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Department Of Dance

A New Type of Ballet: “Art in Motion” Highlights Female Artists, Features Animated Projections

3 Ballet Area Faculty Highlight 3 Female Painters in Their Immersive, Multimedia Ballet

Theatre Ballet Studio Company (formerly Ballet Showcase Company) collaborated with the Design Department to create an all new show, “Art in Motion.” The show will be held on November 8-10 in the Richards Building Dance Performance Theatre and will feature both Theatre Ballet (TB) and Theatre Ballet Studio Company (TBSC) dancers.

The performance is jointly choreographed by TBSC director Hilary Wolfley, TB director Ashley Parov and Department of Dance chair Shayla Bott. Each choreographer picked one historical female artist to inspire their choreography. They also selected music composed by female composers from the same time period as their chosen artist.

Wolfley said that the idea for this production has been in the works for years. “We were thinking about how we could highlight artists that may not get the type of attention that their male counterparts have received. We went looking for female artists who were really excellent in what they did but were overlooked in their lifetime because of their gender.”

Wolfley choreographed her piece on TBSC dancers and was inspired by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. She was inspired by the way Mackintosh blurred lines of reality and fantasy in her paintings. Bott choreographed on TB dancers and was inspired by Sofonisba Anguissola, a contemporary and colleague of Michelangelo. Anguissola produced many self portraits and her work was often self reflective; she was heavily mentored by her artist father who encouraged her to break through barriers that female artists faced.

Bott mimics this self reflection through a pas de deux that will be accompanied by video footage of the piece — taken from different angles — projected behind the dancers on stage. Parov was inspired by the impressionist painter Berthe Morisot and is choreographing on a mix of TBSC and TB dancers. Morisot’s work highlighted the domestic sphere; Parov’s piece explores how one lives within the boundaries they’ve been given.

“Art in Motion” is a multimedia performance inspired by immersive art exhibits such as the Van Gogh exhibit in Salt Lake City. The choreographers have been working closely with Design Department professor Luke Gibson to bring their vision to life.

Gibson helped to create the story arc of the ballet and mentored motion design students to produce art inspired by the three female artists. The students’ work will be projected onto the stage while the dancers are performing, creating an immersive atmosphere that invites the audience into the experience in a way more tangible than most traditional ballet productions.

Come support female artists and see ballet as you’ve never seen it before. You won’t want to miss this exciting premiere.

Tickets and Show Details

Dates & Times: 
Wednesday, November 8 | 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 9 | 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 10 | 7:30 p.m.

Location: Dance Performance Theatre, Richards Building
Price: $12
Tickets: Available online at