Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company

Ririe-Woodbury (Rī-rē Woŏd-bûr-ē) Dance Company is Utah's most established institution for contemporary dance. The Company actively embraces and commissions the work of contemporary choreographers, tours worldwide, and develops dynamic education and community outreach programming. Through performance and educational undertakings, the Company pursues its mission to make dance a viable part of everyone’s lives– whether it be as creators, performers, dance educators, critics, or as participating audience members. Over the 53 years of its history, Ririe-Woodbury has toured nationally and internationally, always advocating the philosophy that “dance is for everybody.” Under the direction of Executive Director Jena Woodbury, Artistic Director Daniel Charon, and Education Director Ai Fujii Nelson, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is committed to building upon the vision of its founders as it continues to evolve as an important voice for innovation in contemporary dance and dance education.

COMPANY HISTORY: Ririe-Woodbury was founded in 1964 by two Utah women, Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe, who were both professors of dance at the University of Utah. Their passions included performance, choreography, and pedagogy. This focus was accompanied by a deep commitment to dance as a valuable art form and its importance as a component of a well-rounded education for children. Over the years, the Company has grown from its beginning as a local entity, into an internationally renowned contemporary dance company, having performed in every state in the United States, as well as in South Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, the British Isles, and throughout Europe.

ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE: The Company founders were active in the earliest dance programs created by the National Endowment for the Arts. In that fertile atmosphere, the Company grew in stature and recognition. From 1999-2001 former Company dancer Emmy Thomson advanced the vision of the Company as associate artistic director. Then, in 2002, Danish choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen was appointed artistic director and contributed to the Company’s development with a focus on dancer training and a European sensitivity and perspective.

COMPANY OVERVIEW: In 2003, the Company partnered with The Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance (under the artistic direction of Alberto del Saz) to present the works of American postmodernist dance master Alwin Nikolais. As a result of the success of that early collaboration, Ririe-Woodbury is currently designated as the only company given the rights to perform full evenings of Nikolais’ work. In June 2013, the Company welcomed its current Artistic Director, New York dance-artist Daniel Charon. His vision builds upon the Company’s rich foundation, while incorporating his own distinctive viewpoint as a former
dancer and as a rising choreographer.

More Info About This Evenings Program...

You and the Space Between by Miguel Azcue 

A 2014 commission by the Company, Azcue is a Cuban choreographer living and working in Sweden. This piece creates mind-bending and charming visual illusions via an overhead camera and projection behind the dancers. This piece is beautiful and kinetic, and keeps the viewer engaged easily with so many aspects of movement to see at once. We’ve performed this piece in Salt Lake City and throughout our rural touring: adults and children love it.  WATCH VIDEO EXERPTS HERE 

Storm by Daniel Charon

Daniel set this work on the Company in 2014. It’s a constantly moving, poetic, beautiful piece with building energy and expression. It sweeps the viewer away with its lush and deep orchestral soundscape and has been an audience favorite. It’s a tour-de-force for the dancers to perform and audiences are wowed at and appreciate the incredible artistry against the huge physical feat that it is. WATCH VIDEO EXERPTS HERE 

The Opposite of Killing by Tzveta Kassbova

Commissioned in 2016 by the Company Kassabova is an incredible Bulgarian choreographer living and working primarily in Washington DC and NYC. This is a powerful, raw, emotive work with a myriad of movement qualities. Audiences connect well to this piece with its meaninful expression and its beautiful music score that incorporates abstract contemporary sounds and morphs into beautiful orchestral scapes. WATCH VIDEO EXERPTS HERE 

For more information on this performance visit www.ririewoodbury.com


“The performers, generous and game, bring the dances into the present.”

“It’s a trip, and no drugs are necessary.” -Gia Kourlas | THE NEW YORK TIMES | 2016


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