Contemporary Dance Ensemble presents “Structures”

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The contemporary dance ensembles will be performing "Structures" March 4-6. Courtesy of Jenny Ostraff
The contemporary dance ensembles will be performing "Structures" March 4-6. Courtesy of Jenny Ostraff

Beginning this Thursday Contemporary Dance Ensemble, UVU’s pre-professional level modern dance company, will present “Structures,” a dance event that according to a press release “relates to the physical and abstract aspects of human life and interaction.”

“Structures” features pieces by seven choreographers, two of them faculty members at UVU. Each choreographer will present a unique point of view towards, or connection to, the theme.

Doris Hudson de Trujillo, Associate Professor of dance, choreographed a piece exploring the tendency to build defensive walls. The idea for the piece arose while stories of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico were circulating, and progressed during the Ensemble’s recent trip to Spain. The piece is titled “The Other Side.”

Monica Campbell, adjunct faculty member at UVU and former dancer of the Diavalo Dance Company, has created a piece called “Untethered.” The dance strives to define space and create structure within it. According to a press release, the motion of the dance “accentuates the framework of the structure.”

The other five pieces in “Structures” were created by guest choreographers. Todd Allen, a former member of Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater, choreographed “In Between Counts.” The piece explores the parallels we see among different people as life evolves, growing together and falling apart. Allen has recently been a performing artist in New York City with noteworthy companies such as the Mark Morris Dance Group and Mark Dendy.

“Bridge,” choreographed by Charlotte Boye-Christensen, features guest performances by Joe Blake, Juan Carlos-Claudio and Wilson Domingues. Boye-Christensen is the Artistic Director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, a contemporary Utahan company founded in 1964. “Bridge” employs a variety of physical entanglements to demonstrate a “frequently crossed line of division between men and women,” according to a press release.

In the premier of her first piece, ballet choreographer Heather Colledge Gray showcases animal-like movement in “Sculpting Solidarity.” Gray was a principal dancer with the Het National Ballet and is currently Ballet Mistress for Utah Regional Ballet.

Stephen Koester, Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Utah, choreographed “Machina (Remix)” to the music of Robert Mendoza. The piece is structured around the idea of a tag team duet. Koester is the former Co-Artistic Director of Creach/Koester, a New York City all-male dance company.

“Kisingu” was created by Titos Sampa, Founder and Artistic director of the Mbongi Dance Theater Project. The dance uses traditional Congolese rhythms and movement of Zebola Mutwashi and Ganza to celebrate life. The music to this piece, which represents healing, fertility, and rite of passage will be played live by Kaz Spiers and Associate Professor of dance Kim Strunk. Spiers is a local drummer and artisan.

More Info
Who: UVU’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble
What: “Structures”
Where: Ragan Theater
When: March 4-6 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for students and faculty, $12 for general public
Box Office: Campus Connection in the Sorenson Student Center, 801-863-8797

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