The Red Rock Dance Festival is three full days of moving, collaborating, dance-making, and performing June 15–17 at Tuacahn Center for the Arts. The festival’s mission is to bring together a community of choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative environment to study, perform and create new work.
The Red Rock Dance Festival builds upon the Contemporary Dance Concert, an annual choreography showcase hosted by St. George Dance Company and directed by Summer Belnap Robertson. The concert has been held in Southern Utah for the past eight consecutive years and has attracted dance companies, choreographers, and dancers from all over the Southwest.
With RAP Tax financial support, the event’s name has been changed to the “Red Rock Dance Festival” and expanded from a one-day showcase performance to a three-day festival that includes performances and various workshops.
Participants will work intimately with dance professionals on developing and exploring ideas in dance workshops. Masterclasses will be taught by dance professionals and professors such as Kate Monson; Brigham Young University dance faculty, who will partner with Amy Markgraf Jacobson; and Utah Valley University dance faculty, who will teach their newly developed dancer conditioning program.
“It is a program that is specifically focused for modern/contemporary dancers and is based on an across-the-floor structure with focus on LMA and kinesiology principles,” said Monson. Other classes offered include modern, jazz, repertory, improvisation, composition, ballet, hip-hop, and partnering.
Dance pieces submitted will be adjudicated by a panel of judges:
— Linda Smith, former dancer for José Limón and current artistic director of the Repertory Dance Theater.
— Greg Sample, founder of Sample Dance and former dancer for Celine Dion, Cirque de Soleil, Phantom, and Hubbard Street.
— Charlotte Boye-Christensen, founder and director of NOW-ID and former artistic director of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
— John Corsa, former dancer with Momix, Diavolo, and Parsons Dance and current principal in Twyla Tharp’s musical “Movin’ Out.”
Choreographers are encouraged to submit their work and receive feedback. Choreographers are made up of a broad range of experience from university faculty to emerging dancers who are just entering the field.
In addition to the professional training program for ages 16 through adult, the Red Rock Dance Festival provides a junior workshop to be held concurrently at Vista School for ages 8–15.
The Repertory Dance Theatre will perform Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tuacahn Hafen Theater and will also teach some of the workshops. Various choreographers in the choreography showcase will perform Friday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hafen Theater. Tickets are $15 for the June 16 performance and $10 for the June 17 performance.