Egyptian Theatre turns the spotlight onto the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company
November 10, 2015
Utah’s Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is extending its 50th anniversary in the sense that it will present a program that was performed as the final show of its 2013-14 season.
The performance, featuring Artistic Director Daniel Charon’s "Construct," Miguel Azcue’s "You and the Space Between" and Doug Varone’s "States Rendered," will be presented at the Egyptian Theatre on Nov. 13 and 14.
Technology and video thread this trifecta together, Charon told The Park Record during an interview.
"The interesting thing about this program is that all the pieces incorporate some type of video technology to shed different light on the choreography," he said. "It is thematic in the sense that these images puts the choreography in different contexts."
Both "Construct" and "You and the Space Between" use live video feeds.
"There are cameras set up around the performing space in ‘Construct’ and above for ‘You and the Space Between’ and processes the movements in real time," Charon said. "The audience has the potential to uncover new things as they see the dancing from different perspectives. And that’s exciting for me."
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For "States Rendered," Doug Varone, director of the New York-based company Doug Varone and Dancers, collaborated with University of Utah-based choreographer and videographer Ellen Bromberg for "States Rendered."
"Ellen’s video design is much more abstract, and it creates a unique and eerie electronic world for that dance to live in," Charon said. "However, all of the video aspects in these works are used to enhance the dancers’ movements and not overshadowing or replacing the dancers."
In addition to the videos, the pieces deal with issues in the real world.
"Construct" has a sociopolitical aspect that was inspired by technology and social media.
"It’s an abstract work that deals with surveillance and constructive identities," Charon said. "The digital world, especially online, is a place where we can create different identities, realities and worlds."
Mike Wall wrote some original music for the piece.
"I’ve known Mike for 15 years and we moved to Utah around the same time," Charon said. "When I was creating this piece, I actually played some of his older music to give me a sense of what it may feel like if I decided to ask him to work with me.
"In the end, it became an interesting collaboration where we used some of his earlier works and some music he wrote new for the piece," Charon said. "It was like he deconstructed works he had already done and recomposed them for this piece."
"You and the Space Between" choreographer Azcue is a Ririe-Woodbury alumnus.
"We had brought in many of our alumni to do projects for the anniversary season," Charon said. "Miguel is an amazing artist who is from Cuba but lives in Sweden and has his own company."
"You and the Space Between" is fun, witty and creative.
"There’s a sense of wonder and illusion to it and it plays with the audience’s childlike imagination," Charon said. "It’s a friendly piece for people who may have not seen a lot of modern dance. This piece has become one of the most popular works in our repertory."
Doug Varone and Dancers and the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company jointly commissioned "States Rendered."
"Doug built it on his company in New York and video taped everything," Charon said. "The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company dancers learned the piece by watching 40 or more videos Varone emailed via DropBox."
Having danced with Varone’s company for 10 years, Charon had a good sense of the movement vocabulary, which helped put the piece together in Utah.
"When we got to that point, Doug sent an assistant out to Utah to work with us," Charon said. "When Doug arrived, he had something to look at and then the video collaboration with Ellen was taken to a different level."
Charon is grateful to the Egyptian Theatre and its manger Randy Barton for showcasing the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
"There are amazing and high-caliber dance companies in Utah and by presenting us, it supports the local arts," Charon said. "They have a great facility with a great projector and that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to bring this program there. This is great for the tourists as well, because they may want to come and see something different and beautiful."
The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will present the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company on Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $19 to $29 and are available by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com .
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