Dance news for Spring.
—by Amy Brunvand
During the warm spell in February I noticed snowdrops, crocuses and even one small, brave pansy blooming in south-facing gardens. My heart sinks a bit at the thought that the flowers are blooming much too early—all that rain in the wintertime is a predicted effect of global climate change—but no matter how much I like snow, it’s still hard to look at flowers and feel really sad. Out in the Sagebrush Ocean from early March through April, sage grouse are dancing, and people should be out dancing, too. Here are some of your opportunities this Spring. (You’ll find even more in this month’s Calendar, beginning on page 22.)
Holi Festival of Colors, March 29-30 (Spanish Fork) & May 3 (SLC)
In India, Holi celebrates the arrival of spring with singing, dancing and throwing colors on each other. In Utah you can celebrate Holi at the Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, and also at the Salt Lake Krishna Temple. The festival website promises color throwing every hour, yoga, mantra music, bonfires , vegetarian food, going up to strangers and asking, “May I lovingly decorate your face & recolor your hair?,” dancing & chanting, crowd surfers and hugging strangers (with their permission of course).
Holi Festival of Colors (March 29-30 in Spanish Fork & May 3 in Salt Lake City. Information: UtahKrishnas.org
Joan Woodbury honored (and 14 other artists, too), exhibit through March 21
Modern dance visionary Joan Woodbury (co-founder of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company) was selected as one of Utah’s 15 most influential artists by 15 Bytes , an online magazine about Utah arts and artists. The winners, who are mostly visual artists, were selected by a panel of judges from nearly 100 nominations submitted by readers. These diverse artists who have shaped the cultural landscape of Utah were honored by a reception during the February Gallery Stroll, an exhibit at the Rio Gallery that lasts through March 21, and the publication of a book titled Utah’s 15: The States Most Influential Artists The books costs $13 and was printed in a limited run of only 500 copies, so get yours before they are all gone. (You can order books from the 15 Bytes website).
Utah’s 15: The State’s Most Influential Artists: Rio Gallery, Rio Grande Depot, 300 South Rio Grande Street (455 West), Salt Lake City through March 21. 15 bytes: ArtistsofUtah.org/15Bytes/
Salt Lake City Spring Contra Dance Festival, May 16-18
Utah’s state folk dance is “the square dance, the folk dance that is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, and heritage dances” (Utah Code 63G-1-601) so as a good Utah citizen you should be dancing. What if your do-si-do has gotten a little rusty since you learned to square dance in grade school? Well, now that you’re too old to worry about getting cooties, you can just have fun brushing up on your skills at the Spring Contra Festival sponsored by Wasatch Contras (with a little help from your ZAP taxes). Note that contra dancing is very similar to square dancing, but in lines, not squares The festival promises a full weekend of live music, dancing and good company.
Wasatch Contra Festival, May 16-18, 2014. Montessori Community School 2416 E. 1700 S. SLC. WasatchContras.org/Spring_2014.html
Gay Square Dances to converge on The hive, June 3-6
And speaking of Utah’s state folk dance, When same sex marriage became (temporarily) legal in Utah on December 20, 2013 there was much joy and celebration at the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office, so it’s entirely appropriate that the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs is meeting in Salt Lake City this coming June.
You do not have to identify as gay or lesbian to dance with an IAGSDC club. Everyone is welcome.
Squeeze the Hive (June 3-6, 2014, Salt Lake City, UT) 31st Annual IAGSDC convention Information: Temple Squares GLBT Square Dance Club. TempleSquares.org
SaltDanceFest, June 2-13
The 4th annual SaltDanceFest has been scheduled for June at the University of Utah. Since it started in 2010 this has been one of the most exciting new dance festivals in Salt Lake City. Many workshops are just for dancers, but expect some exceptional public talks and dance performances as well. Guest artists for 2014 are Faye Driscoll,Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey, and Pavel Zuštiak.
SaltDanceFest: (June 2-13, University of Utah) information: dance.utah.edu/newsevents/saltdancefest/