Salt Dance Fest Brings Fresh Perspectives, talent to the School of Dance

May 22 2017

The School of Dance is gearing up for Salt Dance Fest, an annual festival that 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 Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga, Joanna Kotze, Katie Scherman, and Idan Shirabi, along with esteemed SLC dance artists School of Dance Visiting Assistant Professor Molly Heller and Satu Hummasti. These significant, influential artists in residence will share their unique artistic perspectives, along with a range and diversity of aesthetics and approaches to dance with the Salt Dance Fest participants.

In its 7-year history, Salt Dance Fest has included such artists as: Eiko & Koma, Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Marina Mascarell, Paul Selwyn Norton, 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, and Jesse Zaritt. 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 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 and is designed to be a laboratory that nurtures and supports experimentation, exploration, curiosity, collaboration and the development of innovative choreography. Participants work intimately with acclaimed artists, developing and exploring ideas in dance and choreography. One such exploration will be Visiting Assistant Professor, Molly Heller’s, course entitled “Tennis Shoe Technique.” This course will investigate the concept of “utilizing (and playing with) athletic shoes as a medium for developing new dynamics within the body, spatial surfaces and partnerships.” 

"Shoes (tennis shoes in particular) have always been an integral part of my dance training and development as well as a significant part of my work. My formative dance experiences were in shoe-based forms, which created a specific relationship between my feet and the floor – purposefulness, yielding, push-pull, greater tonal range, and a dynamic athleticism that can be experienced from the surfaces of a shoe partnering with the floor. "Tennis Shoe Technique" will utilize (and play with) tennis shoes as a medium for engaging our feet as the living, feeling, deciding, and probing extensions of ourselves. We will bounce, spring, direct, and texture our active feet (in and outside of the studio), testing our perceptions of effort, nuance, and rhythmic complexity. We will also experience the floor at times without shoes as a ways of integrating new information into a non-shoe practice." - Molly Heller.

Participants of Salt Dance Fest select from three blocks of daily classes, engaging with the artists in: Contemporary Technique, Improvisational Practices, Performance Research, Composition, Creative Process, Repertory, Somatics, and Dance Theater (see Class Descriptions). The Salt Dance Fest 2017 class schedule will operate on a block system – meaning participants may sign up for up to three blocks of classes as they prefer. The festival additionally includes a free morning somatic practice and/or barre 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.This year, Salt Dance Fest runs from June 5-16. 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 Salt Dance Fest