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contemporary dance

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‘To See and Be Seen’: CDT Dancers Explore Isolation, Connection in New Video ‘Vanish’

May 19, 2020 12:00 AM
The video continues a collaboration with NYC-based choreographer Jesse Obremski and pays tribute to graduating seniors
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BYU Magazine: BYU, Still

May 12, 2020 12:00 AM
How campus went quiet, yet BYU continued on, during the coronavirus pandemic Day by day—and sometimes hour by hour—elements of the BYU experience were suddenly shifting, disrupting everything from budding relationships to Sunday meetings to major university events, including BYU Women’s Conference and April graduation ceremonies—both canceled. All NCAA competition was suspended. Meanwhile professors and campus IT personnel scrambled to take BYU entirely online by Wednesday, March 18. Many faculty turned to the video program Zoom to stream or record instruction, innovating new ways to teach hands-on subjects like dance, music, and nursing or to simulate lab research remotely. Read the full article by Michael R. Walker at magazine.byu.edu.
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Dance Student Daylin Williams on Injury, Recovery and What Moves Her

April 27, 2020 12:00 AM
Dance education major Daylin Williams shares how her experience with serious injury has made her stronger
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Share Your Story: #CFACGrad Eliza Robinson

April 22, 2020 12:00 AM
Graduating
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BFA Graduate Caitlin Shill Shares How Dance Has Stretched Her Soul

April 17, 2020 12:00 AM
Shill — a native of Cottonwood Heights, Utah — will graduate with a BFA in dance on April 24, 2020
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Experimenting and Making Mistakes: BYU Dance Students and Faculty on NW Dance Project’s Masterclass

May 10, 2019 12:00 AM
With a focus on pushing the frontiers of contemporary dance, Portland-based dance company NW Dance Project is one of the premier groups pioneering new choreography and methods in the American contemporary dance scene. BYU dance students and faculty were excited to learn from the company's innovative approach to current dance trends in a masterclass with members of the ensemble during their recent campus visit. “The professors in the contemporary area have a philosophy that we want to model for our students,” said contemporary dance professor Kate Monson. “Taking opportunities to learn from different sources is really important. That includes a physical embodiment and not just watching.”
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CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE EXPRESSES HUMAN CONNECTION, SPIRITUALITY THROUGH MOVEMENT

February 07, 2019 12:00 AM
The high-energy concert features original choreography by guest artists alongside Martha Graham’s historically significant “Dark Meadow” BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) will celebrate spirituality and the human experience through movement when the company’s Pardoe Theatre concert opens on Feb. 7. Contemporary dance is an ever-evolving field, employing innovative techniques to explore and express broader messages in a way that words cannot. Though the CDT performance will take audiences through a range of genres, moods and themes — from home and family to sentient robots — the connecting thread between each piece is the beauty and dignity of the human family. Read more here.
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‘Big Chocolate’ Brings Hip Hop to BYU Classrooms

January 03, 2019 12:00 AM
Walking around campus in a durag and snapback, with tattoos peeking out from under his sleeves, Marc Cameron doesn’t look like a typical BYU instructor. Cameron is proficient in most hip-hop dance forms but has earned the most fame through popping, a street style dance where dancers flex their muscles in time with the music to create a popping effect. The two-time world champion popper teaches students about hip-hop dance forms and the culture surrounding them. Read more here.
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New video series uses dance to show dangers of air pollution

September 12, 2018 12:00 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLZJf7P-T4o&feature=youtu.be When Keely Song moved to Utah in 2016, she was jarred by what she called the “apocalyptic” talk about air quality during the state’s notorious inversions. So when BYU announced in November it would be providing free UTA passes to students, employees and their families, the dance professor had an idea. “I wanted to create a work that motivated people — including myself, who commutes from Salt Lake City — to use public transit, while being educational and entertaining,” she said. “I didn’t understand how hazardous the air quality is on a red day, and that by limiting our emissions through carpooling, using public transit or not driving at all, we could actually greatly improve the air quality.” Continue reading on news.byu.edu.
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Noelani Schraedel: Insights from my NYC Experience Will Help Launch My Dance Career

July 12, 2018 12:00 AM
I had no idea how a weeklong experience in New York City with the BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) could help me decide this was where I will pursue an MFA after graduating from BYU. While we were in New York, we brushed shoulders with professional dancers and choreographers, which opened my eyes to all the opportunities available to me. Based out of the Gibney Dance Center, we took master classes in contemporary, Limon technique and contemporary partnering. These opportunities provided me with valuable real-world insights into pursuing a professional career in NYC. The classes were incredible and pushed me beyond what I have done in my college career. Our CDT director Nathan Balser asked our team, “If you could take a class from anyone, who would it be?” Without hesitation I responded, “Kate Weare.” Although we didn’t meet Weare, I was able to take a class from one her dancers. It was an experience I will always look back at and pull from. We got a behind the scenes Broadway master class and learned the choreography from “Wicked” before seeing the show that night. It was a dream to experience what it would be like to perform on Broadway in one of my all-time favorite shows. Along with taking classes from accomplished dancers, my favorite part of the trip was seeing so many shows. We watched the Limon Dance Company in the historic Joyce Theater where the highlight of the evening was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Limon’s iconic piece, “Missa Brevis.” Seeing that piece performed in the Joyce Theater was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As a company we also saw “Then She Fell,” which is an immersive dance theatre experience. “Then She Fell” was breathtaking and uniquely beautiful. I took advantage of our time to see a variety of other shows and performances. While I was in New York, I was able to tour graduate dance programs in the city. I realized this is where I want to continue my education as a MFA student. Every single class, show and even the atmosphere of New York City was life-changing and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a student here at BYU and to be a member of this amazing dance company. **Noelani’s husband, Adam, is also a member of CDT.
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BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre to perform with 'Limón Dance Company'

February 01, 2017 12:00 AM
As part of the 2016-2017 BRAVO! season, BYU Arts will be hosting the Limón Dance Company. The group will perform Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pardoe Theatre of the Harris Fine Arts Center. The program will feature a special guest performance by BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre. Producer and Presenter of Performing Arts at BYU, Jeffrey Martin, said BYU is thrilled to bring fine dancers and “time-honored choreography” to campus for students and the community to experience in a live performance. Limón Dance Company is known as one of the legendary companies associated with modern dance in the United States. Founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, the Limón Dance Company has lead American modern dance since its inception and is considered one of the world’s greatest ensembles. The company’s performances include classic works as well as new commissions from contemporary choreographers. “We seek to expose our students to the foundational movements of all dance styles during their time studying dance at BYU,” Martin said. “When we have the opportunity to showcase world-class dancers practicing the principles and techniques our students learn in the classroom and dance studio, we are able to give our students a tremendous advantage in their own training and development.” Under the direction of assistant professor Nathan Balser, CDT will collaborate with Limón Dance Company on this program. BYU’s dancers will perform an excerpt of Jose Limon’s piece, “A Choreographic Offering,” during the performance. “The Limón dancers are some of the finest in the country, bringing with them myriad expertise and excellence in training and performance,” Balser said. “For our students to rub shoulders with these dancers is not only uncommon, but of great worth and value to their own emergence as dance artists.” Balser said the CDT dancers have spent more than 50 hours learning and perfecting the Limón piece in preparation for the performance. One of these dancers is Adam Schraedel. He said the group is excited to dance with one of the most famous modern companies in the world. “We practiced for four weeks with an alumnus member of the company to learn and perfect our piece, ‘A Choreographic Offering,’” Schraedel said. “It’s a challenging style that many of us have little experience with, but it’s a very beautiful piece and I think we have learned a lot.” Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by phone at 801-422-2981 or online at byuarts.com. Tickets and Show Details Performance Dates and Times: Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m. Location: Pardoe Theatre, Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU Price: $35, BYU Alumni/Senior Citizen $32, BYU ID/Student ID $25 Tickets: Available in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by phone at 801-422- 2981 or online at byuarts.com
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Tuesday’s devotional dedicated to BYU premier dance groups

November 08, 2016 12:00 AM
Five of the Brigham Young University’s Department of Dance premier dance groups will perform during an assembly in the Marriott Center on Nov. 8 at 11:05 a.m. The Ballroom Dance Company, Living Legends, Theatre Ballet, the International Folk Dance Ensemble and Contemporary Dance Theatre will all perform. Each dance group will present choreography demonstrating how dance can be used to inspire, imagine, reflect, celebrate, remember or express with the theme of “Together, let’s dance—just for the joy of it.” “The assembly celebrates one of the cheerful ways we express our faith and hope through a variety of expressions of joy through dance,” said Marilyn Berrett, Department of Dance chair. Berrett also referenced the words of President Russell M. Nelson who recently spoke about joy in the October General Conference. “That’s it! Saints can be happy under every circumstance,” said Nelson. “We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year! My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. The BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications is home to the largest and most versatile dance department in the United States. For more than 50 years, BYU students have shared a spirit of joy with people worldwide through the creative expression of dance. Performances strive to benefit and support members of the Church in distant lands, and can be seen on campus throughout the year. The BYU Department of Dance is also pleased to present the BYU DanceSport Championships on Nov. 11-12, BYU’s dancEnsemble concert on Nov. 11-12 and the Senior Dance Projects Showcase on Nov. 19. Performance Date: Nov. 8 Time: 11:05 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Location: Marriott Center, BYU Price: Free
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CDT Lands in Czech Republic

July 08, 2015 12:00 AM
Contemporary Dance Theatre students spent a rewarding exchange with the Young Single Adults of the Prague and Brno LDS branches. Dances were performed by CDT and then taught to the Czech members. The group is excited for the festivities of The New Prague Dance Festival this week. Landing in the Czech Republic on Friday morning was an exciting moment for members of Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT). It meant after all the practice and preparation, they had arrived in Europe at last! The group is eager to share their dancing and expertise. After a quick check-in to their Prague hotel and lunch, the group set out on a trip into the countryside. In a little town, Dobrichovice, surrounded by cherry trees and wheat fields, the group spent 90 minutes with a group of orphan children at Flight’s Children’s Home. Together they toured the facility, exchanged English and Czech sayings, and practiced cartwheels and handstands. Afterwards, the BYU dancers performed several dances for the children including American dance styles, Lindy Hop and tap dancing. Then the children joined the CDT dancers in learning a simple yet fun-filled line dance. Many hugs and well wishes were shared during the reluctant goodbyes. Many hugs and well wishes were shared during the reluctant goodbyes. Next the group traveled to and toured the Karlstejn Castle, one of the homes of the 14th Century Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. The history lesson continued the next day as the group traveled to UNESCO sites in Kutna Hora to better understand medieval history. The Gothic cathedrals and bone church, Kostnice, reminded the students of the long and storied past of dedicated believers. Saturday evening, Contemporary Dance Theatre students spent a rewarding exchange with the Young Single Adults of the Prague and Brno LDS branches. Dances were performed by CDT and then taught to the Czech members. New friendships were begun that would be furthered the following morning as CDT joined the members of the Prague Branch in their Sunday services. The Branch extended themselves showing love and generosity towards the BYU performers by providing them a meal and attending their devotional that evening. The Mission President, James McConkie, conducted the devotional presented by the CDT dancers, which was well received. More reluctant goodbyes were had as the students left. President McConkie expressed gratitude and thanked the group for coming to visit the members in Prague. The group is excited for the festivities of The New Prague Dance Festival to commence on Monday. They look forward to sharing their talents and friendship with the other festival participants this coming week. Source: Performing Arts Management
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BYU DEPARTMENT OF DANCE PRESENTS “DANCE IN CONCERT 40TH ANNIVERSARY”

February 17, 2015 12:00 AM
The Brigham Young University Department of Dance presents the Contemporary Dance Theatre in “Dance In Concert 40th Anniversary” Friday through Saturday, Feb. 20-21, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee Saturday. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by phone 801.422.2981 or online at byuarts.com.
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BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre to perform in Beijing

November 06, 2013 12:00 AM
This month, the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing will host BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) in a performance of their latest show, “Encounters.” The performance is part of the larger “Chun Hua Oiu Shi” festival, a week of selected performances from arts universities in China. Stephen Jones, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, expressed his appreciation for the opportunity of BYU students and faculty to take part in the event November 13. “Our Department of Dance is honored to be invited to participate with you in this prestigious festival, honoring the growth, the strength, and the superb skills of our students,” Jones said. The invitation to perform at this festival emerges from the relationships that BYU has been building with the Chinese audiences and arts administrators for more than thirty years. “Despite our differences in language and the differences that separate us in geography, the value of the arts, including those human expressions of love, goodness, truth, beauty and excellence that unite us,” Jones said. For Jones, the invitation is a natural outgrowth of not just of the mutual admiration between BYU and its Chinese counterparts but also from the hard work and creativity espoused by BYU’s dance program. “These students and their faculty strive for excellence and regularly receive national and international recognition for the quality of their performance,” Jones said. The NCPA has been host to hundreds of outstanding dancers, musicians and actors since its inaugural concert in 2007. BYU’s contemporary dance team joins this long list of world-class talent with their performance. “The meaning of the title of our concert, Encounters, include the ideas, images and possibilities of all the ways that we might connect, and the notion that every encounter might change us,” said Marylin Berrett, chair of the Department of Dance. The CDT will dance to the music of composers George Gershwin, Ishan Rustem, and others as they portray captivating encounters with people, places and ideas. After exploring all of these encounters, the show will reach its fitting culmination in a collaboration between BYU and the Beijing Dance Academy. “We are so thrilled that the students from the Beijing Dance Academy are joining with the students from Brigham Young University in an East meets West encounter. This is a most remarkable opportunity for us,” Berrett said. Visit dance.byu.edu for more information on BYU’s dance programs.
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Contemporary Dance Theatre-Bringing the Rhythm of Life to India

August 07, 2012 12:00 AM
Equipped with an eight-foot trampoline, benches, and mattresses, Contemporary Dance Theatre will travel this summer to India to perform The Rhythm of Life. The show explores the rhythm of the world interpreted through dance and music–from the simple rhythm of a heartbeat to the rhythm of the street. The last group traveled to India in 2001. The company will be performing for audiences in Delhi, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, and Goa–to name a few. Members of the company are excited to share the experience of dance with the people in India. “I am most excited to be exposed to a totally new culture,” said group member Kristin Brown. “I can’t wait to dance and share our light with so many amazing people in India. I know I am going to learn so much about myself and be changed for the rest of my life.” One of the dances, “Chakra,” is choreographed by Ivan Pulinkala, originally from New Delhi, India. The dance applies the principles of balance and energy as a metaphor for the human struggle to regain equilibrium in modern society. The word chakra is derived from traditional Indian medicine, which identifies seven energy craters that reside in the human body. The dance requires an eight-foot, wheel-shaped trampoline that rolls across the stage, symbolizing the cycle of life from birth to death. Each of the members of the company has a favorite. For Jeneca Frederiksen that number is “Woman the Pioneer,” a tribute to women of faith and courage everywhere. The dance depicts a woman who has suffered the loss of a child as she travels across the plains with the Mormon pioneers. “The piece shows her grief and sorrow over losing a child and the process of moving forward despite that,” Frederiksen said. “It is a very moving piece, and one that is difficult emotionally to perform and see. But it is by far my favorite.” Although the tour to India is months away, the group practices 12 hours a week. Contemporary dance is a conglomeration of dance genres molded into one. It requires dancers to move their torsos, fly through the air, and communicate through intricate and abstract movements. Logan McGill considers storytelling a key component of contemporary dance. “Contemporary dance is about allowing the audience to become a part of the dancing experience,” McGill said. “It is about the audience and performers giving and taking from each other to create an experience that is fun, emotional, and, most important, unforgettable.” Source: Performing Arts Management
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