The Performing Dance Company at the University of Utah, made up of scholarship and graduate students from the modern dance department, will present its spring concert on the next two weekends - Thursdays-Saturdays, May 16-18 and May 23-25. Programs will begin each evening at 8, in the Hayes/Christensen theater at the Marriott Center for Dance.
With Ford Evans as artistic director, the 16-member company's program will include works by visiting artists and Utah choreographers. "Actually, these pieces are more theatrical dramas than dance works," said Evans. "I think it's a stunning concert."Perhaps most notable among programmed works is "Angels and Clay," by Della Davisdon, artistic director of the Della Davidson Dance Company of San Francisco.
"This piece is about our human desire for perfection and our imperfection as human beings," said Davidson. "It is a vision of another world - a world of angels that have not forgotten about their humanness." The piece offers the first opportunities for dancers to fly on the Hayes/Christensen stage.
Davidson has strong connections with Utah, having earned her bachelor's degree in dance here. She may be remembered as the founder of Fairspace, an innovative little dance and theater company, here in the 1970s. She studied with the Alvin Ailey Dance Center, and earned a masters in dance theater at the University of Arizona.
She joined the San Francisco Moving Company as associate artistic director in 1984. The company was renamed Della Davidson Dance Company in 1989, becoming a vehicle for her choreography. It performs extensively in San Francisco and throughout California, fulfilling many residencies, and is expanding throughout the West.
With ever-mounting critical and popular success, Davidson received the 1989 Isadora Duncan (Izzie) award for outstanding achievement in choreography, for "Tongues " and "Angels and Clay." And in 1990, she accepted the North American Choreographer Award, which included a commission and residency at the Laban Center in London, England, to set a new work, "Judith," on their resident company.
"Brandenburg Concerto," choreographed by Doris Humphrey in 1958, is being set on PDC by labanotator K. Dunkley, who is on sabbatical from SUNY-Potsdam, where he is a professor of dance. Humphrey's inspiration for this three-movement dance was panels of silk, moving gently in the wind. "It was Humphrey's last choreography, and Ruth Currier finished it for her," said Evans.
Silvia Martins, a U. of U. almumna, has restaged a solo entitled "Some Other Histories," to be danced alternately by three women of the company. Martins, who has performed with Molissa Fenley, the Limon Company and Mark Morris Company, was a guest teacher/choreographer during winter quarter at the U. of U.
From Donna White, popular local choreographer and adjunct professor of modern dance, comes "A Gathering of Eight," which was originally set on the Repertory Dance Theatre. Rounding out the program is a repetition of "Tehillim," (Hebrew for "psalm"), a prayer-like form to celebrate the ecstasy of dance, by Lynne Wimmer.
Tickets are $4 for students, $7 general admission, with group rates available for 10 or more, 581-7327.