School of Dance presents fall Ballet Showcase online

November 09 2020

By Amy Elizabeth Novak

In a time when restrictions are widespread to enforce public health and safety, the choreography students of the University of Utah's ballet department are finding new and creative ways of making art. Their upcoming show, entitled "i hope this finds you well," touches on themes of isolation and self-discovery as experienced by the students during the time of COVID-induced quarantining.

Many of the choreographers have had time to reflect on their lives during quarantine, and this has translated directly into the works that will be presented in the show. For Allison Vernon, inspiration is drawn from the shadow of nostalgia, and the embodied experience of remembering bittersweet moments in our lives. In the case of Kyra Shimogori’s new work, it is the concept of moving on. “My dancers represent the people we know, and accepting that we will move on and they are a part of our story,” She says when asked about her piece. Amy Novak pulls inspiration for her piece from her experiences with those close to her during quarantine, and the concept that one can offer of themself yet can’t force others to take what they are offering.

Em Furukawa draws her idea from the Japanese card game Karuta, which she spent much of her time at the start of quarantine playing. Within her piece, she explores the lines between different dancing disciplines and endeavors to create her own blend of movement in order to portray concepts from the game. Samantha Apgar centers her piece around the idea of individuality to be found within the universe. Similarly, Hannah Huang dives into the impact our daily happenings have on the universe. Says Huang, “Every interaction we have makes an impact on the people around us as we come in and out of each other’s lives. I wanted to explore my dancers’ individuality as well as the way we can connect to one another even in our socially distant times.”

For choreographer Juliana Wright, quarantine has given her time to think about her daily interactions and life within the world of ballet and the effects it has had on herself and her colleagues, and presents her revelations with a touch of humor. Brooke Wertwijn and Sarah Mateer find inspiration in the isolating conditions people find themselves in, and take comfort in the fact that it is a shared experience. Says Mateer, “It is happening to everyone, and thus affecting our collective consciousness. It is lonely, but it is a shared experience, and we are able to connect with others and know that others are going through the same thing even if it doesn’t seem like it.”

These nine emerging choreographers are excited to present their new works, and hope you will join them for a free live-streaming of the show on November 14 at 7:30 p.m.


Ballet Showcase
An annual showcase of student works
created by the Ballet Choreography III & Production course
November 14 at 7:30 PM