As lights began to brighten, a circle of bodies appeared on the stage, all connected, all intertwined. Legs were held in the air while others were spread across the ground until, with a shift in the music, the bodies moved.
One at a time, dancers broke out of the routine, spinning, leaping and flipping, as their fluid movements pulled them across the stage.
Utah Regional Ballet performed the work of six competition-finalist choreographers in the fifth annual Choreography Dance Project in the Ragan Theater Jan. 26, 27 and 28.
Choreographers were given the chance to win a scholarship award of $1000 “to further their education and expand their careers and experience in choreography,” said Jacqueline Colledge, artistic director of URB.
The different pieces filled the night with a variety of ballet styles from classical ballet to modern ballet and even some contemporary pieces.
“It has a little bit of everything to offer,” Colledge said. “It’s very different; there’s bound to be something everyone will love.”
“Life: written” choreographed by Shayla Bott is one of these unique dances. The dance featured seven dancers acting out a story not to music but to spoken words. The story took the audience from childhood through adolescence to adulthood and into mature adulthood all the while URB dancers acted out happiness and heartbreak, joy and loss.
Another piece, “Pickles and Milk” by Terry Davis, told its story by using one white balloon that the dancers continually handed off to each other throughout the dance.
“It’s not what I expected. It’s a lot more modern; it is all very different,” said freshman Arrianne Noland.
Many people attended the performance to support family or friends and some went to simply experience the dance.
“I like to see the different style of dances and how well they [URB] portray them,” said Lexie Billings, who came to support her sister.
At the end of the three-day competition, three judges determined the outcome of the competition based off of the creativity, the creative process and the structure of the work and the characteristics of good choreography, according to Colledge.
By Kimberly Lender