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It's Dance-O-Rama!
As the dance season gets underway, Salt Lake City will encounter an explosion of
dance shows in the coming weeks. Karen Anne Webb helps you sort it all out.

‘Physically Speaking’
Performing Dance Company
Thursdays through Saturdays,
Oct. 27 to Nov. 5
7:30 p.m.
Marriott Center for Dance
(University of Utah)
Tickets cost $10, $7 for U
students and staff, and are
available at the door or the
Kingsbury Hall box office.

Utah Ballet in Fall
Thursdays through
Saturdays, Nov. 10 to 19
7:30 p.m. plus
2 p.m. on Saturday
Marriott Center for Dance
(University of Utah)
Tickets cost $10 and are
available at the Kingsbury Hall
box office (581-7100).
Aspen Ballet
at Ballet West

Friday and Saturday,
Nov. 11 and 12
7:30 p.m. plus
2 p.m. on Saturday
Capitol Theatre
(50 W. 200 South)
Tickets cost $20 and $40
and are available through ArtTix
‘The Secret Garden’
Thursday through
Saturday, Nov. 10 to 12
7:30 p.m. plus
2 p.m. on Saturday
Peery’s Egyptian Theater
(2415 Washington, Ogden)
For tickets, call

From the '60s to Now
Performing Dance Company shows strength in versatility as it presents its fall concert, “Physically Speaking,” in a seri

es of six performances at the University of Utah’s Marriott Center for Dance, starting on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The show features several guest artists, says artistic director Pam Geber. “And it’s a great range of artists: different generations are represented as well as different parts of the world and different aesthetics.”

Zeng Huanxing, a graduate of and professor at the Beijing Academy, set a duet for PDC members last spring. He returns with “Qin Se,” a larger work based on the music of two traditional zither-like Chinese instruments that create harmony together, inspiring bodies intertwining in space.

Deborah Hay, a motive force of the early post-modernist movement of the ’60s, has set two works: “Poof,” for the dance majors, and “Exit,” for a fluctuating cast of 15 to 25 dancers. Her process for both pieces involved asking her dancers, “Can you picture past, present and future simultaneously in one moment?” “She wanted her dancers to be thinking movers,” says Geber.

Contrasting with the older generation, the work of emerging choreographers is featured with“The Lady of the Lake.” Mary Frances Lloyd’s piece creates powerfully sensual images by immersing a dancer
in a tank of water. Ririe-Woodbury alum Andy Vaca’s “Swoon, Croon, and Swing” is based on the Big Band era. It is an energetic, fun piece that Geber says is “beautifully structured.”

Faculty member Satu Hummasti’s “Six Conversations” blends music with spoken text. Geber says, “Satu created it very specifically on these 11 dancers. It blends full physical movement with subtly beautiful partnering.”

Something for Everyone
Utah Ballet rolls out its fall program on Thursday, Nov. 10. Artistic Director Attila Ficzere characterizes the program as one with“something for everyone…classical or contemporary ballet, or anything in between.”

Guest choreographers include Ballet West’s Bruce Caldwell and Ballet West alum and newly ordained“Mrs. Utah” Jennie Creer-King. “Both Bruce and Jennie…have proven themselves in the past—offering them this forum to develop themselves further is a great opportunity for both them and us,” says Ficzere.

Ficzere himself will be reprising a piece based on Vivaldi and further developing“Lone Again,” a work to Navajo flute music. He had previously set a female solo to this music, but now that the company has four danseurs, he can fulfill his original design.

Ballet West Meets Aspen Ballet
For those longing for the clatter of pointe shoes from professionals, Ballet West hosts Aspen Santa Fe Ballet on Friday, Nov. 11 at the Capitol Theatre. The presentation is part of an exchange that will bring Ballet West to the Aspen Dance Festival in the summer of 2006.

The small but popular company makes numerous visits to this area. On this turn, they will be performing the oft-reprised“Like a Samba” by Trey McIntyre, a reprise of Moses Pendleton’s “Noir Blanc”—which definitely shows
Pendleton’s Pilobolus Dance Theatre roots—and Nicolo Fonte’s “Left Unsaid.

The Innocence of 'The Secret Garden'
In the 13 years since dancer and choreographer Raymond Van Mason and composer Kurt Bestor first conceived of a ballet based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden,” the ballet has changed venues, companies and dancers.

Originally conceived for Ballet West under Sir John Hart, it was shelved when the artistic staff changed. It wasn’t
until the last 12 months that Mason and Bestor dusted it off for Mason’s Imagine Ballet Theatre. Imagine is a youth ballet with a bevy of young ballerinas and danseurs. The ballet— the first production of the book as a ballet with an original score—premiere Nov. 10 at Ogden’s Egyptian Theater.

“I’m really glad it happened this way,” says Mason, “and that the initial staging will be with a group of younger dancers. There’s something to be said for unfeigned innocence when you’re staging a children’s book. The dancers of IBT are bringing the story to life in a nice way.”

Although the dancers are not as adept as the professionals at Ballet West would have been, Mason has not dumbed down the choreography from his original conception.

Mason says that this version offers something that can’t be found in the other versions in every medium known to man. “I feel the Broadway version made the story too adult and not enough about seeing into a child’s mind. We have a good balance of dance and storytelling.”

karen [at]


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