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Intellect

"Dance in Concert" features BYU Dancers' Company Jan. 29-31

The Brigham Young University Department of Dance presents "Dance in Concert" featuring the Dancers' Company, Thursday, Jan. 29, through Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.

A matinee performance will be given Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets at $10 are available at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801) 378-4322 or at www.byu.edu/hfac.

The Dancers' Company is the premiere touring and performing modern dance troupe at BYU, and is directed by Rebecca Wright Phillips.

Phillips said "Dance in Concert" will have something for everyone to enjoy.

"I think our repertoire this year is pretty broad," Phillips said. "There's a real variety--humor, contemporary pieces and some traditional modern dance."

The concert will showcase pieces choreographed by Phillips, other professional choreographers from outside the BYU community, and even the dancers themselves.

"The dancers are very much part of the creative process," Phillips said. "That's been a tradition for the Dancers' Company—a tradition of creativity. Dance is their voice."

The program includes "For Betty," an uplifting and exuberant classic modern dance choreographed by Bill Evans, the founder of Repertory Dance Theatre and a well-known choreographer from the University of New Mexico. "For Betty" is a tribute to Utah dance pioneer Elizabeth Hayes.

The 16 dancers choreographed "Machinasanas," which will premiere at the show. The number includes dancers on stunt stilts that will put them six feet in the air.

Other dances include "Come Away," danced on an 8x10 foot pane of glass; "African Nightfall," which captures a sense of tribal community and rituals; the comic "Wheelenese Waltz," performed by the male dancers in the company, along with scooters and inflatable dolls; "April," choreographed by guest artist Nana Shineflug, director of the Chicago Moving Company; and "Songs of Deliverance," a tribute to Phillips' great-great grandmother who died at Winter Quarters, Neb., on her trek toward Zion.

Phillips said the quality and level of dance an audience will see at a Dancers' Company performance is equal to professional companies everywhere.

"I think the dancers are the best dancers we've ever had in the company," she said. "They could have chosen to go to an art school like Juilliard, but they chose to come to BYU. I think we're really fortunate to have that quality of dancers here."

Phillips also said that while modern dance has a reputation of being an abstract art form, this concert will be accessible and enjoyable.

"I think this concert is one that creates an uplifting atmosphere," she said. "There's a light that the dancers share, and you can see faith exhibited onstage."

For more information about the Dancers' Company or "Dance in Concert," contact Rebecca Wright Phillips at (801) 422-8022.

Writer: Rachel M. Sego

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