Utah Ballet to Open November 2nd

23 October 2017 Published in News and Announcements

This November the School of Dance will present the Fall Utah Ballet Performance, which showcases a wide variety of styles, from classic favorites to works created in 2017. Utah Ballet features original choreography from School of Dance faculty member Melissa Bobick, School Director Luc Vanier, and guest artist Roderick George, along with a performance of August Bournonville’s classic Konservatoriet, staged by Jeff Rogers.

In her work 135, Melissa Bobick explores a raw and visceral quality of movement inspired by the emotions present in life’s most chaotic and unexpected moments. Caught in this unfamiliar place, between the past and the future, we hold onto a turbulent present that can only be eased by the fleeting glimmer of hope.

School of Dance Director, Luc Vanier, will present his original piece, Women if Possible. He describes his process for the piece here: “Over thirty years ago, I fell in love with the Goldberg Variations listening to Glen Gould play them on the radio. Women if Possible was first created in 1991 in honor of Judy Shoaff-Reading, who was my one of my long-time dance partners at Ohio Ballet. My original wish was to push the dancers to use their pointe shoes in novel ways. I later redid the work in 2006 as a duet and again in 2007 for six students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The work became about empowerment as I encouraged students to transition from the mind of a student who is always looking to please and do things “right,” to the approach of an artist who “owns” the work. These later versions were for flat shoes but this revamped version reincorporates the pointe shoe and is a testament to the quality of our dancer’s' technique both in mind and body.”

The program also features an original work by guest choreographer Roderick George, entitled F.E.M. Queen. “Before my arrival to Utah, I brainstormed on several things to be able to lead the women in my work as a pack of wolves. I wanted to think about empowering the women and instill these thoughts in the room for the choreography. I thought about the ideal of the feminist and speaking with them about what does that mean to them as a whole, also I thought about the game Chess! As the Queen is the most incredible piece, it is able to do all the moves that each piece on the chess board can do and is most deadly! Very Powerful! So, I thought mainly about these points to create the name and what I wanted to do in this project.”

Utah Ballet also includes a performance of the classic masterwork, Konservatoriet, staged by Ballet West’s Jeff Rogers. Konservatoriet is a two-act vaudeville ballet created by the Danish choreographer and ballet master August Bournonville in 1849 for the Royal Danish Ballet. The ballet's setting is a dance studio at the Conservatoire de Paris.  The first act is a recreation of a Vestris dance class of the exact type attended by Bournonville during his Paris sojourn in the 1820s. In the second act, Monsieur Dufour, an inspecteur at the Conservatoire, writes a matrimonial advertisement in the newspaper but ends up marrying his housekeeper, Mademoiselle Bonjour. Typical of Bournonville’s ballets, the plot provides opportunities for introducing different dance divertissements. In the second act, for example, the pupils of the Conservatoire make a fool of Monsieur Dufour by disguising themselves as attractive women

Join us for Utah Ballet, November 2nd through November 11th  at the Marriott Center for Dance at the University of Utah. Tickets are available online at Tickets.utah.edu, by phone at 801.581.7100 or at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. For more information please visit Dance.utah.edu.