Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

Inappropriate use of performers…or art?

by ashleyandersondances

An open letter from Yvonne Rainer to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles has had online art forums buzzing for weeks now. In her open letter, Rainer responds to a letter she received from a disgruntled dancer who auditioned for a performance created by performance artist Marina Abramovic.

Read the letters and some of the online chatter here:

Have you heard about this recent upset? Am I jaded or simply incorrect in thinking that some works made here in Salt Lake use this blank-faced dancer or situations where dancers are subjected to the whim of the audience? (I am thinking specifically about the recent work by Kitty Sailer, which will be shown for the first time in completion December 9th at the Film and Media Arts building at the University of Utah). And is it bad that I enjoy this type of show?

Sofia Strempek

Sofia is an intern with loveDANCEmore and BFA student at the U

November 29, 2011

call for entries!

by ashleyandersondances

You may have perused the most recent journal copy to see many local and national dance writers’ thoughts on criticism. (And if you haven’t let us know where in SLC copies should be; if you are from out of town you can order on the home page!)

As you enjoy the journal we start putting together the new issue. Themed “Survival,” we hope to tackle topics in the field regarding sustainability, somatic practices, financial strategies and more. If you have an article you’d like to submit or propose send it to

Let’s say your idea requires you to interview a million people and you need help, or you are looking to do something in a non-traditional format. Seriously. Write an e-mail and we’ll see if there is some way to support your project or research.

We want this journal to represent SLC’s dance community while also bringing in outside points of view. You can help make that happen.

November 29, 2011

coming up coming up

by ashleyandersondances

as we’ve posted before take a class TOMORROW (weds) at 6pm at the RW studio with Ashley Anderson and Saturday afternoon with Jo Blake.

also on Thursday at RW you can participate in their preview event for the upcoming Prism show:

also check out SB’s fundraiser this Saturday:


November 27, 2011

take a class this week!

by ashleyandersondances

RW’s Master Class is back from the holiday break.

You can take class this Weds @ 6pm with Ashley Anderson
or Saturday afternoon with Jo Blake.

Classes are at the RW studios and have various discounts available for students, people who use public transit and those who purchase advance punch cards.

Questions about class? Look for Master Class on Facebook or e-mail

November 26, 2011

some seasonal dancing

by ashleyandersondances

check out this listing in the Trib of basically every Nutcracker that could suit your (or Alistair Macaulay’s) fancy:  RW’s Prism is also thrown in for good measure.

also you can read in the Tribune about another proposed performing arts center, this time in Murray. this facility seems like a much more judicious use of funds (at least by comparison) and also has the support of multiple regional groups who are specifically searching for a home. while i haven’t looked at the entire design, it does appear that different sized projects have been kept in mind not to mention that Murray doesn’t necessarily have alternative venues at this time. thoughts?

November 23, 2011

more on UPAC

by ashleyandersondances

Some people who read the blog as of late have inquired how they can issue comment on UPAC.

Below I’ve cut and paste the informational e-mail from the City Council office on some “open house” options. These aren’t the same as a public hearing and the meeting is really just informative (aka a chance to try and make some naysayers believe it really will be good).

The final vote isn’t until December 6th so take this time to issue online comments, write your council representative and make your opinion heard (no matter what it is!). I made sure to say even though I have strong feelings it will pass that I hope the council continues to heed these concerns throughout any building development. Even if UPAC exists it could be the multi-use space some of us would prefer to imagine.

The Salt Lake City Council and the Office of Mayor Ralph Becker have scheduled two “open house” discussions for the public  -one online and one at City Hall- on the proposed Utah Performing Arts Center (UPAC). The public is invited to participate in either or both discussions from 5:00 to 6:30 pm on Monday, December 5 in Room 326 at the City & County Building, 451 south State Street, or visit the virtual open house at any time at the City’s online forum, Open City Hall.

The Open House at City Hall will include Council and Mayoral Staff available to the public to directly answer questions about UPAC and the scheduled Council vote on December 6 (see Nov. 22 agenda w/UPAC items here).  Also made available to anyone who stops by the Open House on December 5 will be hard copies of nearly a dozen studies on the idea of a performing arts center in Salt Lake City.

Visitors to the Virtual Open House at Open City Hall will see direct email links to send in questions to City Staff.  Links to the studies will be posted at Open City Hall (OCH) and at the UPAC Project Web page. Video links to the Council meeting discussions on the project, and a list of frequently asked questions are posted on OCH.

The Open House follows Council’s Public Hearing on Nov. 22 on the UPAC items and after more than a year of public discussion conducted by the Mayor’s Office on the UPAC proposal. Other ways to comment on the proposals are listed below.

City Hall Open House

WHO:          City Staff from Council and Mayor’s Office
WHAT:       Open House on UPAC
WHEN:       Dec. 5  from 5:00 to 6:30 pm
WHERE:    City County Building, 451 south State Street

City Hall ‘Virtual’ Open House

WHO:            City Staff from Council and Mayor’s Office
WHAT:         ‘Virtual’ Open House on UPAC
WHEN:          starting 11/23
WHERE:   see topic:  Utah Performing Arts Center

How Else Do I Voice My Opinion?
There are many ways that you can participate in the decision process:
1.       Call, Email or send a letter to the City Council.
2.       Attend the Council meetings.
All comments provided in the “Open City Hall” discussion forum, as well as those sent directly to Council, will be sent to City leaders for their consideration.
Here are other ways to provide comments to the City Council:
Write: Salt Lake City Council
451 S. State Street, Room 304
P.O. Box 145476
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5476

Phone: (801) 535-7600
Fax: (801) 535-7651
24- Hr Comment Line: (801) 535-7654

November 22, 2011

the Sugar Show revamped

by ashleyandersondances

This past weekend SB Dance & Sugar Space co-hosted a new version of the Sugar Show (formerly known as Audiences Award Artists).

The new format is a combo pack of dance projects like the AWARD show and Fresh Tracks. Rather than simply having a performance and audience vote, each choreographer had to pitch their idea to a professional panel (in this case Stephen Brown, Ashley Anderson, Winnie Wood & Jeff Gwilliam).

Most participating artists pitched their project verbally for a few minutes, describing their points of inspiration and working method. Some went on to show proposed sketches for what they might perform in January, others showed excerpts of old pieces.

During these pitches artists also had to respond to questions about the work samples they had presented. These answers informed the panel (and audience) not only about the work we had seen but about the working methods the choreographers would employ and they deepened the project. It’s relevant for artists to hone this skill as they engage with funders and try to obtain other sources of funding throughout their career.

The choreographers who were named as finalists (Joni Tuttle, Ashley Vilos, Nell Suttles, Leah Nelson & Efren Corado) will receive a unique mentorship between now and January when they will present their final works at the Rose Wagner.

You may have read “Dance Eats Money,” an article by Ishmael Houston Jones in Vol. 2 of the performance journal published by loveDANCEmore. In that article Houston Jones interrogates projects like the AWARD show for not adding much to emerging choreography and creating unfair competition for funding. While I agree with his writing on some level, and have taken issue with the traditional AWARD show format, I do think SLC has some notable exceptions.

Sugar Space has always offered continued production for the winners which helps much more than a monetary fee alone. Brittany and SB Dance have worked a lot to ensure that these choreographers are able to continue presenting their “winning” works and that is pretty incredible. The showcase at the Rose should not disappoint and features a wide array of choreographers and performers — so mark your calendars for January 21st and check it out.

November 22, 2011

what I said at the City Council meeting tonight

by ashleyandersondances

Many people this evening offered opinions of UPAC. A majority were for the facility naming it’s potential office complex as an asset as well as the fact we’ll be able to see Wicked without flying to New York.

I love Wicked. I love My Fair Lady. I love Brigadoon and 42nd Street and the Lion King. But I don’t love UPAC and here is why I said that tonight:

UPAC is not, in fact, a center for the performing arts. It’s proposed as an incredibly large venue intended to house touring musicals. Perhaps Capitol Theatre and Kingsbury Hall need modifications to keep hosting these events. I support financing whatever modifications they need, but I don’t support a theater that makes them obsolete.

What I mean is…loveDANCEmore has presented approximately twenty-four independent dance artists in the past fiscal year. These artists all showed works-in-progress that are ultimately looking for a home. Some venues (like Sugar Space) could be that home, or perhaps venues at the University of Utah for student or faculty projects. But one or two homes really isn’t enough, particularly if there seems to be millions of dollars up for grabs for a large-scale theater.

If UPAC proponents are more concerned with available office space and less concerned with fostering available venues for Salt Lake’s artists then the City Council isn’t doing it’s best job. The job of the Council is to serve Salt Lake’s interests and in this case that means Salt Lake artists. Salt Lake artists write operas and plays, they perform their own musicals, they make and share dances and all those things require spaces of different sizes. The UPAC facility would pay out of town performers and producers for a few weeks of the year and the rest of the time would leave our burgeoning artists without additional support. Why not spend the money on ourselves? It is, after all, our money as it comes from tax revenue.

Utah’s independent artists can not necessarily sustain a full season at a large venue like the Capitol, nor could they even afford a fraction of the crew at UPAC. This would leave both facilities partially empty and costly to maintain. More important it would leave a number of independent artists homeless.

Many say it will be like DPAC in Denver or Durham. In Durham, DPAC was never filled during the American Dance Festival seasons I did administrative work for the Six Week School. Further, the theater it left behind on Duke’s campus (Page Auditorium) wasn’t necessarily used by local organizations for alternative projects. This same tradeoff may exist in SLC. Another complication is that Durham had no similar venues while at least the more modestly sized Capitol Theater exists here.

I suggested to the council, and suggest on this blog that if UPAC gets the tax revenue it more aptly be named “Salt Lake’s Broadway Repository” because that is what it would be.

Wouldn’t it be nice to build something less flashy that is more multi-use and that benefits our working community? Wouldn’t it be nice to care less about which projects are the largest and instead those which have the potential to be the most meaningful?

I hope so.

-ashley anderson

November 22, 2011

tonight — UPAC hearing

by ashleyandersondances

tonight at 7pm in the City & County Building come to a public hearing on the Utah Performing Arts Center
whether you are for or against the proposed $110 million dollar center please come make your voice heard.

often decisions are made about the performing arts without essential advocacy from working artists.
for example, if you think a more modest figure would help build a facility to support local projects, say so.
if you think this will be great and open up lots of stage positions, also say so.

but do come at 7pm to advocate your position.

November 22, 2011

thanks Eva & InfiniteBody

by ashleyandersondances

We’ve long been interested in Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s blog InfiniteBody and were so excited when she gave us permission to print one of her blog posts in the current issue of the performance journal.

So we thank her for this shout-out ( and encourage you to read her work on InfiniteBody, we’re sure more will be featured in upcoming issues of the performance journal as wel!

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