The time for Era has come: See the School of Dance’s largest fall show this month

September 29 2023

Time punctuates all we know. It shapes how we compartmentalize events, remember and retell our histories, and how we mark the passing of our own lived experience.

In Era, the School of Dance’s largest concert of the semester, audiences can expect to experience old and new ballet and modern dance works that span and entertain notions of time. The concert is staged in the Marriott Center for Dance’s Hayes Christensen Theatre and runs from Oct. 5-21, with the performances on Oct. 5-7 being live-streamed.

“This performance is a diverse experience incorporating aspects of traditional ballet, classic modern dance, and new perspectives in contemporary dance and ballet,” said Era Director and Assistant Professor Pablo Piantino as he described the faculty’s responsibility to challenge students with new and longstanding concepts. “It will display the talent, versatility, and professionalism of our wonderful students and the artistry and expertise of our esteemed faculty and invited guest.”

In an incredibly unique and special opportunity for the students and audience members alike, the School of Dance was granted permission to stage a work by José Limón, a Mexican-born dancer and choreographer regarded as one of the 20th century’s most important and influential dancemakers. Restaged by Assistant Professor Natalie Desch, who formerly danced with Limón Dance Company, the suite from A Choreographic Offering ends the evening with its movement some have described as a vibrant and colorful embodiment of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music.

But back to the start. The concert begins with BLiNK choreographed by Assistant Professor Melissa Bobick. Inspired by the unique joy Oliver Davis’ music gives her, Bobick created a piece dedicated to her dancers and drawn from her own personal experience as a dancer, a spouse, and a mother.

“My hope is that by embodying this movement, their joy in dancing, and even the physical demands of performing this piece, they will be fully present in this one experience so as not to let this moment pass them by,” she said.

Guest artist Helanius J. Wilkins’ piece Together follows and illustrates the value of human connectedness in both the ebb and flow of the performers’ movements and the questions their bodies pose. Wilkins’ is an award-winning choreographer, performance artist, artist-activist, and educator whose artmaking forges paths toward social change and equitable landscapes.

Up next is Arthur Saint-Léon’s pas de six from his historic ballet La Vivandière, which has been restaged by Assistant Professor Christopher Alloways-Ramsey. This piece, choreographed in 1844 during a time of war between Morocco and France, is a story about how love can transcend time and conflict.

Tickets for the show can be purchased at and at the door. University of Utah students get free access with their student ID thanks to the Arts Pass program, which makes hundreds of arts experiences accessible to U students each year.