November 4, 2003 — The University of Utah’s resident ballet company, Utah Ballet, long recognized as one of the finest collegiate dance groups in America, will present its fall concert, “Souvenirs,” in Kingsbury Hall, Nov. 20th through 22nd, at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 22nd. Tickets are $12, $10 and $5, with U of U and group discounts available. Tickets may be purchased at the U’s Olpin Union main desk, through ArtTix outlets, or by calling 801-581-7100 or 801-355-ARTS.
“Souvenirs” presents four ethnically diverse pieces-something for everyone, notes U Ballet Associate Professor Maureen Laird, co-artistic director of the production, along with Sharee Lane, also an associate professor of ballet at the university.
The program will open with “Between Signs,” choreographed by Eloy Barragan, a Mexican national who has now obtained U.S. citizenship. Set to the combined music of Tchaikovsky and Anne Detton, the piece includes both classical music and contemporary movement. Barragan focuses on the emotional risks and potential losses of romantic relationships. Fast-paced and frenetic, this ballet showcases both athleticism and artistry.
Utah Ballet will perform “Spring,” choreographed by Jiang Qi, assistant professor of dance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM) and a University of Utah alumnus. The piece derives its name from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” Deemed the premiere artist of China by the Chinese government in 1985, Qi was also ballet master and principal dancer at Ballet West before his appointment to CCM in 2001. “Spring” capitalizes on flowing, circular movement and features a corps de ballet, a trio and a lead couple.
The program will also include the balcony pas de deux from “Romeo and Juliet,” choreographed by Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty, co-artistic directors of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company (ASFBC.) Mossbrucker’s and Malaty’s piece is set to music by Prokofiev. Malaty has soloed with many companies throughout the United States, including Joffrey II, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of New York and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mossbrucker joined the Joffrey Ballet, where he danced for 20 years in principal roles in more than 70 ballets performed throughout the world. As visiting guest artists, Malaty and Mossbrucher have collaborated previously with the University of Utah Ballet Department. Through teaching master classes they give students real-world insights, ideas and encouragement as they enter the competitive world of dance.
The final piece, “España,” showcases Spanish dances from a variety of ballets, including “Carmen,” “Don Quixote” and Willam F. Christensen’s “Nutcracker.” “España” celebrates Latin dance movements stylized into balletic form. “The mood is temperamental and fiery, and its energy is infectious,” notes Laird
Founded in 1982 by the University of Utah Department of Ballet, Utah Ballet has thrived in a university setting that combines excellent dance education with numerous performance opportunities. Utah Ballet dancers, who regularly tour throughout Utah, are recruited from top performing arts schools and pre-professional regional companies across the nation.