It’s not surprising that dancer Julianne Hough—the blonde firecracker who captivated the nation when she partnered Dancing With The Stars champions speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and race car driver Helio Castroneves—is a Salt Lake City native.
Utah has a rich and varied dance landscape that offers audiences plenty of opportunities to experience innovative communication through movement, graceful bursts of visceral energy and, searing dramatic performances. Whether classical ballet, cutting-edge modern dance, or the latest hybrid of jazz and hip-hop is what you’re craving, Salt Lake City’s world-class dance companies will leave you satisfied.
New Artistic Director Adam Sklute added a few pleasing flourishes to Ballet West’s 2008 season. Utah’s internationally acclaimed professional ballet company’s 2008 lineup features a few tried and true favorites—such as Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella (Feb. 14-16, 20-23) and Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs (April 18,19, 23-26)—as well as a newly instituted program of original pieces choreographed by Ballet West’s dancers, for the Ballet West’s dancers entitled Innovations (May 28-31). Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 355-2787, BalletWest.org
Odyssey Dance Theatre
Darryl Yeager’s Halloween-themed Thriller and Christmas-themed It’s A Wonderful Life productions have become seasonal must-sees. Just in time for spring, Odyssey Dance Theatre’s Shut Up & Dance (March 19-29) is “a buffet for dance lovers,” that features several short works that are a captivating fusion of popular entertainment (Beatles, anyone?) with energy and artistic integrity. Various venues, 495-3262, OdysseyDance.com
Repertory Dance Theatre
Since the mid-20th century—1966 to be exact—Repertory Dance Theatre has served as a unique living archive for pivotal modern dance works. From Isadora Duncan to Martha Graham, RDT’s dancers have preserved and enlivened the vibrant tapestry of contemporary dance. The 2008 season includes Charette (March 8) a dance off to determine Utah’ s most skilled choreographer and The Weight of Memory (April 10-13), a lyrical examination of the emotional intersection between past and present. Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787, Xmission.com/rdt/
|Repertory Dance Theatre Community Dance School
Feel like taking a dance class in 2008? RDT’s Community Dance School philosophy decrees that everyone has the ability to dance, regardless of age, body type or level of experience. Prospective dancers can choose from a variety of classes—some of which feature live drumming—that cater to professionals and novices alike. Some class offerings include West African, Flamenco, Hip Hop, and Modern Dance Technique. New classes—such as 2008’s Jazz Technique class—are added often. The Community School periodically hosts student performances, workshops and an open house that showcases the school’s programs. If you don’t have the money to travel to Rio for Carnival, consider paying $10—or $90 for 10 classes—to dance the evening away Brazilian style at RDT’s fun and inclusive Community Dance School. Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787, Xmission.com/rdt/