Al Hartman
Caine Keenan, left, TJ Spaur and Jo Blake of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in "Siesta," part of the upcoming "Out of the Box" concert. Repertory Dance Theatre and Ballet West will also perform.

Repertory Dance Theatre public relations director Heidi Schmidt and Ballet West's community service manager Melissa Rasmussen liked what the Utah Symphony does with its Vivace program.

Vivace was developed by Crystal Young as a way to tap into the 20- to 40-year-old group and spark its interest in classical music concerts.

So Schmidt and Rasmussen came up with Studio D. This program is like a private club. After select performances, the audience and dancers of the Repertory Dance Theatre, the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company or Ballet West will gather at a local restaurant, eat and talk about the performance. It also serves as a mixer for audience members who have similar interests.

Potential members can log on to and become a member. Members are eligible to attend the Studio D performances. The latest, "Out of the Box," will feature dancers from RDT, Ballet West and the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.

"It's a great program," Ririe-Woodbury dancer Jo Blake said, "because it allows us to get to know the audience and vice versa. We get to hear what they liked, what they didn't like, and they get to hear more about the production."

In the past, the Studio D gatherings have happened at a restaurant after a performance. But on Saturday, the audience will get to dine and mingle during the actual performances. And the companies that will be performing works are members of the three aforementioned dance companies.

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company dancers will present two works — Larry Keigwin's "80s Night" and "Siesta" by the company's associate artistic director, Charlotte Boye-Christensen.

The Ririe-Woodbury pieces show totally different styles of modern dance, said Blake. "Modern dance encompasses so many different things. And in some cases, there are people who are kind of afraid of it. They are worried that they might not understand it."

Ballet West's Jason Linsley will choreograph a work for the event.

"It's not only a great opportunity for the audience to get up close with the dancers, but it gives some dancers a chance to set pieces on other dancers," he said. "And the work I'm doing is done to rock music by a local band called Ayin. That's nice for me, because as ballet dancers, we are stuck dancing mainly with classical music. So mixing it up with different types of music is a great opportunity for me."

Other Ballet West dancers who will be choreographing for Studio D include Emily Adams, Megan Furse and Christopher Sellars.

Participating RDT dancers include Nick Cendese, Nathan Shaw, Toni Lugo and Rosie Goodman.

If you go . . .

What: "Out of the Box," Studio D

Where: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

How much: $25

Phone: 355-2787, 888-451-2787


E-mail: [email protected]