Odyssey Dance Theatre: Carmen | Kingsbury Hall | Dance | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Odyssey Dance Theatre: Carmen Staff Pick

When: Thu., March 5, 7:30 p.m., Fri., March 6, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., March 7, 2 & 7:30 p.m. 2015
Phone: 801-581-7100
Price: $40, $35, $30, $25, $20
When a big anniversary for an arts company presents itself, such as Odyssey Dance Theatre's 20th, it provides the perfect opportunity to go big. Sometimes, it's a new commission or collaboration; other times, there can be reflection and retrospection. This contemporary dance company decided to celebrate in its own way, with a full evening-length world premiere of Carmen. Yep, that Carmen—the one best known as a 19th-century opera created by French composer Georges Bizet. But, before you think ODT—home of the annual Halloween pop-production Thriller—is going all highbrow for this party, remember that they've also re-imagined other classic works such as Romeo+Juliet, Giselle and The Nutcracker. Founder and artistic director Derryl Yeager has completely reworked this beloved opera, plugging its classic narrative into the 21st-century milieu of reality television. The story is still basically the same, but instead of a passionate tale of soldiers, cigarette girls and bullfights in Seville, ODT's Carmen involves behind-the-scenes events at a show called Just Dance, clearly modeled after the hit show So You Think You Can Dance? By utilizing the familiar narrative arc of the original—plus selected musical pieces from the classic score—this Carmen should still feel somewhat familiar. It's in the contemporary choreography, the updated setting and the inclusion of modern pop music where ODT is clearly hoping to transform a classic into a whole new piece accessible to younger audiences. Tackling such a risky endeavor is exactly what anniversaries are for. (Jacob Stringer)
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