Dolly Parton. Romero paired with Sonya Galaviz for a piece on dreams with revolving aerial moves, surreal images and sweeping costumes. Finally, Van Moorleghem and Kerri Hopkins juxtapose video technology and classic ballet.
So, check out another unique performance by Sugar Space, which continually breathes fresh air into the SLC dance scene.