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Fresh choreography

The University of Utah School of Dance presents Performing Dance Company this November.

The University of Utah School of Dance presents Performing Dance Company this November. PDC offers its audience a professional-level performance by students in the Modern Dance Program. The concert opens Nov. 1 and will showcase choreography from faculty and guest artists, focusing on the creation of new works. This year, PDC will feature the original choreography of faculty members Molly Heller, Sara Pickett, Luc Vanier and Daniel Clifton. The school welcomes guest choreographers Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg, who will collaborate on a piece for the PDC stage.

Heller will present a new work entitled “Heartland: Studies of the Heart,” which “explores the idioms, sensations, associations and physical spaces of the heart.” Structured as three overlapping solos, Heller creates a dense terrain where the heart is magnified, exposed, moved and experienced as always being whole.

Vanier, School of Dance director, will also set his work, “Deflating Debussy,” on the PDC dancers. “Deflating Debussy merges the more romantic part of my soul with my drive to deconstruct the use of épaulement (shouldering) in ballet technique,” explains Vanier. “Broadly misunderstood as aesthetic decoration, the sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle oppositions of the head, shoulders and pelvis facilitate turnout, balance and control. Once more intimately understood, épaulement reveals a three-dimensional awareness of the oppositional pulls in the body that though ‘antagonistic,’ allow for increased freedom and choice in movement.”

The School of Dance is pleased to welcome Simpson and Stulberg for a residency with the PDC dancers. Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations, made up of Simpson and Stulberg, was formed in the Bay Area in the fall of 2014. Since then, SSC has been nominated for two Izzie Awards both for Outstanding Choreography and Performance in an Ensemble, performed in theaters and museums all over the Bay Area, and granted prestigious residencies: Counterpulse Theater’s Edge Residency, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company’s CHIME Program, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center’s Artist in Residency and FACT/SF’s resident JUMP Choreography Program. They recently toured to the University of Montana where they premiered their newest work, “Still Life No. 7.” SSC has received granting support from foundations such as the Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Rainin Opportunity Fund and the Theater Bay Area CA$H Grant Award. SCC will create an original work that will debut Nov. 1 at PDC. ­

Join us for concerts by the Performing Dance Company, Nov. 1-10 at the Marriott Center for Dance at the University of Utah. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 801-581-7100 or at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. For more information please visit