Willkommen!

21 October 2015 Published in News and Announcements

The University of Utah Department of Modern Dance is excited to welcome the students and faculty from the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin who are arriving this week as part of the biennial dance and cultural exchange program that has been a collaboration between these two departments for the past five years.

Students and faculty from the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin will be in Salt Lake City from Oct. 20–30 for the first leg of this year’s exchange. The Berlin students will be taking modern dance technique, improvisation, and composition classes with the Department of Modern Dance, and classical ballet technique classes with the Ballet West Trainees at the Ballet West Academy. There will be a brown bag lunch during this exchange with an open discussion and Q&A for Berlin and Utah students and faculty. Lastly, the Berlin students will close their Salt Lake City stay by performing a contemporary work by reputable German choreographer, Marco Goecke, in an informal concert for both the Departments of Modern Dance and Ballet.

Following the Berliners’ ten-day trip in Salt Lake City is the second leg of the cultural exchange - a ten-day trip to Berlin for select students and faculty from the Department of Modern Dance, Ballet West Academy, and Ballet West II, which is slated for May 2016.

“It’s important to talk about the difference between a study abroad and a cultural exchange,” said Department of Modern Dance Associate Professor Sharee Lane, who is also the co-director of the cultural exchange. “With a cultural exchange, there is no monetary fee for the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin students to take classes at the Department of Modern Dance, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, or the Ballet West Academy. Therefore when we go over to the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin, we do not pay for any of the classes that we attend which include Modern Dance technique, improvisation, and classical ballet technique classes. We are also invited to all rehearsals and to perform with the use of their facilities. So we are taking them under our wings; they are taking us under their wings.”

Each leg of the exchange is comprised of generous host stays, dance classes, performance outings, and sightseeing in the respectful host country. This program has proven to be a valuable experience for furthering global education and expanding performing and learning opportunities abroad for students and faculty from both locations.

Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin’s most advanced students (4 boys & 4 girls) who are coming to Salt Lake City with co-director of the Cultural Exchange, Olaf Hoefer and his wife Katherin Baum Hoefer (courtesy photo)

PHOTO: Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin’s most advanced students (4 boys & 4 girls) who are coming to Salt Lake City with co-director of the Cultural Exchange, Olaf Hoefer and his wife Katherin Baum Hoefer (courtesy photo)

(Guest post by Allison Shir, third-year graduate student in the Department of Modern Dance and graduate assistant in the College of Fine Arts Marketing and Communications Department.)