The Eighth Annual Salt Dance Fest explores diverse perspectives and approaches to dance

June 01 2018
The Eighth Annual Salt Dance Fest explores diverse perspectives and approaches to dance Photo credit: Dat Nguyen

By Molly Powers
Salt Dance Fest brings internationally renowned dance artists to the U’s campus for 2 weeks of dance-making and a spirited exchange of ideas. This year’s guests include internationally renowned dance artists and dance makers Wally CardonaOmar CarrumKatie Faulkner, Eric HandmanScotty Hardwig, and Pablo Piantino. These artists in residence will share their unique artistic perspectives, along with a range and diversity of aesthetics and approaches to dance with the SDF participants.

Unique among dance festivals in the western United States, Salt Dance Fest 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. It is designed to be a laboratory that nurtures and supports experimentation, exploration, curiosity, collaboration and the development of innovative choreography, artistry and thought.

Participants work intimately with acclaimed artists, developing and exploring ideas in dance and choreography. Now in its eighth year, past artists at Salt Dance Fest have included artists such as 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, Jeanine Durning, Alex Ketley, Jennifer Nugent, Daniel Charon, Jesse Zaritt, Shinichi & Dana Iova Koga, Joanna Kotze, Katie Scherman and Idan Shirabi. The workshop is housed at the School of Dance, a hub of dance pedagogy, performance and choreographic creation for the American West.

Salt Dance Fest participants select from three blocks of daily classes, engaging with the artists in: Contemporary Technique, Improvisational Practices, Performance Research, Composition/Choreography, Creative Process, Repertory, Partnering, Interactive Media and Site Specific Work (see Class Descriptions). The Salt Dance Fest 2018 class schedule operates on a block system – participants may sign up for up to three blocks of classes. 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. Drop-classes are available, as well as free public events including artist’s talks, panel discussions, and an open forum.

This year, Salt Dance Fest runs from June 4-15. Participants must be 18 or older and are expected to dance at an intermediate or advanced level. For more information about enrollment, the courses offered, and the guest artists, visit