Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Cipher 

Thursday Dec. 16-Saturday Dec. 18 @ Rose Wagner Center

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Ririe-Woodbury artistic director Charlotte Boye-Christensen is no stranger to artist collaborations, but her world premiere of “Touching Fire” in the company’s production of Cipher puts the “modern” in modern dance. Bringing dancers together with renowned author David Kranes and local architect Nathan Webster, Boye-Christensen’s unique choreography combines movement, storytelling and the continuous alteration of perspective on stage.

“Touching Fire” began as an exploration of creativity and madness, according to Boye-Christensen, noting the difference between madness as insanity and the mad state that prompts creativity. The choreographic investigation—which takes place in a series of dance vignettes, accompanied by Kranes’ stories—goes further into the exploration to provide insight on the choices one makes in the face of madness. The collaboration, she says, “will illuminate moments of reflection and revelation at those thresholds where one chooses how, or if, to relate to or to be in the world.”

Cipher also features a new take on Boye-Christensen’s “Gravity” (pictured), which won City Weekly’s 2010 Artys award for “Best Dance Choreography.” The work, inspired by the contemporary Copenhagen-based FIGURA ensemble, observes the barrier provided by the tension of the push and pull of the Earth’s force, and plays with the fluidity of both movement and music.

With the architectural landscapes of the stage, the literary influence on dance, the scientific principle of force and the innovative choreography that makes Ririe-Woodbury truly contemporary, Cipher promises to take audiences on a journey down the fine line between madness and creativity.

Ririe Woodbury Dance Company: Cipher @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 West Broadway, 801-355-2787, Dec. 16-18, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday matinee 2 p.m. $15-$30, ArtTix.org

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