Salt Dance Fest Turns International

by lovedancemoreintern

Between the weeks of June 4 and June 16 the Modern Dance Department at the University of Utah held their second annual summer intensive which took place at the Marriott Center for Dance on campus. The original concept for the summer workshop was voiced several years ago in faculty meetings with the realization that the space available on campus was not being utilized during the months where school was not in session. The department wished for students to get dance education and experience that not necessarily being represented in Utah. Department Chair and leader of the Salt Dance Fest program Stephen Koester wanted the experience to lead participants into developing their own creative processes.

Katherine Adler interns for loveDANCEmore and participated in SaltDanceFest

Last year’s program focused on faculty working in collaboration and improvisation. The goal for this year’s program was to focus on international choreographers with a legacy of working with some of the “greats” of contemporary dance. Vicky Cortez from Costa Rica, Marina Mascarell from Spain, and Paul Selwyn Norton from the UK and Australia served as this year’s faculty. Both women led daily technique classes for two separate levels that were offered. All three led creative and repertory classes in the afternoon which gave students the opportunity to both learn and create.

During her performing career Vicky Cortez worked as a guest artist with the late Pina Bausch. Bringing in her own choreographic philosophies, Cortez co-created a piece with participants based on a previous work of her own entitled “Next To the Body”. Cortez said that the program provided her with a true “cultural exchange with American dancers…exchange of ideas and creative lines”. Marina Mascarell has been a part of both Cedar Lake Ballet as well as Netherlands Dance Theatre I and II. Mascarell worked alongside students to create a new work as well drawing upon text and theatrics. She was surprised and impressed with the commitment of the students involved in the program and is hoping to take the energy of a large group back to her work overseas.

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