Ann Brown, Chesapeake Dance Theatre
Dancers Rocio Fernandez, left, Kaylee Brown, Megan Thompson, Koral Chadwick, Lindsay Wright and Faith Bennett will perform Friday.

Every three years, the Dance and the Child International, an organization whose goal is to promote growth and development in dance for all international youths, holds an Intergenerational Gathering.

This year, the site is Brigham Young University. And the United States' division of the Dance and the Child International has invited companies from around the country to participate.

Those companies include, but are not exclusive to, the Kaleidoscope Dance Company from Seattle, Wash., the Small Feets Dance Company from Boston, Mass., and the Utah-based companies — BYU Young Dance Makers, the Children's Dance Theatre and the Chesapeake Dance Theatre in Magna.

Ann Brown, artistic director of the Chesapeake Dance Theatre, said she hopes the six children who will participate in the four days of workshops and performances will gain an appreciation for creativity in their lives.

"One of the purposes of these gatherings is to bring out the best of the person through creative dance," Brown said. "That's what my dance company focuses on, as well as many of the companies that are attending the conference."

Brown, whose aunt was the late Virginia Tanner, of which the University of Utah's Virginia Tanner Creative Dance program is named, said through the workshops, the children can develop the skill to find enjoyment in any pursuit in their lives.

The children from Chesapeake Dance Theatre who will attend the gathering are Rocio Fernandez, 8; Kaylee Brown, 10; Megan Thompson, 12; Koral Chadwick, 9; Lindsay Wright, 11; and Faith Bennett, 9.

"It is important to teach values and different ways of looking at the world," she said. "And to do it in a nurturing environment is most important."

Brown's first introduction to the daCi, as it is known, happened in 1978, the year of the first daCi conference.

"It was held at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada," said Brown, who founded the Chesapeake Dance Theatre 21 years ago in Maryland before moving it to Magna in 2003. "I was asked to dance a duet with one of my aunt's young dancers. The next one was held in Stockholm, Sweden, and I went as a teacher."

The last time she attended was 1991, when the conference was held at the University of Utah .

Brown said that after a few years of not attending because of a lack of funds, she was contacted by the daCi board to submit a DVD of her choreography for this year's gathering.

"The theme they requested the movement to depict was 'creating landscapes,"' Brown said. "I was online reading scriptures when the idea popped into my head about creation. So I looked some things up."

Brown focused on passages from the Bible's Psalms and Songs of Solomon that dealt with the creation of the Earth.

"Those inspired me, and we put together a 4 1/2-minute piece and sent it in," she said.

The work will be presented Wednesday night in BYU's Richard's Building at 7:30 p.m.

"I told the children that they are not to just hang around each other in our own little group (during the conference)," Brown said. "I told them they needed to go out and make new friends and learn from others as they will, hopefully, learn from us."

If you go ...

What: The Dance and the Child International USA Third Intergenerational Gathering

Where: Richards Building, Brigham Young University, Provo

When: Public performances Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $5

Phone: 801-422-4851

Web: www.ce.byu.edu/cw/daci/


E-mail: scott@desnews.com