School of Dance season opens in-person with eclectic, inclusive concert: Fall Dance I

September 28 2021

The School of Dance will open its 2021/22 season with Fall Dance 1, an eclectic concert running from Oct. 7 – 23 in the Marriott Center for Dance on the University of Utah campus. As concert director and assistant professor, Pablo Piantino noted, “A theatre is no more than bricks and mortar if not for the inhabitants who share an experience within its walls. You, the audience, are an integral part of our artistic process, existence and purpose. It is so nice to have you sharing this magical space with us once more”

The School of Dance, which has traditionally separated its modern dance and ballet works for most of its concerts, has redesigned its season to reflect not only the programming within the shows, but also the leadership and faculty’s commitment to greater diversity and collaboration as a school and community of artists.

The show will be an eclectic artistic experience, highlighting the talent and professionalism of the students and the artistry and expertise of the esteemed faculty and guest artist.

“As faculty, we have a responsibility to introduce and challenge our students to a myriad of movement styles to better reflect the trends occurring in the field of dance,” Piantino said. “The choreographies span a wide range of physical prowess and artistic expression — from exquisite and ethereal ballet vocabulary to grounded and imaginative modern dance movement.

The Details

Fall Dance 1 runs for two weeks. Showtimes are Oct. 7 at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets for the in-person performance, visit Free for University of Utah students with a valid UCard through the Arts Pass program. Patrons can also stream the performance live for free. 

For more information on the School of Dance or its concerts, please visit:

From the Choreographers

Threshold – Justine Sheedy-Kramer
Threshold looks at the pathways and gateways that move, restrict, and create opportunities throughout life. The moments where we feel in control and at ease, the moments where we are faced with a lack of control or at the whim of outside forces, and the moments where we rely on others for support to venture into a new space. There are times when the weight of transition holds us down and when we face the journey ahead with anxiety or trepidation. The pathways that we find ourselves on can be long or short, winding or straightforward, exhausting or exhilarating, but is it the journey or the destination that shapes us the most?

The Next Chapter – Bashaun Williams in collaboration with the Dancers
My process is always one geared towards collaboration. I'm always eager to meet and begin a creation after I get a feel for who I am working with. Of course, I have ideas constantly brewing, but the actual process is what allows those ideas to morph and unfold. I like to create a collective vocabulary of movement using my own aesthetic meshed with the ideas the dancers bring individually. This allows us to create a library of movement to draw from and piece together. The possibilities seem to always be endless. This process for me is about transitions. Transitions in life, transitions from one place to another, any and all ideas of what transitioning to something else can be. I've chosen the colors of the sunset to represent the work because I feel that this daily occurrence is a transition we can always count on, but also one that offers uniqueness to time & place each day. 

Sur le Fil – Penny Saunders
One of my goals with Sur le Fil was to maintain a feeling of illusiveness; to not cling too tightly to any particular theme or subject matter. That being said, I did have a few key words and sentiments that were swirling in my head during the creation period. I was extremely intrigued by the mischievousness and inexplicable nature of life, as well as that inevitable, common reality we all share of having personal secrets that we would prefer remain in the dark. 
Originally premiered with Tulsa Ballet 2 on April 13, 2018.

Bound Together - Natalie Desch in collaboration with the Dancers 
The inspiration for this piece came from my pure love of and fascination with libraries. These spaces dedicated to their communities have profound effects on people in many ways. As hallowed spaces holding information, history, and especially the stories of so many, they still contain books that represent one specific version of media. Books contain written languages which are found on paper, which are contained within covers––each existing next to other books on shelves. The books live together, but sometimes are shared with interested borrowers who dive into the meanings, the ideas, and the stories poured into each book––flipping through page after page. The concepts shared from books to readers is another form of connection that can open worlds through time and space. Visiting libraries as the homes of these stories has always given me an awesome sense of wonder and joy.