Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Nicholas Cendes and Chara Huckins-Malaret rehearse Glen Tetley's "Mythical Hunters."

When choreographer Glen Tetley died in 2007, he left behind a huge legacy of dance, both modern and ballet.

His assistant and English National Ballet choreologist Bronwen Curry has felt the mantle of responsibility like she never has in her life.

"When Glen was alive, we both shared the duties of setting his works on different companies around the world," said Curry during an interview at the Repertory Dance Theatre offices in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. "When he died, I felt it all on my shoulders."

Still, said Curry, the responsibility is not a burden.

"It is a very rewarding experience to see his works live on," she said. "And to see companies like the Repertory Dance Theatre perform his works is what he would have wanted."

Curry was in town to set Tetley's "Mythical Hunters" for RDT's "The Messengers" season-opening performance.

RDT artistic director Linda C. Smith said the company's relationship with Tetley goes back to 1967.

"Glen was my mentor," Smith said during the interview. "He came here when RDT first formed and sat us down and asked us what we wanted to accomplish as a company.

"He told us that repertory companies didn't fare very well, but could if they did things right."

Tetley created a brand-new work for RDT called "Free Fall."

"He gave it to us to see what we could do with it," said Smith. "It was very revolutionary. Some people watched with jaws dropped. Some loved it more than anything they've seen. It made a huge impact on the audience and the company."

"That is the beauty of Glen's works," said Curry. "They were so far ahead of their time that they are able to stand the test of time."

"Mythical Hunters," which was created in 1965 for the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, represents the cycle of life, said Curry.

"It is very sensual with the hunters and the women and the deaths and rebirths," she said. "It isn't a depressing work, but rather a work that expresses positivity that things go on."

Joining RDT will be Ballet West dancers Tom Mattingly, Aaron Orlowski and David Kim.

And two University of Utah graduates — Carley Allred and Yu Chin Chen — will be helping with the performance as well.

This isn't the first time Ballet West has been involved with a Tetley work. Back in 2004 it took on "Rite of Spring."

"I feel the iron curtain between modern dance and ballet has fallen," said Smith. "And it gives us more opportunities to dance."

"Good dance is good dance," said Curry. "And Glen knew that. And I'm glad I'm able to carry out his wishes."

In addition to the evening's centerpiece "Mythical Hunters," RDT will perform Elizabeth Waters' 1958 work "Castor & Pollux," featuring live music by Partch; Ze'eva Cohen's 1985 work "Ariadne"; and Andrea Miller's 2003 piece "Springs."

"All of them fall within our theme of myths and heroes," said Smith. "And from the past we have Waters and Tetley. Then in between we have Cohen and then we have a new, emerging choreographer, Andrea Miller, from Salt Lake, who is in New York with her own dance company.

"So it is a diverse program that I'm very excited about."

If you go

What: The Messengers, Repertory Dance Theatre

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

When: Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m.

How much: $30

Phone: 355-2787, 888-451-2787

Web: www.arttix.org


E-mail: scott@desnews.com