Browsed by
Tag: Rose Wagner



REGALIA 2017 was a process, a performance, and a party for the ages.

On February 11, 2017, four choreographers {Nick Blaylock, Aubry Dally, Eric Handman, and Nichele Van Portfleet} were each given 8 dancers and 4 hours to create a brand new piece of choreography. The audience was invited to watch the choreographers work in the studio, and then see the final performance in the Jeanne Wagner Theatre.

In the meantime, audience members enjoyed delicious dinner from Utah Food Services, bid on silent auction items, and chatted with friends.

After seeing each piece performed, the audience was invited to “vote with their wallets” to choose the winner. The winner was awarded a commission for RDT for the 2017-2018 season {as well as epic bragging rights.}

After totaling the votes from all the audience members, we are thrilled to announce that Nichele Van Portfleet will be creating a brand new commission for RDT next season!

To close the night, everyone was invited on stage to dance the night away {and that they did} to the sounds of the Joe Muscolino Band. 

Enjoy these photos from HMPhoto.



Just a taste of the awesome dance party at #Regalia2017 last night. One for the ages. Cheers to 51! #rdtdance #rdtutah

A post shared by Repertory Dance Theatre (@rdtutah) on

RDT Gift Guide for the Dancer (or dance lover) in your life

RDT Gift Guide for the Dancer (or dance lover) in your life

the ultimate

Dance Classes

Every dancer knows that the only way to get better is to take class! Even our professional dancers take class EVERY DAY to get better, hone their skills and progress.

But you don’t have to be a professional dancer to take class. At RDT’s Dance Center on Broadway, we offer classes for every skill level (even if you’ve never set foot in a dance studio before).

All classes are in the evenings and on weekends, so they fit into your schedule and there’s no long-term commitment! You can drop in to classes as you please.
And …  there’s everything from Modern to Hip Hop to the newly formed Bollywood class!
Check out the full schedule here.

A 10-Class punch-card is good for any class on the schedule and the best bang for your buck.

Purchase Now


If you’d like to purchase a gift card for your loved one in a denomination other than $100, contact us. 🙂

And … if you can’t decide, check out the OPEN HOUSE on January 7. You can dance all day for just $10! Learn more>>

Concert Dance Tickets

Not everyone wants to try dance — they’d rather just watch. And who’s to blame them? Beautiful bodies moving beautifully on stage is really a sight to behold.
Well … you’ve come to the right place. This is our specialty. 😉

RDT has a incredible shows coming up that you won’t want to miss.

For the wild spirit: EMERGEEMERGE_DATE

EMERGE is RDT’s dance choreography showcase, featuring 8 dances by the RDT dancers and Artistic Staff. Dances feature local artists as well as RDT dancers.
It’s the place to be to see the next generation of choreographers. BUY TICKETS HERE>>

For the party animal: REGALIA

REGALIA is not only a choreographic spectacle, but an awesome party! With a VIP ticket  you and your guest will enjoy a generous cocktail hour while you wander the studios of the Rose Wagner to watch dance being created before your very eyes.
Then you’ll devour a scrumptious meal catered by Utah Food Services in the Leona Wagner Black Box Theatre.
Then it’s time to watch the newly created REGALIA_datedances on stage by 4 competing choreographers who have been selected for the experience, artistry, and wit.
After which you get to vote for your favorite to win an RDT commission for next year!
Afterwards, join the whole cast and audience on stage to dance the night away with the Joe Muscolino Band.
A seriously awesome evening.


Not quite in your price range? Check out the Performance Ticket for just $50. You’ll see the full performance and get to dance on stage after the show!


15109588_10154192988690197_7574637109403919961_nFor the undecided: ArtTix Gift card

You can purchase ArtTix gift cards so they can choose the RDT show they want to see!

Click here to purchase

 RDT-79_dan_winterdanceWinter Workshop

For the semi-professional/pre-professional dancer in your life. Check out WINTERDANCE, for the dancer who is really serious.
Students will work with RDT dancers in technique, improv, composition, and … even learn a piece to perform at RDT’s concert EMERGE, January 6-7!

Learn more>>


 Kneeotech Yoga/Dance Pants

If you’ve ever taken a dance class, you’ve probably had some aches in your knees. Kneeotech by Evolution Activewear has the solution. Their stylish yoga pants have knee-pads built right in. So you can take yourself to the floor with ease and not worry about your knees turning as purple as RDT’s logo. 😉

RDT endorses Kneeotech and loves wearing these awesome pants in rehearsal. Check out the RDT dancers trying them out!


Support Everyone’s Favorite Dance Company

While everyone loves getting “things” …  sometimes the gift that means the most is the gift of giving back.
If RDT means a lot to you (or someone you care about), consider making a donation to help us continue to create, preserve, perform, and perpetuate the art of modern dance.
You can earmark your gift for for a variety of programs, including RDT’s school outreach throughout Utah; a particular upcoming concert; RDT’s children’s series Ring Around the Rose; or a particular upcoming commission or reconstruction.

Donate Now


If you’d like to make a donation in someone’s name as a gift, including a membership in RDT’s new Sustainers Club (with cool perks!), just click “This is a tribute donation” when prompted. 



MERCHANT_PARTNERS300X300And one final idea…

If the best idea for your loved one isn’t on this list … consider SHOPPING TO SUPPORT RDT.
You can use this link to shop at some of your favorite retailers (only some of which are shown here), and RDT will get a percentage back in return!
And all you have to do is shop!
Shop to Support

Or check out the RDT Gift Shop for some awesome T-shirts!

Shop Now

Ring Around the Rose Season kicks off!

Ring Around the Rose Season kicks off!

RDT’s Ring Around the Rose is a series of performances at our home, the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center that Repertory Dance Theatre presents each year. On the second Saturday of every month from September through May, we present a different performing arts group to an audience of children and their families.

On Saturday, September 10, the 19th season of Ring Around the Rose kicked off with one of our favorites … AFRICAN DRUMS! Deja Mitchell brought in a guest artist, Derrell “Sekou Soumah” Walker from Portland, Oregon and the two of them gave us all a look at African drumming and dancing.

Check out the fun we all had!

Check out our new photo booth for this year! Take photos in the lobby next time you come.
Our new photo booth this year will allow you to take photos in the lobby next time you come! Then, share them with your friends!


Our host for the show, Derrell "Sekou Soumah" Walker.
Our host for the show, Derrell “Sekou Soumah” Walker.


The audience takes their turn at playing the "djembes."
The audience takes their turn at playing the “djembes.”


More audience members try their hand!
More audience members try their hand!


Sekou Soumah smiles as he teaches the rhythms of West Africa.
Sekou Soumah smiles as he teaches the rhythms of West Africa.


The audience got to learn some authentic African dance moves!
The audience got to learn some authentic African dance moves!


Sekou Soumah let the audience follow along to learn the moves
Sekou Soumah let the audience follow along to learn the moves


We all had so much fun!
We all had so much fun!

Next month, we are thrilled to have Plan-B Theatre Company on the season for the first time! They will be presenting, THE EDIBLE COMPLEX on October 8.

Created for grades 4-6, THE EDIBLE COMPLEX is a comedy about ten-year-old Anna, who dreams of being a chef. She is also becoming aware of how her body is different from others at school. So, one day she decides to stop eating, but it’s hard to ignore your Food when it starts talking to you!

Featuring Anne Louise Brings and Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, designed by Aaron Swenson, and directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff, THE EDIBLE COMPLEX is just one of 9 concerts that make up this year’s beloved Ring Around the Rose. And at just $5 per ticket ($4 if you buy a season package), it won’t break the bank to get your kids into an interactive, “wiggle-friendly” outing that will make them smile as big as Sekou Soumah’s at AFRICAN DRUMS!

Get tickets now>>

A Space Odyssey: part 3, Home Sweet Home

A Space Odyssey: part 3, Home Sweet Home

Rose Exposed Flight

This is the final post of our 3-part series “A Space Odyssey” celebrating the creation of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (you can read the previous post in the series here.)  Be sure to join us this Saturday, August 27th, for the Rose Exposed celebration of “Flight” – a night to benefit the Tracy Aviary.  Click HERE for more information.

Linda Smith meets I.J. “Izzi” Wagner

IJ WagnerIn January 1994, RDT moved into the RESCO building at 138 West Broadway (300 S.). We put a portable dance floor in the middle of the large warehouse bay and rehearsed daily. The entrance to the building was glass. This allowed people on the street a view of our rehearsals. The transients would seek shelter or a place to drink in the entryway. We noticed that a certain gentleman kept coming into the building to watch a few minutes of rehearsal. One day, I approached him to investigate his motives and started a conversation. I asked him if he liked dance. He said that his wife used to be a dance in vaudeville. He added, “I was born here.” I answered that I was also a native of Utah.

“No” said the man. “I mean that I was born right here.”

“I am also from Salt Lake,” I said.

“Listen to me,” said the man. “I was born right here on this spot. My family home was on this site. My family business was right here, right where this building stands.”

“What is your name?” I asked. The man replied, “Izzi Wagner.”

I suggested the PAC take Mr. Wagner, the owner of the site, to lunch and they introduced him to the vision of the arts project.

To make a long story short, in September 1995, the old RESCO was demolished and construction began on a new building.

Home Sweet Home

In January 1997, RDT moved into its new home, phase one of The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. We held the first performance in the Leona Wagner Black Box Theatre, named after Izzi’s sister. RDT’s premier featured choreography honoring Rose Wagner, Issi’s mother. “Essence of Rose” was a tribute to the energy, generosity, and ingenuity of the Wagner family.

Rose Wagner Front_NIghtCooperation, perseverance and determination have given the community a vital center dedicated to the arts. I can say with certainty that RDT has celebrated 50 years (as of 2016) in this beautiful theater because of some incredible individuals who can never be thanked or recognized enough for what they did for RDT and the entire arts community. While I couldn’t begin to mention everyone associated with this project. I must recognize some of the champions who caught the vision and helped Repertory Dance Theatre realize its dream.

Thank You

Ivan Weber, RDT staff and Board of Trustees, Alice Steiner, Susan Boskoff, Performing Arts Coalition Directors and Board, Jim Bradley, Rich Romano, Brent Cameron, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts (which now manages the Center), Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, local arts groups who formed a coalition of advisors, Prescott Muir Architects, EMA Architects LLC, patrons, foundations and financial contributors, and of course …

… I.J. “Izzi” Wagner. We should all be very proud. Hooray!

Linda C. Smith is the Executive/Artistic Director of RDT.  A founding member of the Company, she now divides her time between preparing budgets for grants and wrangling dancers in the studio.  She also likes to vacuum the RDT Offices.

A Space Odyssey, part 2: Dreaming Big

A Space Odyssey, part 2: Dreaming Big

This is part two of our series “A Space Odyssey” celebrating the creation of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (you can read part one here).  Be sure to join us this Saturday, August 27th, for the Rose Exposed celebration of Flight – a night to benefit the Tracy Aviary.  Click HERE for more information.

Dreaming Big

lcsWhen I assumed the position of Artistic Director in 1983 and learned that our barracks building up at the University of Utah was slated for demolition, I realized that Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT) was experiencing both a funding and a space deficit. Friends, board members and community leaders advised us to establish a greater presence downtown. The Restaurant Equipment Supply Building, which occupied the area where this theater now sits, was identified as a prime site. The next 17 years proved challenging in trying to secure that location.

The first step in the process of designing a new home for ourselves was to dream. What would the ideal space look like? What activities could we develop in a larger facility? RDT needed to grow. We wanted to increase the number of home season performances, develop a school, sponsor other performing groups, present lectures, demonstrations, activities for children and seniors, and become more integrated into the life of the community.

We envisioned large rehearsal studios, efficient office space, a black-box theater and a state-of-the-art, intimate theater, perfect for modern dance. While setting our own priorities, we realized that other arts groups were also in need of space. It became clear that our ambitious goals could only be realized by forming partnerships and coalitions.

Many options for the relocation of the Company were analyzed including the following:

  • seeking another space within the University or finding another institution to host us
  • purchasing or leasing and remodeling a space somewhere in the valley
  • moving to another city or state
  • obtaining donated space from private, city, country or state organizations
  • building a new facility either alone or in partnership with another group

RDT’s Space Patrol 1983- 1997

In 1983, RDT formed a Facilities Planning Committee (FPC) to help develop a new facility. My husband Ivan Weber volunteered to chair the committee. Ivan was determined to find RDT a permanent home and spent the next 10 years dedicating his time and expertise toward helping the Company and other community arts groups secure space. He surveyed and analyzed over 100 potential buildings and researched performing arts centers throughout the United States. He gave RDT tenacity.

When Alice Steiner accepted an invitation to direct RDT’s Facilities Planning Committee, the project took on an added dimension. She began to educate the community and developed the necessary steps for us to realize our goals. In 1989, Alice formed a nonprofit organization, the Performing Arts Coalition (PAC), dedicated to developing a performing arts center. She invited the community arts groups to organize and cooperate. Her commitment and professional experience were invaluable. (Editor’s note: It is that same PAC that is currently celebrating its 5th Rose Exposed event, an evening that celebrates the facility where six celebrated performing arts groups, including RDT, all live and thrive as well as the connections we have as arts groups vital to Salt Lake. Rose Expoased is also a unique day in which we create work and fund raise for other important community partners. This year the annual outing will benefit exclusively Tracy Aviary.)

In 1990, local arts organizations met to share ideas. This group included Repertory Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Ballet West, Children’s Dance Theatre, Zivio Ethnic Arts Ensemble, Utah Opera, Utah Symphony, Nova Chamber Music, The Salt Lake Festival of the Arts (now the Utah Arts Festival), and the Utah Media Center.

The Performing Arts Coalition engaged Theatre Projects Consultants, Inc. to survey arts groups, to analyze potential sites and to complete a feasibility study. Eventually the survey determined that

[t]here are a great number of performing companies in the Salt Lake Metropolitan Area, and at the same time, practically no suitable performance spaces that are regularly available to them. … [T]he presence of a new facility would make the Salt Lake Metropolitan Area equal to cities such as Portland, Nashville, Tampa, Tulsa, Denver and Charlotte in its physical provision of publicly-owned buildings for the performing arts. 

The supporting evidence was clear, and we all became more determined. When Alice Steiner accepted a position as Executive Director of Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, Susan Boskoff became Executive Director of the PAC.

On The Move

In May of 1992, RDT vacated its barracks building home which was then demolished to clear the way for a new research facility. Salt Lake County was anxious to ensure RDT, as a tenant group, adequate space and helped the company relocate temporarily to the Salt Palace. A year later, RDT was notified that the Salt Palace would be demolished and that we would find ourselves homeless again.

The search for a facility took a toll on RDT. During a two-year period, the Company moved its office space five times. RDT began to have financial problems as staff time was spent packing, moving, unpacking, searching and planning. Of necessity, RDT had two agendas: one that would solve its singular space problems, and one that would lead to establishing a center to be used by many other groups. RDT gave up a number of opportunities for developing its own space in favor of waiting and helping to create a larger facility that could be shared by the community.

The PAC analyzed many potential building sites including Block 49, 57, and the Brooks Arcade, but feasibility studies determined that the funding for these large projects could not be realized. The dream project began to look unachievable. RDT decided that the Restaurant Equipment Supply Building would be the best solution to its immediate space problems. We decided to try and raise the funds to lease and renovate the RESCO building for RDT use until the PAC could secure a larger facility. However, the appeal of the warehouse location on West Broadway became more and more seductive. Recognizing the potential, RDT and PAC jointly approached the Salt Lake County. Commissioner Jim Bradley saw the value of adding a complementary venue to the Salt Lake County Fine Arts facilities. He endorsed the purchase of RESCO. A public/private partnership was formed and RDA granted seed money for renovation. The PAC accepted the responsibility for raising funds for the project.

But we would find out soon, very soon, that the RESCO building was not only RDT’s temporary home, but someone else’s.  And that someone else was a game-changer.

Join on Thursday for the final part: Home Sweet Home!

An earlier version of this text was first published as 2001: A Space Odyssey for RDT’s 35th anniversary in April 2001.

Linda C. Smith is the Executive/Artistic Director of RDT.  A founding member of the Company, she now divides her time between preparing budgets for grants and wrangling dancers in the studio.  She also likes to vacuum the RDT Offices.

Rose Exposed Flight

A Space Odyssey, part 1: Beginnings

A Space Odyssey, part 1: Beginnings


With the 5th annual Rose Exposed event next Saturday at The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, we thought it would be a great opportunity to explore how RDT’s home base came to be.  Over the next week, we’ll be posting the story as told by our very own Linda C. Smith, a founding member of RDT and the Company’s current Executive/Artistic Director.  Join us and find out, first hand, how this amazing center of art and community was born.

And … be sure to join us this Saturday, August 27th for the Rose Exposed celebration of “Flight” – a night to benefit the Tracy Aviary.  Click HERE for more information.


Virginia-TannerInspired by Virginia Tanner, director of the nationally recognized Children’s Dance Theatre, the Rockefeller Foundation granted the Salt Lake community funding to establish Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT), a professional modern dance repertory company. Central to RDT’s mission was a goal to nurture the art of dance by encouraging emerging choreographers, providing commissions to renowned artists and building a living library of dance in order to preserve the art form for future generations.

Creating America’s first successful modern dance repertory company was a task that could only be adequately described in a lengthy book, but suffice it to say that the journey was filled with plenty of wonderful memories and more hard work and sacrifice than anyone wants to recall.

Fifty years later and we look with pride at our accomplishments. As cultural ambassadors for the West, RDT has helped to establish Utah as an important center for dance in the country. Audiences at home, abroad and throughout the United States have been influenced by RDT’s outstanding dancers who have performed, taught, educated and inspired thousands of individuals who now have a greater knowledge and appreciation for the art of dance.

Founded in 1966 as Artists-in Residence at the University of Utah, RDT was first housed in a World War II barracks building near the university medical center. During those first twenty-six years, RDT enjoyed a unique relationship with the academic community. The university supported RDT by providing rehearsal, production and office space and a variety of in-kind services.

Kingsbury Hall was the site for our home season performances until 1978 when the newly renovated Capitol Theatre re-opened, offering local arts groups a downtown performance venue. It was soon realized, however, that this space could not accommodate all the needs of those groups which included Ballet West and Utah Opera. RDT decided to continue rehearsing at the university, but the writing was on the wall. Repertory Dance Theatre was going to need a new home.

Join us on Tuesday 8/23 for part 2: Dreaming Big

A version of this text was first published as 2001: A Space Odyssey for RDT’s 35th anniversary in April 2001.

Linda C. Smith is the Executive/Artistic Director of RDT.  A founding member of the Company, she now divides her time between preparing budgets for grants and wrangling dancers in the studio.  She also likes to vacuum the RDT Offices.