The 25th Anniversary season of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company will continue with their "Hang On, Here We Go - Again!" programs, on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Capitol Theater. Four works, some incorporating slide projections and film, will typify the kind of innovations that Ririe-Woodbury has made over the years.
From Shirley Ririe comes "Symmteria," combining the imagery of symmetry and flight. "Shirley patterned this on the style of Pilobolus, after we worked with them back in 1977," said Joan Woodbury. "It's a kaleidoscopic idea, combining light, color and imagination. Our three men will dance `Symmteria.'"Back then when we were working with Ken White, we conceived the idea of putting mylar on the floor and shining light on it, to reflect iridescently on the dancers and background. Nick Cavallaro has designed our lighting, which changes constantly, for a luminous effect, of flying insects. The music is drawn from works of George Crumb, and it's one of my favorite pieces."
"Talisman," a multi-media piece using slide projection and synthesized music, is the work of multi-talented Alwin Nikolais. "The piece is in five sections, alternating sextet, solo, and a very lyrical, legato double trio," said Woodbury. "The final section has jazz music performed by David Darling.
"Most dance enthusiasts in Utah don't need to be told much about Nik, who came here to teach summer school during the '60s, and has influenced Ririe-Woodbury a lot. His work is unique and beautiful, integrating all aspects of theater. We've used `Talisman' frequently on tour this year, and audiences love it."
Woodbury has revived her "No-Where Bird," a sensitive, evocative combination of dance and film, shot in numerous Utah locations, including the University of Utah and the Denver and Rio Grande Station. It deals with waiting, being in transit, caught in a vacuum of time, making chance encounters with strangers. "These days so much dance is fast paced, hard-hitting, structured. This piece has a gentleness about it, a dreamlike sense that I think is refreshing," said Woodbury.
"I first did `No-Where Bird' as a work in progress at the University, and it was among my first ventures into dance with film. Some very beautiful things came out of this work, leading to further experiments incorporating video. We will dedicate this dance to former company member Dennis Wright, who died last fall of AIDS. You will see him in some of the film sequences."
The fourth work on the program will be a premiere, "No Pasaran," by Jamey Hampton.
"This is the dance that Jamey intended to set on us last summer, when he ended up choreographing `Devouring the Bunyip,' a dance that just sort of flowed out of him," said Woodbury. "He finished `Bunyip' in the first two weeks, and then Jamey said, what shall I do now? I said, why don't you set the dance you were planning to do, and we'll do it later next season. So this is our second Hampton piece this year."
"It's set to contemporary rock music of Joe Jackson. The original idea was to show a couple of people who want to do something, and they are always thwarted. We use loud, startling sound at moments of encounter, with heavy, shocking movement. It's a cyclic dance, with a melodramatic ending. David Heuvel has done the costumes."
The company is just back from an exhilarating tour to the Northwest and Alaska. "We found beautiful new theaters in both Kodiak and Homer, Alaska since we were there last," said Woodbury, "and we had standing ovations from warm audiences everywhere."
Continuing almost without pause after its concerts this weekend, Ririe-Woodbury will present its annual children's show, "The Shy Hag's Magic Shadow Show," at the Capitol Theater on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m., Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and February 8 at 10 a.m. In this popular show, fantasy characters such as the Peach Urchin, Billowing Butterfly, Ice Princess and Spindly Diddle spiders join the Shy Hag. Several of the performances are school matinees, but tickets are available to individuals as well.
Tickets for both events go on sale Monday at the Capitol Theater box office, 50 W. Second South, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the concert ranges from $8 to $25. Following Friday's concert, Ririe-Woodbury will hold its annual backstage party, with food and drink, and the Golden Eagles hockey team as guests. Tickets to the party are $15, and may be purchased in advance with admission tickets, or in the lobby that night.
Rates for "The Shy Hag" are $5 adults, $2 students and senior citizens, or $10 for a family of two parents and as many as five children. For information about special student and group rates, call 328-1062.