Performing Dance Company brings fresh choreography to the stage

October 24 2018

The School of Dance will present five new choreographic works this November at Performing Dance Company (PDC). PDC offers its audience a professional-level performance by students in the Modern Dance Program. The concert opens 11/1 and will showcase choreography from faculty and guest artists, focusing on the creation of new works. This year, PDC will feature the original choreography of faculty members Molly Heller, Sara Pickett, Luc Vanier, and Daniel Clifton. The School of Dance also welcomes guest choreographers Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg of Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations, who will collaborate on a piece for the PDC stage.

Assistant Professor Molly Heller will present a new work entitled Heartland: Studies of the Heart, which “explores the idioms, sensations, associations, and physical spaces of the heart.” Structured as three overlapping solos, Heller creates a dense terrain where the heart is magnified, exposed, moved, and experienced as always being whole.

School of Dance Director Luc Vanier will also set his work, Deflating Debussy on the PDC dancers. “Deflating Debussy merges the more romantic part of my soul with my drive to deconstruct the use of épaulement (shouldering) in Ballet technique,” explains Vanier. “Broadly misunderstood as aesthetic decoration, the sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle oppositions of the head, shoulders and pelvis facilitate turnout, balance, and control. Once more intimately understood, épaulement reveals a three-dimensional awareness of the oppositional pulls in the body that though ‘antagonistic,’ allow for increased freedom and choice in movement.”

In Assistant Professor Lecturer Daniel Clifton’s new creation for PDC, he explores dreams as a starting point to generate material. “If dreams are a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep are they are a reflection of ourselves, or a window into our subconscious and a way of working through the details of our lives?”

Astriction, a new work from School of Dance Assistant Professor Sara Pickett, plays with the dichotomy of multiple layers of reality and embraces the contradictions that may lie within that experience. The choreography “uses notions of memory, tension, and confusion to build a world that represents someone working to grasp authenticity even when it exists in the tenuous place where wants and reality collide,” says Pickett

The School of Dance is pleased to welcome Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg for a residency with the PDC dancers. Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations is a Bay Area based dance company making dances and dance films. Their ongoing project, Still Life Dances, is a series of detailed and intimate movement studies based on still life paintings. The duo’s piece for PDC was inspired by Flemish artist Francois Ykens’ “Flower Still Life” from 1644 (UMFA collection), this dance references to the beginnings of ballet, harpsichord music, and visual art of the era. “Through our own personalities, aesthetic inclinations, and contemporary dance bodies, we pay homage to the detail and precision valued in all art disciplines from the 17th century.”

 Join us for a concert by the Performing Dance Company, 11/1 – 11/10 at the Marriott Center for Dance at the University of Utah. Tickets are available online, by phone at 801.581.7100 or at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. For more information please visit here.