Imagine a world in which classical ballet, modern dance icon Martha Graham, and questions of cultural appropriation collide with clowns, basketball players, and hula dance, and you may begin to grasp the creative force, intelligence, and wit of choreographer Ann Carlson. In “Elizabeth, the dance,” she pays homage to “the visionaries and teachers” of modern dance history. With movement both formal and physically awkward, deliciously surprising and joyfully restrained, Carlson has created an astonishing tribute to modern dance and to the joy of being human.
Alexander Kasser Theater
Share your First Impressions of Elizabeth, the dance with Director and Choreographer Ann Carlson, Artistic Director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Daniel Charon, and Art + Cultural Programming’s Executive Director, Jedediah Wheeler.
Ann Carlson’s work borrows from the disciplines of dance, performance, theater, visual and conceptual art, and often dismantles conventional boundaries between artist and subject. Carlson’s work takes the form of solo performance, site-specific projects, ensemble dance and theatrical works, and performance/video. She also often works within a series format, creating socially engaged performance structures over a period of years that adapt and tour to multiple sites. Carlson is the recipient of over thirty commissions and numerous awards for her artistic work. Her awards include a 2016 Creative Capital Award, 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in Contemporary Dance, five Multi-Art Production Fund Grants, a USA Artist Fellow-ship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. She was an Artist Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship/Harvard University and atStanford University’s Humanities Center. Carlson has received three awards from the National Choreographic Initiative; a Doris Duke Award for New Work; the first Cal/Arts Alpert Award in Choreography, and a prestigious three-year choreographic fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.Carlson’s project Elizabeth, the dance is a collaboration with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. It is inspired from a section of her White series (1992-1996). Carlson is developing Elizabeth, the dance as a concert dance that traces history and desire through the body of the dancer. Carlson’s Doggie Hamlet, a performance with a herding dog, a flock of sheep, and four human performers began touring the US in 2017. The Symphonic Body, a performance/orchestral work made entirely of gestures, was recently performed by 100 people from across UCLA’s campus at Royce Hall in November 2015.
Artistic Director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company since 2013, Daniel Charon has been active as a choreographer, teacher, and performer for over twenty-five years. While based in New York City, Daniel maintained a project-based company and danced with Doug Varone and Dancers and theLimón Dance Company. Additionally, he performed with Doug Elkins and Friends, the Metropolitan Opera, the Aquila Theater Company, and the Mary Anthony Dance Theater among others. He is a BFA graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a MFA graduate of the California Institute of the Arts in Choreography and Integrated Media. As Ririe-Woodbury’s Artistic Director, Daniel has created original works for the stage, gallery installations (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art), and has designed video for his and other choreographers’ works. Daniel is the recipient of City Weekly’s Best of Utah 2016 Award in Choreography for his Together Alone Trilogy. Independently in Salt Lake City, he has shown his work at Mudson and 12 Minutes Max and choreographed The Pearl Fishers, Aida, and Moby-Dick at the Utah Opera. Daniel’s choreography has also been produced by the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival, the Inside/Out Series at Jacob’s Pillow, and the Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA) among others. He has presented multiple full evening concerts in New York City and has been commissioned to choreograph new works for many companies, universities, and festivals around the country.Daniel regularly teaches master classes and workshops nationally and internationally and has taught at the Metropolitan Opera, the Bates Dance Festival, Salt Dance Fest, North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Comprehensive, Varone Summer Dance Workshops, and Limón Summer Workshops. He has been a guest artist at numerous universities and was anadjunct faculty member at Hunter College (NYC) and the California Institute of the Arts. Daniel has staged the works of José Limón, Jirí Kylián, and Doug Varone at schools and companies around the world.Daniel was a freelance web developer and works extensively in the digital realm, creating websites, working with video and interactive technology, and seeking ways to implement media in his work.
Bashaun started dancing in Texas at the age of 16 with Ballet Lubbock under Yvonne Racz-Key. During his final years of high school, he was captain of his varsity basketball team and a member of Ballet Lubbock’s pre-professional company. Bashaun attended the University of Utah Department of Ballet on both academic and artistic merit scholarships, graduating with his BFA in 2011. While at the University of Utah, he danced Principal and Soloist roles in the department’s resident company. Bashaun has worked with Stevan Novakovich, Edward Truitt, Val Caniparoli, Rick Tjia, Johannes Wieland, Bill T. Jones, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Doug Varone, Keith Johnson, Netta Yerushalmy, Joanna Kotza, Raja Feather Kelly, BrookNotary, and Daniel Charon among others. Bashuan joined the company in 2011.
Dan Mont-Eton was born and raised in Parker, Colorado where he began his formal dance training with Parker Dance Academy. Dan attended the University of Utah on an artistic merit scholarship (in the Department of Modern Dance). Dan has performed in works by Korhan Basaran, Jonah Bokaer, Ann Carlson, Daniel Charon, Juan Carlos Claudio, Joe Goode, Eric Handman, Tzveta Kassabova, Raja Feather Kelly, Nicholas Leichter, Stevan Novakovich, Kendra Portier, Samuel Pott, and Angie Simmons, among others. In his own creative work in choreography, Dan has produced works in New York City, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. Dan joined the Company in 2016.
Yebel Gallegos is a dance artist originally from El Paso, TX. He played an important role in the founding of Cressida Danza Contemporánea in Yucatán, MX. While in Cressida Danza, he served as company teacher, rehearsal director, and principal dancer for five years. In the U.S., he has performed with Dance Theatre X, Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, and Nickerson-Rossi Dance. He holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Texas at Austin and also graduated from Delfos Dance Company’s school, the Mazatlán Professional School of Dance, in Mexico. Yebel has performed the works of Doug Varone, Twyla Tharp, Roberto Olivan, Michael Foley, Claudia LaVista, Lourdes Luna, Jonah Bokaer, Kate Weare, among others. Yebel has traveled as a performer throughout Europe and Latin America and has taught dance throughout Mexico, Chile, and the U.S. Yebel joined the Company in 2013.
Megan McCarthy (Portland, OR) received her formative training at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, and is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts BFA Program in Dance. She has worked with a variety of choreographers, including Julie Bour, Stephanie Nugent, Daniel Charon, Paul Destrooper, and Patrick Kilbane. Megan has been a guest artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Portland Opera, Portland Festival Ballet, Pasadena Dance Theatre, szalt, Nugent Dance, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, and in numerous independent projects. Recently, she danced with Becca Lemme’s Acts of Matter and Rosanna Gamson//World Wide in Los Angeles, and toured to Jacob’s Pillow with The Union Project Dance Company. Additionally, she has had her choreography produced in Portland, OR. Megan joined the Company in 2017.
A native of Southern California, Melissa Younker is a movement artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since joining Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in 2014 she has had the privilege to embody an array of works by Artistic Director, Daniel Charon, along with choreographers Adam Barrach, Ann Carlson, Tzveta Kassabova, Joanna Kotze, Alwin Nikolais, Netta Yerushalmy, among others. She also works extensively with SLC artist, Molly Heller. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach where she received the Lana Alper Memorial Scholarship. There she worked with John Beasant III, Karen Clippinger, Alex Ketley, Keith Johnson, and more. While in California, she was a freelance artist, director of a children’s performing dance company for 4 years, and faculty for numerous academies. Melissa has toured throughout the United States as a performer and dance educator.
In The News
AMY FALLS, LOVE DANCE MORE: “Ririe-Woodbury: Elizabeth, the Dance”
…even without the context of her entire body of work, I feel as though I know her voice – so singular is her style of piecing together vocalized text, a never-ending stream of new ideas, and movement that often seems to stem from a natural physicality. “Elizabeth, the dance” truly delighted me… Continue Reading
THE INDEPENDENT: “Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company premiers Ann Carlson’s “Elizabeth, the Dance””Carlson has structured an episodic accumulation of dances that are deliciously surprising and joyfully restrained. “Elizabeth, the dance” traces personal and public histories through the lens of aesthetics, embodiment, and desire — and is accompanied by a blend of popular songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, house music, electro pop, sound effects, and silence, all mixed by a DJ. Continue Reading
Programs in Peak Performances’ 2018-19 season are made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.