Dance is Like a Box of Vegetables
A preview of the 2013-13 performing dance season.
—by Amy Brunvand
Season tickets are like Community Supported Agriculture for the soul. Just as your weekly box of locally grown organic vegetables nourishes your body and supports a local community of farmers, your season tickets support a vibrant local community of dancers, actors and musicians and provide a guaranteed audience for the theatrical equivalent of kohlrabi and garlic scapes ( yum!). Watching a live performance versus one on screen is often like the difference between eating those woody grocery store Roma tomatoes and sinking your teeth into delectable vine-fresh heirloom Tigerellas.
Not to stretch the vegetable metaphor too thin, but it’s a good bet that when your parents nagged you to “eat your peas” they weren’t talking about newly picked spring peas eaten straight from the pod, and one compensation for the end of the farmers’ market season is a harvest of brand new dance performances. Don’t limit yourself to just the big-name performers—Salt Lake City has so many small dance companies, touring performances, dance schools and recreational dancers that it’s hard to keep track of it all. But now is the time to buy season tickets for whatever dance, theater or company you like. You’ll become part of a local community and have something to look forward to all winter long.
Here’s a preview of the 2013-2014 dance season:
This season SB Dance is offering season tickets which makes me very happy because sometimes their shows are sold out. Subscribers get an invitation to all opening night parties. Stephen Brown says that the Alternative Halloween Horror Show for Curious Adults “is going to be rad” and plus, it features a human cannonball.
SB Dance: http://sbdance.com
If you have been following Ballet West on the TV show “Breaking Pointe,” you’ll want to see your favorite reality TV stars on stage. The season starts in November with a program that includes Petite Mort, the dance with the little underpants and dangerous looking weapons that the company was rehearsing in “Breaking Pointe” season one. The eroticism of the ballet invites a certain amount of sniggering on TV (“I would say in Petite Mort, the sword stands for your penis,” says Ronnie) but it is absolutely ravishing on stage. It’s also the 50th anniversary of the company, so expect some celebratory touches in Nutcracker (December), Sleeping Beauty (February), Rite of Spring (April) and Innovations (May).
Ballet West: http://balletwest.org
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, also celebrating its 50th Birthday, has a new artistic director. Daniel Charon has replace Charlotte Boye-Christensen. In the 2013-2014 season it will be fun to get to know Mr. Charon while taking a look back at formative works by Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe. Circus artist Tandy Beal (who choreographed the wonderful Here After Here last year) is creating a new show that will debut in January. The April performance features a new collaboration from visionary University of Utah professor Ellen Bromburg who pretty much singlehandedly introduced dance-for-the-camera to Salt Lake City.
Ririe Woodbury Dance Co.: http://ririewoodbury.com
Don’t worry, RW fans. Former Ririe-Woodbury artistic director Charlotte Boye-Christensen hasn’t left town. She just wants to put energy into her own newly formed company, NOW International Dance. The inaugural performance of the new company was The Wedding this past July in the ritually appropriate atmosphere of Salt Lake City Masonic Temple. The company is planning to stage a version of Goethe’s Faust that includes dance and puppets, but since NOW ID doesn’t sell season tickets you’ll have to watch carefully for the exact performance date.
NOW International Dance: http://now-id.com
Compared to Ballet West and Ririe-Woodbury, Repertory Dance Theatre is a youngster—only 48 years old. Perhaps that’s why they are planning a season …brought to you by the letter “L”. The themes of thia year’s performances are Legacy, Lively, Levity and Land. Highlights include José Limón’s Missa Brevis (1958) in October and an all-ages show in November that promises to be very “Lively.” The annual Charette fundraiser in Februrary (“Levity”) remains one of the best introductions ever to the art of Modern Dance.
Repertory Dance Theatre: http://rdtutah.org
For fans of musical theater, Pioneer Memorial Theatre is doing Something’s Afoot (September), a comical murder mystery; Elf, The Musical (December) based on the beloved holiday movie, and Sweet Charity (May). There are bound to be some show stoppers!
Pioneer Memorial Theatre: http://pioneertheatre.org
And who can argue with free? LoveDANCEmore has scheduled fall performances of the Mudson work-in-progress series for September 16, October 21 and November 18 at the Masonic Temple Ballroom (650 E. South Temple). Now is the time to write the dates on your calendar.