“Audiences Award Artists” is a competition, but unlike the video game Dance Dance Revolution (embarrassing) or TV’s So You Think You Can Dance? (trite and degrading), the winners push viewers to a visceral edge—intriguing, provoking and, most of all, beautiful. In November 2009, choreographers vied for a grand prize of $1,000 and a studio-space grant. Even though that funding is limited, they created this week’s performance to convey their message to the masses.
Collaborators Juan Aldape and Molly Beardmore-Heller won with “Prison of Form,” depicting the awkwardness of being—and waiting—in a public space. Their work will be performed as part of The Gray Area, along with the choreographic collaboration “Another Time Stamp on this Old Map,” set as a solo for Stephen Koester, University of Utah dance professor and mentor to both.
Aldape also will perform a duet dealing with interracial relationships called “Everybody’s Business.”
Beardmore-Heller will join a quartet in “Vanities Faire,” looking at self-image and self-consciousness around others. With five 8-foot-tall mirrors onstage, a new perspective is offered to the audience.
Overall, look for relatable gestures, highlighting intricacies in a dry, unemotional way. The artists also hope to bring a new movement vocabulary to the local dance scene—to push currently static boundaries. But, this showcase is accessible to everyday people because of its common emotions and meaning.
“We are diving right into the undefined, the blurred area of our lives that deals with personal territory and our perceived reality,” Beardmore- Heller says. So, find the color in the gray.