Salt Lake City — Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company announced Daniel Charon as its new artistic director Thursday, May 9 — the eve of its 50th anniversary.
Charon becomes the first male and the second full-time artistic director to be hired by the company, according to a news release. The company's founding directors, Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury, stepped down in 2008. Charon has been based in New York since 1995 and has worked with such prestigious companies as Limón Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Dance Kaleidoscope and Doug Elkins and Friends. He’s been choreographing since 1998 and led his own project company from 2004-2011. Since then, he has completed his MFA in choreography and integrated media from CalArts.
“It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome the opportunity to take on the role of artistic director for the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company," Charon said in a news release. "I am eager to give my full attention and effort as the ambassador and artistic leader of this respected organization."
Charon’s appointment coincides with the company's 50th anniversary season and fundraising campaign. In June, the company will formally launch the public phase of a project to raise $2 million over five years. The fundraiser has already been receiving private donations for the past year.
The 50 anniversary season will feature an unprecedented nine new commissions, according to the news release. The fall will feature a look back at the formative works of the company by Woodbury and Ririe, as well as a look forward with a new creation by Charon. In December, six prominent alumni from the company return to present their new works with the Ririe-Woodbury dancers and fellow alums. In January and February, a new show for all ages by circus and dance maestro Tandy Beal will be performed. In April there will be three new premieres — a new multimedia collaboration between New York choreographer Doug Varone and University of Utah professor and filmmaker Ellen Bromberg, a new commission by Sweden-based Ririe-Woodbury alumnus Miguel Azcue, and a new work by Charon.
Season tickets for the 50th anniversary season will be available at www.ririewoodbury.com on June 3.
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