Salt Dance Fest

SDF 2016 Post Card front

 

Salt Dance Fest 2016 brings together internationally renowned dance artists and dance makers
Jeanine Durning, Alex Ketley and Jennifer Nugent, along with esteemed SLC dance artists
Daniel Charon, Molly Heller and Stephen Koester for two weeks of moving, collaborating,
dance making and the lively exchange of ideas, June 6-17, 2016.


About

SDF Header 3Salt Dance Fest is excited to have these significant, influential artists in residence to share their unique and acclaimed artistic perspectives, and for their range and diversity of aesthetics and approaches to dance. Salt Dance Fest, unique among dance festivals in the western United States, is committed to the exploration of the creative process in addition to contemporary technique and repertory work. With participants from around the country and the world, the workshop highlights and investigates the creative process and is designed to be a laboratory that nurtures and supports experimentation, exploration, curiosity, collaboration and the development of innovative choreography.

Participants work intimately with acclaimed artists, developing and exploring ideas in dance and choreography. Now in its sixth year, past artists at Salt Dance Fest have included: Eiko & Koma, Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Teri and Oliver Steele, Marina Mascarell, Paul Selwyn Norton, Vickie Cortes, Kyle Abraham, Maura Keefe, Miguel Gutierrez, Netta Yerushalmy, Faye Driscoll, Zoe Scofield, Juniper Shuey, Pavel Zuštiak, Paul Matteson, Sara Shelton Mann and Jesse Zaritt. The workshop is housed at the University of Utah – a hub of dance pedagogy, performance and choreographic creation for the American West.

SDF Body Image OneParticipants of Salt Dance Fest select from three blocks of daily classes, engaging with the artists in: Contemporary Technique, Improvisational Practices, Performance Research, Composition, Creative Process, Repertory, Somatics, and Dance and Text (see Class Descriptions). The Salt Dance Fest 2016 class schedule will operate on a block system – participants may sign up for up to three blocks of classes as they prefer. Specific class requests, identified on the application form, are on a first-come first-served basis (further class information follows). The workshop/festival additionally includes a free morning somatic practice as an introduction to the day, lectures and panel discussions with the guest artists, an improvisation jam and social events, as well as opportunities to present work in showings and concerts.

Workshop participants are expected to be mature dancers and young professionals interested in further developing choreographic, creative, performance and movement investigative skills. Participants must be 18 or older, and are expected to dance at an intermediate or advanced level. Enrollment is limited, providing more individual attention for each workshop participant. Housing and meals are available at an additional cost. College credit is also available.

REGISTER FOR SDF 2016 NOW

SDF participants may extend their studies in Utah at Repertory Dance Theatre’s Summerdance 2016 Workshop and/or Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Move-It Summer Dance Workshop (see information below). Info at rdtutah.org and ririewoodbury.com.

Workshop Blocks & Schedule

SDF Body Image 3Free Morning Body Preparation Class — 8:45-9:25 (available to all workshop participants)

Each morning will begin with an optional somatic-based class open to all festival participants on a drop in basis. These classes, which serve as a physical preparation for the day and an opportunity to get in touch with yourself and your body, will be taught by Yoga and Pilates based practitioners.

Block I Classes – 9:30-11:30

Technique – Jennifer Nugent
Hot Mess – Alex Ketley
Awakening Dimensionality through Sensation – Molly Heller

Block II Classes – 11:45–1:45

Collaborative Choreography – Daniel Charon
Doing What it Takes: The Dailiness of Practice, or Purposeful Purposelessness – Jeanine Durning
Choreography – Alex Ketley

Block III Classes – 2:45–4:45

The Subtleties of Partnering – Jennifer Nugent
What we do when we do the thing we do before we know what we are doing: Approaches to Creative Practice, Choreography and Performance – Jeanine Durning
Dance and Word – Stephen Koester

Participants are expected to participate for the full two weeks in all classes for which one has enrolled. This allows participants to deeply immerse themselves in each artist’s unique creative process and aesthetic, and to delve deeply into one’s own creative explorations and development.

SDF 2016 Calendar WEEK 1

SDF 2016 Calendar WEEK 2

pdfDOWNLOAD THE FULL CALENDAR HERE

Classes June 6-17, 2016 (M–F). Students may sign up to take one, two, or all three blocks – see the Fees section for more information.

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Class Descriptions

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Technique – Jennifer Nugent

Using improvisational and set warm-ups, we will focus on the volume and weight inside the body and its relationship to the floor and movement. Exercises that bring awareness to the feet, spine, and pelvic floor encourage the feeling of release in the limbs, allowing us to fall and suspend off center, simultaneously finding a grounded, flexible base of support. Using these physical tools, we will explore sensation, instinct, and the inherent musicality inside the body, phrasing. All the while dancing, we will work toward a more grounded and direct approach to movement.

Hot Mess – Alex Ketley

A class in how we become the worst dancer possible. The foundation of this class has many parts. One is that, in almost every respect the way we gain insight into anything is to understand more clearly its polarity. As a class we purposely explore chaos, failure, and "bad" dancing, with the hope that then we will have a greater chance to understand and refine our personal notions around beauty. The class also acknowledges that creativity is at times born from the loss of control. Instead of looking at this idea obliquely, Hot Mess looks at this directly by having dancers confront a number of movement and vocal prompts that are literally impossible to execute in any good way. This class embraces and celebrates destabilization, with all the exuberance, fear, and learning that can happen when we accept and practice being lost.

Awakening Dimensionality through Sensation – Molly Heller

This workshop aims to expand our potential as receptive, multi-dimensional movers. Integrating energy principles derived from the Japanese healing art of Reiki, we will awaken a form of hyper-awareness that expands one’s dynamic presence while performing. As we intimately build partnerships – with our surrounding environment, with one’s self, and with each other, we will specifically investigate the potentiality of the hands and feet to feel movement and the power of the eyes to direct and transmit energy. This class calls us to recognize the potency of our emotive beings, to go beyond the “ordinary range of perception.”

Collaborative Choreography – Daniel Charon

This class approaches the creation of a new work from a collaborative point of view. It is designed to reflect a process one might find with a choreographer who looks to the dancer as a creative artist. In this class, dancers will engage in a variety of processes, ultimately generating a new dance work as a collaborative group. This class is about experimenting with choreographic systems, approaches, methods, and structures and will look to the dancers to play, imagine, think, dance, and create.

Doing What it Takes: The Dailiness of Practice, or Purposeful Purposelessness – Jeanine Durning

The meaning of our effort is not always self-evident. This is a movement research class that accepts that the meaning of our effort is in the exercising of it. This daily practice draws on, borrows from and appropriates multiple sources and seemingly disparate forms to approach the nuanced ecologies of who we are and what we can imagine ourselves to be. Release techniques, developmental movement studies, Ideokinesis, Contact, Kundalini, Qigong, shaking, tapping, turning, and serious play are just some of the modes we will traverse. We will bring all of who we are and what we can possibly bring to bear to be critical movers, radical problem-solvers, creative decision-makers, embodied philosophers, somatic inquirers, psycho-social experimentalists, time travelers, space invaders and perceptual gymnasts. Whether you take class to warm up or wake up, stand up or lie down, to move or be moved, to hone attention or intention, we can come together to question and challenge, through practice, this art form called dance.

Choreography – Alex Ketley

Each day Ketley will develop a new phrase of choreography with the students and use this as the platform for investigation. Consistent lines of inquiry include; sculpting with the body as an emotional, instinctual, and graphic landscape, how the fracturing and the complication of strands of information can feel generative of new ways of moving, discussions around how our use of time is directly correlated to our sense of presence, and the multitude of physical colors available to each of us as artists as we expand our curiosity about movement. Classes will be very physical, trusting that much of our knowledge is contained in the body.

Imaginative-Sensitive-Articulate/The Subtleties of Partnering – Jennifer Nugent

This class will offer time to improvise, problem solve, and deepen the relationship we have to our bodies, becoming more attuned to sensation, instinctual choices, and the subtleties of partnering. We will practice ways of safely moving into each other, directing our weight, harnessing and noticing the forces of momentum, large or small. Encounters ranging from highly physical to the simple and subtle will be explored and questioned through improvised and compositional situations.

What we do when we do the thing we do before we know what we are doing: Approaches to Creative Practice, Choreography and Performance – Jeanine Durning

The idea is not the thing. Each of us is an ever-shifting complex of radically divergent memories, desires, impulses and perceptions. This is a lab for cultivating our multiple considerations on multiple levels, put into conscious action and practice. We will support our questions as potential proposals for doing. Accepting not-knowing and the not-yet as generative states, we’ll sharpen our responsiveness to materials as they emerge, then fluidly develop strategies and systems for immersion in and reflection of the structures inherent to these materials. Through moving, speaking, writing, drawing, scoring, directing, proposing, watching, performing, sharing, discussing and listening, we’ll generate, reconsider, translate and reinterpret: action, affect, content and context. Through daily performance of our materials, we will learn to be in dialogue with our making. At its core, our work is the willingness to think/move/imagine in unanticipated directions.

Dance and Word – Stephen Koester

In this workshop, movement and language intersect in multiple ways. We explore how to write about the work of others. Through this, we practice how to talk about and critique dance as well as learn about our own aesthetic preferences. Similarly, we explore how we write about our own work, again to practice putting words to what we do in order to bring others and ourselves into a deeper understanding of our work. In addition, we explore how movement and language connect in making dance, asking questions as to how language helps to create choreography and/or color how we view choreography. This workshop will be equally divided between creating work tethered to language, and writing about dance. Ultimately we strive to heighten critical thinking, writing, and public speaking skills, and learn to quickly and orally describe and analyze what we've seen and/or made ourselves. Engaging in lively conversation and exploring related readings will guide participants to broaden and deepen ones’ definitions of dance. In creative work in which movement and language coexist, we extend choreographic possibilities and movement choice.

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Guest Artist Bios

Jeanine Durning

Jeanine 1Jeanine D 2Jeanine Durning is a choreographer, performer and teacher from New York City, creating solo and group works since 1998. Her work has been presented across the US, in Canada and Europe. Her recent work, To Being, premiered in NYC at The Chocolate Factory Theater in September 2015, along with a remount of its companion work, inging. Durning has received numerous awards and residencies in support of her work, including a New York Foundation for the Arts award, the Alpert Award for Choreography, a Movement Research Artist in Residence, a GibneyDance DiP Resident, and a Viola Farber Dance Residency. Durning has a dedicated teaching practice, and has taught as visiting faculty at SNDO/Amsterdam and HZT/Berlin, since 2009, at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Eugene Lang College/New School and Movement Research. Jeanine is often commissioned to create original work, and since 2002 has created over fifteen works for companies, performers, and institutions, including a recent commission by Toronto Dance Theater. As a performer, Jeanine has collaborated with many choreographers of diverse creative concerns and priorities, including Susan Rethorst, David Dorfman, Lance Gries, Chris Yon, Zvi Gotheiner, Martha Clarke, Richard Siegal, and Bebe Miller. Since 2005, Durning has worked on and off with choreographer Deborah Hay in the capacities of performer, choreographic assistant, and from 2011-2013, as consultant to the Motion Bank, conceived by William Forsythe, on Ms. Hay’s choreographic and scoring practices.


Jennifer Nugent

Jen N 1Jen N 2Jennifer Nugent danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company from 2009-2014 and David Dorfman Dance from 1999-2007, receiving a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for her work in the company. She has also had opportunities to perform and work intensively with Daniel Lepkoff, Martha Clarke, Lisa Race, Doug Elkins, Bill Young, Colleen Thomas, Kate Weare, Gerri Houlihan, Barbara Sloan and Dale Andre. Her choreography and duet collaborations with Paul Matteson have been presented in New York City and throughout the U.S. She teaches regularly in NYC and abroad and has been a guest artist at numerous universities and dance festivals including The American Dance Festival and the Bates Dance Festival. This year Jennifer is a teaching artist at Smith College and Amherst College in Western, MA and is making work collaboratively with Angie Hauser, Wendy Woodson, and Paul Matteson.


 Daniel Charon

Daniel C 1Daniel C 2Daniel Charon is a dance artist who has been active as a choreographer, teacher, and performer since 1995. He spent 18 years in New York where he maintained a project-based company and danced with Doug Varone and Dancers (1999 – 2010) and the Limón Dance Company (1996 – 1999). Additionally, he performed with Doug Elkins and Friends, the Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Music Theater of Wichita, Mordine and Company (Chicago), and Dance Kaleidoscope (Indianapolis). Daniel is a BFA graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a 2013 MFA graduate of the California Institute of the Arts in Choreography and Integrated Media. Daniel currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company where he has been since 2013.

As Artistic Director of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Daniel has created multiple original works for the stage, multiple installation pieces at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and has worked as video designer on a variety of projects. As an independent artist his choreography has been produced by the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival, the Inside/Out Series at Jacob’s Pillow, and the Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA) amongst others. He has presented multiple full evening concerts in New York City and has been commissioned to choreograph new work for many companies, universities, and festivals around the country. Daniel is a recipient of Dance Theater Workshop’s Outer/Space Creative Residency and of Topaz Arts Solo Flight Creative Residency. In 2015 Daniel choreographed The Pearl Fishers at the Utah Opera.

Daniel has taught regularly in New York at respected studios such as the Limón Institute, the 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, Dancespace, and the Peridance Center. He regularly teaches master classes and workshops around the country and has taught at the Metropolitan Opera, the Bates Dance Festival, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Comprehensive, the Varone Summer Dance Workshop, and the Limón Summer Workshop. He has been a guest artist at numerous universities and was an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College (NYC) and the California Institute of the Arts. Daniel held an annual dance intensive in Cambridge, MA and currently teaches a professional technique workshop in Boulder, CO every summer. He regularly teaches company class and master classes at various universities around the Salt Lake City area. Daniel has staged the works of José Limón, Jirí Kylián and Doug Varone at various schools and companies all over the world.


Alex Ketley

Alex K 1Alex K 2Alex Ketley is an independent choreographer and the director of The Foundry. Formally a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, he performed a wide range of classical and contemporary repertory in San Francisco and on tour throughout the world. In 1998 he co-created The Foundry in order to explore his deepening interests in choreography, improvisation, mixed media work, and collaborative process. With The Foundry he has been an Artist in Residence at many leading art institutions including Headlands Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Yard, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Taipei Artist Village, ODC Theater, the Ucross Foundation, and the Vermont Performance Lab. The Foundry has produced fifteen full evening length works that have received extensive support from the public, funders, and the press, as well as a number of single-channel video pieces that have screened at international video festivals. 

As a choreographer independent of his work with The Foundry, Ketley has been commissioned to create original pieces for companies and universities throughout the United States and Europe. For this work he has received acknowledgement from the Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition, the International Choreographic Competition of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveaur, the National Choo-San Goh Award, the inaugural Princess Grace Award for Choreography, the BNC National Choreographic Competition, three CHIME Fellowships, four Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography residencies, the Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Commissioning Award, and the National Eben Demarest Award. His pieces and collaborations have also been awarded Isadora Duncan Awards in the categories of Outstanding Achievement by an Ensemble, Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, and Outstanding Achievement by a Company. Through his long history with AXIS Dance Company, his work To Color Me Different was presented on national television through an invitation from the show So You Think You Can Dance and his film The Gift of Impermanence has screened internationally and won the 2015 Artistry Award at the Superfest International Disability Film Festival. With The Foundry since 2012, he has been deeply engaged in a trilogy of projects entitled No Hero which explore what dance means and how it is experienced by people throughout rural parts of America. The video projection Alex created for No Hero (West) was nominated for a 2012 Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design. Deep South was the third project in the trilogy and was researched in the rural South in collaboration with Miguel Gutierrez and supported by the first Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award (CMCC), a MANCC Media Fellowship, a Kenneth Rainin Foundation New and Experimental Works Grant, and the Historic Asolo Theater. In addition to his Foundry and independent work he is a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) and is Resident Choreographer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, a school that is deeply invested in students learning and growing though the engagement of contemporary choreography and methodologies. alexketley.com


Molly Heller

Molly H 1Molly H 2Molly is a dance artist, teacher and choreographer based in Salt Lake City. Molly holds an M.F.A. from the University of Utah where she received the Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching, the Scott Marsh Mentorship Award as well as a University Teaching Fellowship. Her movement research investigates performance as a cathartic act and the relationship between physical expression and emotional trauma. Molly has been a faculty member at SUNY New Paltz (NY) and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC) and for summer intensives such as Salt Dance Fest (University of Utah), Ririe-Woodbury’s Professional Intensive (SLC) and Boise State University’s DanceFest. She has also been a guest artist at Westminster College (SLC), Middlebury College (VT), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University (Omaha, NE) and Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID). Molly’s choreographic work has been presented in venues such as: The Mahaney Center for the Arts (VT), Gowanus Art + Production (NYC), Danspace Project at St. Marks Church (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Green Space (NYC), 2010 DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn, NY), Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID), Boise State University, Sugar Space Studio for the Arts and the Ladies’ Literary Club. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Utah and holds certifications in both Pilates and Reiki. Molly also co-owns SLC’s loose-leaf teahouse, the Tea Grotto. mollyheller.com


Stephen Koester

Steve K 1Steve K 2Stephen Koester is a Professor as well as Chair in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. He was formerly co-Artistic Director of Creach/Koester, an all male dance company based in New York City, which toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe. With partner Terry Creach, Stephen received five consecutive choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, plus a choreographic fellowship from the New York State Foundation for the Arts. Creach and Koester also received the Bonnie Bird North American Choreographic Award along with extensive additional choreographic/company support. In addition to his professional activities with Creach/Koester, Stephen was a guest artist at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country and continues to choreograph and teach both nationally and internationally. Having made over 135 dances, his work has appeared in the repertories of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, Dance Forum Taipei, among others, including his own company Dance Koester Dance, which presented several Salt Lake City seasons. In 2004, Stephen won Repertory Dance Theatre's “Sense of Place” National Choreographic Competition, setting a new work on the company, and in 2006 received a Utah Arts Council Established Artist Grant to support his company choreography. At the University of Utah, Stephen regularly choreographs, and teaches improvisation, composition, technique, and graduate seminars. In 2002, Stephen received the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award for creative research, and in 2008 was named a University Professor.

Fees

3 Blocks of classes (3 classes per day) – $660 ($600 early bird rate if paid before April 16)
2 Blocks of classes (2 classes per day) – $440 ($400 early bird rate if paid before April 16)
1 Block of classes (1 class per day) – $220 ($200 early bird rate if paid before April 16)

Participants are encouraged to take the entire workshop, three classes daily for two weeks. Participants may elect to take only one or two blocks of the class, one/two classes daily for two weeks. It may also be possible to arrange taking only one week, which is the minimum that a participant may enroll in one of the afternoon classes (contact SDF if you wish to request this option). The morning contemporary technique classes are open on a drop-in basis to those not fully participating in Salt Dance Fest, space permitting.

SDF Body Image 2Individual Contemporary Technique class – $20

Open to public on a space available basis. Drop-ins may not be able to be accommodated if the class is considered full.

Returning Participant Discount

If you were a Salt Dance Fest participant in the past, we want you back. Those who were full participants (3-blocks) once in the past, receive a 10% tuition reduction. Those who were full participants (3-blocks) twice in the past, receive a 20% tuition reduction. To take advantage of this discount, contact .

SDF participants may extend their studies in Utah at Repertory Dance Theatre’s Summerdance 2016 Workshop and the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company Move-It Summer Workshop (see more information about these workshops below). Take two workshops (including Salt Dance Fest) and receive 10% off each workshop. Take all three workshops for a 15% discount. For further information about taking two or more workshops at a discounted price contact

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Location, Arrival & Orientation

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Location

Salt Dance Fest is housed on the University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City, in the beautiful Marriott Center for Dance, which features six large studios and a 330-seat theater. The campus is situated in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains overlooking Salt Lake City, and the surrounding area offers tremendous recreational activities both for urban and wilderness exploration. Salt Lake City is known for its unique and vibrant and artistic culture, as well as for its museums, nightlife, mountains, deserts, the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Flats. Salt Lake City has numerous bus lines and TRAX (an extensive light rail system) allowing for easy travel around the Salt Lake Valley without needing a car.

Arrival & Orientation

Salt Lake City is a Delta hub and served by multiple other airlines. Taxis and TRAX to campus housing are inexpensive. The University is linked to downtown Salt Lake City by light rail (TRAX). Salt Dance Fest participants should arrive on Sunday, June 5 in order to check in at the orientation meeting, 7pm at the Marriott Center for Dance.

Rooms & Meals

Campus housing is available for Salt Dance Fest participants. Participants may be housed in University dormitories, typically in single rooms. An on-campus meal plan is available; there are multiple other eating options on or off-campus convenient to the Marriott Center for Dance. To arrange meals, please visit www.dineoncampus.com. Meals may also be purchased upon arrival.

On Campus Housing: $30/night (rates subject to change)
Meals: 25 meals for $200 (plus tax) or 40 meals for $450 (plus tax) (rates subject to change)

To arrange housing and, please send your request and questions to or 801-581-7327.

College Credit

Salt Dance Fest participants may receive college credit for the workshop/festival, 1–4 credits at $150/credit. To register for credit contact or 801-581-7327. Credit may be arranged during the workshop.

Other Summer Dance Workshops in Salt Lake City

Repertory Dance Theatre’s Summer Workshop Series
For further information: 801-534-1000 or www.rdtutah.org.

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Move-It Summer Workshop – July 18-August 6, 2016
Join Artistic Director Daniel Charon and a faculty of contemporary dance artists in Salt Lake City, Utah, for this annual dance intensive that seeks to develop and hone the skills necessary to be a technically proficient, creatively motivated, and artistically expressive professional dancing artist. For further information, contact 801-297-4241 or www.ririewoodbury.com. For further information about taking two or more workshops at a discounted price contact .

Apply/Register

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To be considered fully registered for Salt Dance Fest 2016, you must compete 2 steps:

1. Complete the online application here

Submit Salt Dance Fest applications early to insure placement with artists of choice. Enrollment is limited in order to offer an intimate working environment and is on a first-come first-served basis. Once a class is filled, Salt Dance Fest participants may be placed in an alternative block class. Application materials must be complete and tuition paid in full in order to be registered.

2. Pay your full Salt Dance Fest 2016 Tuition here

You can complete payment with a credit card securely online (below) or by mailing in a check/money order (payable to the University of Utah, Department of Modern Dance).

To pay full 3 Block tuition online
To pay 2 Block tuition online
To pay 1 Block tuition online

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Salt Dance Fest fees will be fully refunded (less $50 administrative fee) only if written notice of cancellation is received on or before June 5. Room and board fees may also be refunded (less $50 administrative fee) if cancelled on or before June 5.

SDF 2015

LAST YEAR - SALTDANCEFEST 2015

THE ARTISTS

Sara Shelton Mann
Sara Shelton Mann is a legendary dance artist whose choreography and teaching has played a significant role in shaping contemporary dance performance aesthetics and choreographic process. Her protégés (Curtis, Epiphano, Hennessy, Hermesdorf, De Hoyos, Erdman, among others) tour internationally. Herself a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Lewis in NYC in the 1960s, Sara is also deeply influenced by Contact Improvisation. From 1979-96 Sara directed Contraband, a ground-breaking troupe working at the leading edges of contemporary dance, performance, ritual, and music. She has received 6 Isadora Duncan Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography, and most recently San Francisco Bay Gaurdian Goldie Lifetime Achievement Award. Sara collaborated and toured internationally with Guillermo Gomez-Pena 1996-99 and has created commissioned work across the US, Europe and Russia. Sara’s work has been supported by Djerassi Artist in Residence Programs, ODC Commissions, NEA, NEFA, SFAC, SFF, Zellerbach and Gerbode Foundation. Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in metaphysical and healing traditions. Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.

Paul Matteson
Paul Matteson lived for many years in New York City as a choreographer, performer, and teacher. He was a principal dancer with the internationally touring Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company from 2008-2012, performing at The Kennedy Center Honors and featured in The American Masters documentary Bill T. Jones: A Good Man. His duet collaborations with Jennifer Nugent were presented in NYC by Danspace Project, Symphony Space, Dance Theater Workshop, and received National Performance Network (NPN) Support for performances at The Colony Theater in Miami, Florida. A NYC-ARTS Channel Thirteen profile on Jennifer and Paul is now available online. From 2000-2005, Paul was a member of David Dorfman Dance and Race Dance, receiving a New York Dance and Performance Award (BESSIE) for performance in 2002. He also performed for Terry Creach, Peter Schmitz, Kota Yamazaki, Chamecki/Lerner, Jamie Cunningham, Neta Pulvermacher, Susan Sgorbati, Helena Franzen, and Keith Johnson. He was a guest artist at numerous universities nationally and abroad and taught/performed regularly at The American Dance Festival, The Bates Dance Festival, and The Florida Dance Festival. Paul recently relocated to Massachusetts. He joined Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College in the fall of 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Dance. He is a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council Award recipient in Choreography. He continues to collaborate with Jennifer Nugent and also with Wendy Woodson, Raja Feather Kelly, Jim Morrow, Jennifer Polins, Karl Rogers, composer Eric Sawyer, and composer Ted Coffey. His duet collaboration with Sara Hook (Bored House Guests) premiered in October 2014 at The West End Theater in NYC as part of the Soaking Wet festival, garnering enthusiastic critical response.

Jesse Zaritt
Jesse Zaritt received an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ The American Dance Festival (2008). He is currently the inaugural Research Fellow in the School of Dance at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA) where he is teaching and making dance works that draw connections between ethics, embodiment and mythology. Jesse has recently taught at Bard College (NY), the American Dance Festival (NC), Hollins University (VA), Pomona College (CA), and the University of the Americas Puebla (Mexico) as well as at festivals in Japan, Korea, and Russia. He has performed his solo work in Russia, Korea, Germany, New York, Japan, Mexico and Israel. His solo ‘Binding’ is the recipient of three 2010 New York Innovative Theater Awards: Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Solo Performance, and Outstanding Performance Art Production. In 2012, Jesse (in partnership with Jumatatu Poe) was an artist in the Studio Series Residency Program at New York Live Arts. From September 2008 through June 2011, he was an artist in residence at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan as part of LABA, a laboratory for new Jewish culture. He has been commissioned to create original choreographic works for numerous American college programs including the University of the Arts (PA); he has also created choreography for the Seminar HaKibbutzim College (Israel) and the Acco Theater Festival (Israel). Jesse was the recipient of a 2006-2007 Dorot Fellowship in Israel which enabled him to study the relationship between political conflict and choreography. He was a performer with the Shen Wei Dance Arts Company (NYC/2001-2006), and the Inbal Pinto Dance Company (Tel Aviv/2008). He currently dances in the work of Faye Driscoll and Netta Yerushalmy as well as in a collaborative partnership with Philadelphia based choreographer Jumatatu Poe. Jesse graduated Cum Laude in 2000 from Pomona College (CA).

Eric Handman
Eric Handman is an American choreographer and an Associate Professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Modern Dance. Prior to receiving his MFA from the University of Utah in 2003, he earned a BA in English from Skidmore College in 1991. He was a member of New York Theatre Ballet and then a professional dancer in various New York–based contemporary dance companies such as Doug Varone and Dancers, Nicholas Leichter Dance and Joy Kellman and Company. He has worked with David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Stephen Koester, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Koosilja-Hwang, Eun Me Ahn, Pooh Kaye and many others. He teaches domestically and internationally specializing in technique, composition, improvisation, contact improvisation, dance studies, criticism and theory. His choreography has been commissioned by various companies and departments across the United States. He has taught, performed and shown his choreography throughout the United States as well as Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Hungary. His work has been shown at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has served on the board of directors of the Congress on Research in Dance and is presently on the board of the American College Dance Association. Eric is a Fulbright Specialist and a member of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars at the University of Utah for his work on mobile technology and choreographic thinking. In 2014 he was a winner of two choreography competitions: the 2014 New Visions Choreography Competition for Idaho Dance Theater and the 2014 Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition for the Northwest Dance Project.

Molly Heller
Molly Heller is a dance artist based in Salt Lake City. After re-locating to Utah from New York City in the winter of 2011, she appreciates the comparatively quiet streets and the stunning angularity of the Wasatch mountains. As a 2015 MFA candidate (UTA Fellowship, Scott Marsh Mentorship Award), Molly conducts her sensory-based research in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. Currently, her movement research investigates performance as a cathartic act and the relationship between physical expression and emotional trauma. Prior to graduate school, she was on faculty at SUNY New Paltz (NY) and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC) and has guest taught for the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Ririe-Woodbury’s 2014 Professional Intensive (SLC), Boise State University, and Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID). Molly’s choreographic work has also been presented in New York, Utah, and Idaho in venues such as: Danspace Project at St. Marks Church (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Green Space (NYC), 2010 DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn, NY), Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID), Boise State University and Sugar Space Studio for the Arts (SLC). She recently produced and directed “If a Snake Should Bite,” an evening of choreography and puppetry at the Ladies Literary Club in SLC, featuring a collaborative duet with Netta Yerushalmy and a premiere of her new work “This is Your Paradise.” Molly holds a certification in Pilates and Reiki and is co-owner of SLC’s loose-leaf tea house, the Tea Grotto. mollyheller.com

Stephen Koester
Stephen Koester is a Professor as well as Chair in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. He was formerly co-Artistic Director of Creach/Koester, an all male dance company based in New York City, which toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe. With partner Terry Creach, Stephen received five consecutive choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, plus a choreographic fellowship from the New York State Foundation for the Arts. Creach and Koester also received the Bonnie Bird North American Choreographic Award along with extensive additional choreographic/company support. In addition to his professional activities with Creach/Koester, Stephen has been a guest artist at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country and continues to choreograph and teach both nationally and internationally. He has made over 135 dances. His work has appeared in the repertories of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, Dance Forum Taipei, among others, including his own company Dance Koester Dance, which has presented several Salt Lake City seasons. In 2004, Stephen won Repertory Dance Theatre’s “Sense of Place” National Choreographic Competition, setting a new work on the company, and in 2006 received a Utah Arts Council Established Artist Grant to support his company choreography. At the University of Utah, Stephen regularly choreographs, and teaches improvisation, composition, technique, and graduate seminars. In 2002, Stephen received the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award for creative research, and in 2008 was named a University Professor.


THE CLASSES

Contemporary Technique - Paul Matteson
A dynamic investigation of off-balanced yet precise multi-focused movement. Classes begin with slow and tender mindful walking to help ground attention in the body followed by vigorous task-based improvising to generate warmth. Then, a series of buoyant patterns spiraling in and out of the floor and up into the air offer a range of texture, nuance, and energetic challenge. The patterns build toward a precarious traveling phrase with ever re-directing spiraling pathways. Movement vocabulary is taught by breaking down in detail body-part initiations paying particular attention to sensation and safety.

Dance as a vehicle of the Imagination. Building Bridges through Improvisation – Sara Shelton Mann
Opening the windows of perceptual information and movement exploration creates an inter-disciplinary approach to creative play in composition. This workshop includes journey work, writing, building scenarios and bridging to the unknown with your imagination muscles.

Awakening Dimensionality through Sensation - Molly Heller
This workshop aims to expand our potential as receptive, multi-dimensional movers. Integrating energy principles derived from the Japanese healing art of Reiki, we will awaken a form of hyper-awareness that expands one’s dynamic presence while performing. As we intimately build partnerships- with our surrounding environment, with one’s self, and with each other, we will specifically investigate the potentiality of the hands and feet to feel movement and the power of the eyes to direct and transmit energy. This class calls us to recognize the potency of our emotive beings, to go beyond the “ordinary range of perception.”

Contemporary Technique - Jesse Zaritt
Each class begins with practices that activate a sense of availability. We find ways to let go of tension, fixed habits and perceptual/intellectual rigidity. Improvisational and choreographed exercises help us to find openness, clarity, and length in our bodies. Pleasure is linked to effort, power and strength as the class progresses and as the choreographed exercises become more complex. Phrase work allows us to research how to utilize physical states and forces such as continuous motion, spiral/rotation, sequential articulation and momentum. Throughout the class, we will encourage each other to embrace and extend our physical capacities as empowered, confident movers. Technique class will also be a place of critical thinking. The material we study exists to nourish our creative bodies/minds, challenging us to re-articulate/re-imagine our relationships to codified movement systems.

The Solor - Sara Shelton Mann
A conversation with your archetypes and transparency. Work is developed through conversation, improvisation, writing and self-inquiry building a puzzle of time/space frames that act as an entrance into the doorway of consciousness.

Collaborative Dance Making: "Form from Storm" - Eric Handman
Students will join Eric Handman in a collaborative process to build an original work. Grounded in dense networks of complex partnering, this will be an emergent process of non-linear development. Various devices and prompts will be introduced to develop, interpret and manipulate movement. Choreography will spawn from what we discover rather than what we know.

Partnering Possibilities - Paul Matteson
A toolbox of methods for collaboratively generating intricate and idiosyncratic partnering. As a safe and supportive ensemble, we will enter into physical investigations working with response to touch, negative space, and various ways of harnessing forces of momentum. Duets, trios, and groups will follow imaginative construction/reconstruction steps to create dances that at once honor compositional/performance ranges while collectively upping the ante. There will be repeated opportunities in the last part of class to show.

Composition/Performance: Activism and the Practice of Performance - Jesse Zaritt
This workshop will investigate relationships between activism, performance and choreography, addressing the following questions: How does dance matter now? What constitutes an activist gesture? In what ways is art making already a form of activism? Our studio work will draw on established models that bring together performance and social change such as Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed. The focus, however, will be on developing/co-creating new ways to connect choreography, performance and activism. Together we will re-imagine ways in which concerns for justice/social change can be integrated into our choreographic projects.

The Dialogue of Dance - Stephen Koester and Molly Heller
In this workshop, participants will investigate various approaches for viewing, writing and discussing contemporary dance. Through diverse exposure, we will challenge our personal aesthetic interests and assumptions while simultaneously defining (and further refining) our own artistic voice. Exercising a critical yet elastic viewing lens, we will dialogue (both orally and through writing practices) with global work being made. We will write as a means to see and better understand the dualities that exist within viewing and critiquing the work of others. And through this inquisitive practice, we can hopefully deepen our definitions of dance itself.

For questions and further information, contact 801-581-7327 or .

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