SEPTEMBER 18, 2003
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company Announces Rare Nikolais Night with 40th Anniversary Season
By Marissa Mullen
An unidentified dancer combines the movement of his or her body with a stretchy cloth in a modern dance from Ririe Woodbury's 40th anniversary season.


he 2003-2004 season is a landmark for the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, as it opens the season with the astounding visual and kinetic artistry of the legendary Alwin Nikolais for a one-time-only “Celebration Tour.”

Murray Louis of Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance selected Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company as the performing company for “Alwin Nikolais: A Celebration Tour” 10 years after Nikolais’ death. The making of the tour began in June 2002, when Murray Louis proposed the idea to longtime friend and colleague Joan Woodbury, as well as Shirley Ririe. Both Woodbury and Ririe were thrilled, since no other company in the United States or abroad had ever been asked to perform a full evening of only Nikolais dances.

Choreographer, composer, scenic and costume designer Alwin Nikolais (1910-1993) blended his many talents into a single aesthetic force. In a career that spanned five decades, he greatly impacted every theatrical medium, from Broadway to television. His lighting wonders, sound scores, choreography and costumes have influenced the contemporary stage and a generation of choreographers. Nikolais created the internationally acclaimed Nikolais Dance Theatre and is the genius behind dozens of visual masterpieces. His company appeared throughout Europe, South America and Asia. Renowned as a master teacher, his pedagogy is taught in schools and universities throughout the world.

“Dance is for Everybody.” For 40 years, Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury have kept their philosophy alive with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Founded in 1964, the Company has shared the art of performing through innovative and original dances, classes, workshops and residencies across the United States and throughout the world.

Repertoire for Ririe-Woodbury’s 2003-2004 season will include:

“Alwin Nikolais: A Celebration Tour”
Sept. 24 to 27, 7:30 p.m. And Sept. 27 at 2:00 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center

The Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance, in collaboration with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company presents seven of Alwin Nikolais’ greatest works for a special “Celebration Tour.” The tour will begin in Salt Lake City and continue to tour throughout the country, including at the prestigious Joyce Theater in New York City.

For the first time, an established dance company will perform a full evening of works by Alwin Nikolais, whose genius helped shape modern dance in America.

“Objects & Places”
Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m. and Jan. 31, 2:00 p.m., Capitol Theatre

Original choreography and unique audience improvisation will create an incredible trail of music, motion and visual design, carrying you from the ballroom to the desert. “Objects & Places” is geared toward young people and the young at heart through the imaginative use of flags, balls, chairs, bags, sticks and stools.

“Media + D”
April 22-24, 7:30 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center

The two-part program “Media + D” will explore dance and technology and feature choreography by Ririe-Woodbury Associate Artistic Director Charlotte Boye-Christensen, two multimedia artists from Denmark and the resident composer for the Danish Aalborg Symphony. Britain’s Wayne McGregor, one of Europe’s most acclaimed choreographers, will also create a new work.

McGregor rarely choreographs for dance companies other than his own, Random Dance, creating an extraordinary opportunity for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and Salt Lake City.

Ririe-Woodbury dancers for this season include Juan Carlos Claudio, Ai Fujii, Brandin Scott Steffensen, Melissa McDonald, Joseph Blake and Chia-Chi Chiang.

Tickets to any Ririe-Woodbury performance may be purchased at an ArtTix Box office or by calling (801) 355-ARTS. Single tickets range in price from $25-$35. Student discounts are available.

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