Bruce Caldwell, recipient of the 1991 individual artist Governor's Award in the Arts, is off to Bolivia, May 4-19 for the first in a series of international engagements as guest teacher, goodwill ambassador and performer.
A longtime member of Ballet West and now on its artistic staff, Caldwell is sponsored in Bolivia by Partners in America. In La Paz, Salt Lake's sister city, he will collaborate with Peggy Palza, director of Los Amigos de la Danza, an organization devoted to promoting dance. He will spend three days each in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz as well, for intensive teaching sessions. Caldwell took 100 pointe and technique shoes, donated by Ballet West and Dancewear Unlimited to Bolivia with him.Caldwell will be in China, May 23-June 14, where he will be aided by Jiang Qi, principal dancer with Ballet West, who will act as Caldwell's assistant teacher and interpreter.
He goes first to the Hong Kong Ballet as guest teacher, May 23-26. The pair will then travel to Sichuan, Jiang Qi's home town, for a week instructing the local performing company. Their teaching-performing tour continues in Lahsa, Tibet, June 2-6, with Caldwell dancing excerpts from "Carmina Burana" with the Lahsa Ballet, and Qi doing "Le Corsaire."
Caldwell concludes his travels June 8-14, in Beijing, China, where he will work with and set new ballets on the Central Ballet Company and the more modern Beijing Ballet Company. Before returning home, Caldwell will meet with the minister of culture in Beijing, for an exchange of artistic and cultural ideas.
- COMING AND GOING: Several performers and directors on the local theater scene are finding work outside the Wasatch Front.
Shawn Maxfield, who was featured in several Desert Star Playhouse productions and recently produced and performed in a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" at the First Presbyterian Church, has moved to Los Angeles, where he is involved in a film project. Val David Smithson, former musical director for Desert Star Playhouse, is heading north to Alaska for work in musical productions in Skagway and on cruise ships. While there, he also hopes to complete work on a new musical he and Ric Kirschner are collaborating on, "Nauvoo on the River," which they hope can be produced in Utah later in the fall.
And Gary Bird, a professor in the theater department at Utah State University, who recently directed a highly acclaimed production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," is leaving Utah later this week for New York City, where he will direct "an off-off-Broadway" production of "The Robber Bridegroom" for the Manhattan Stage Ensemble. Following this assignment, he'll direct a series of workshops in Illinois during the summer, then move to Greenville, N.C., to accept a new position as head of a new BFA program in musical theater at East Carolina University.
This school, just east of Raleigh, has 10 theater and eight dance faculty with an existing BFA program in non-musical theater. Bird will be developing a parallel program in musical theater. There will also be some interdisciplinary involvement with ECU's 300-student school of music. The university also has a summer program with six Equity artists doing two musicals and two plays, and Bird anticipates he'll be involved in this project, too.
- JIANG QI, principal artist with Ballet West, is now in Sapporo, Japan, (May 8-13), as guest artist of a dance troupe there, performing several classical pas de deux. Artistic director John Hart welcomes this chance for an exchange with a Japanese company, headed by Toshiko Sato, and hopes it will open the way for many similar engagements.
Jiang Qi, a native of the People's Republic of China, trained there and joined the Central Song and Dance Company of China in 1978, where he became a principal dancer. He was honored as an Outstanding Young Man of China in 1979, and later was awarded the title Premiere Artist of China. After touring in more than 10 countries, he came to America in 1985, first with the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, and then joined Ballet West in 1986.
In Japan, besides classical works, he will dance a new piece, "East Meets West," choreographed in a contemporary, modern style especially for this engagement by Bruce Caldwell.
- PROMISED VALLEY PLAYHOUSE has made some recent changes in its promotion and marketing. Harold D. Collipriest, recently retired and former executive vice president of The Carmen Corp. (KLUB and KISN radio stations), will serve in an advisory capacity to PVP's advertising program, according to J. Murray Rawson, PVP general manger, who added that David Fullmer, a former corporate sales representative, also recently retired, will be a public relations media contact. He has served in the public relations department for Temple Square.
Arthur S. Anderson, former president of Evans Communications/Salt Lake, and Quig Nielsen, formerly in charge of public relations for Temple Square, also have been called to served on PVP's advisory board.
"These four men are well qualified to assist Promised Valley Playhouse with our publicity and public relations needs," said Rawson.
- STEPHANIE NUGENT will be the new member of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, replacing Karin Ramos. Nugent, a graduate of the North Carolina School of Arts, will join the company in June.
- THE RIRIE-WOODBURY DANCE COMPANY spent late April in the state of Washington, performing in eight communities. There they fulfilled residencies and gave concerts and/or lecture demonstrations at Western Washington University, Bellingham; Orcas Island; and school matinees in Vancouver, Olympia and Seattle areas. They returned to Utah May 1.
- REPERTORY DANCE THEATRE completed a two-week tour of Texas on May 4, with residencies in Fort Worth at Texas Christian University and in Dallas at the Dallas Arts Magnet High School, for classes and evening concerts. In Austin they shared the stage with the Sharir Dance Company, which danced in Kingsbury Hall as guests of RDT in February.
- BALLET WEST has advanced Lisa Lockerd and Jeffrey Rogers to the status of principal artists, with Maggie Wright, Jennifer Demko and Peter Christie becoming soloists. Also joining the company next season will be Anatoly Kucheruk formerly of the Kiev Ballet as a principal artist and Marina Nudga, a former member of the Bolshoi Ballet, as soloist.
New company artists include Robert Eberly from the Boston Ballet, Stephen Gregory from the Nevada Dance Theatre, Nicholai Hansen from the Louisville Ballet and Jacquie Orndorff from the Richmond Ballet.