The Utah Metropolitan Ballet (UMB) performed their show “Tribute” at UVU’s Ragan Theater, bringing four local choreographers together to create pieces for members of the art community.
“Swedish Suite”, composed by Hugo Alfvén and choreographed by Jacqueline Colledge, was dedicated to Bill Evans and was the first performance. This piece was a folksy, classical ballet complete with tutus, solos, and romantic partner work.
“What I like about this [show] was to see the diversity of the performances,” said Alexis Whitecar, a UVU dance major. “They did so many classical pieces and so many contemporary ballet pieces. Seeing the differences between the two was really good.”
The performance “Intangible Lightness” was dedicated to Bridle up Hope: the Rachel Covey Foundation. This piece, choreographed by Monica Campbell, was set to Phillip Glass’ Symphony No. 3 and was a more evocative, lyrical dance.
“It was excellent,” said Becca Mckenzie, an audience member. “The time and energy that goes into everything they do is just amazing. I really liked ‘Intelligible Lightness.’ I liked the emotion that was put into that one. You just feel everything they were putting out there.”
The third tribute was dedicated to Christopher Clark and was titled “Electric Noir”. This was set to a song by the same name composed by Armand Amar and Sebastian Seike, and was the crowd favorite. It featured dancers in simple black leotards. The choreography, by Heather Gray, was contemporary, utilizing a lot of sharp movements and complex partner work.
“I was amazed at the strength of the dancers,” said Lennon Astle, another audience member. “Electric Noir [was my favorite]. I liked the music in that one too. There was one point where all of the music was just all clicking. It was really cool.”
Both Jessica Best, UVU special education major, and Jessica Tanner, a BYU student, remarked on how interesting the lighting was, especially for “Electric Noir.”
Bill Kickbush was in charge of the lighting design for the entire show, which frequently took unique liberties intending to reflect the style of the choreography. The more classical pieces had more standard lighting. The more contemporary pieces had dramatic lighting that helped exaggerate the movements.
The last piece, “Rhapsody,” composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff and choreographed by Alan Hineline, was dedicated to Lana Jardine. This was one of the longer pieces of the night and presented a blend of Kickbush’s creative lighting and the more classical, technical ballet movements.
UMB presented a beautiful group of dances to thank prominent members of the art community, and in doing so, they impressed the audience with their wide range of skills.