During our time with RDT, what is your favorite piece you have performed and why?
During my six years on the company, I have performed around a hundred dances! Choosing just one of those is very difficult… So I’ll mention a few.
We have a lot of Zvi Gotheiner’s work in our repertory, and dancing “Dabke” was certainly an unforgettable experience. We had the chance to perform it on three separate concerts, so we have greatly matured within it throughout the years. A 50 minute contemporary work, “Dabke” is one of those dances that you feel you can be yourself. Individuality is encouraged, and we each share our different stories. Our mutual struggles and opinions unify us. There is plenty of decision making to play with, including an entire section that is a structured improvisation. I have never felt so close to my fellow artists and exposed to the audience as I did onstage in these beautiful moments. No run was ever the same. It evolved, and we evolved as humans doing it.
On the other hand, we also have a lot of classical modern dance works in our repertory. I greatly enjoyed performing “Mazurkas” by Jose Limon early on in my career with RDT, which I was thrilled to hear we are preparing to perform again this next season! It is a lovely suite of quartets, trios, solos, and duets. It is very positive, technically challenging, and rewarding. “Invention” by Doris Humphrey also comes to mind as a sprightly, upbeat trio that was a great thrill to accomplish. The historic works are marvelously specific and difficult, and I feel that you just don’t see such complex structure nowadays.
Lastly, one that I love to perform and is still being cycled through our rep is “Something About Night” by Lar Lubovitch. This quiet, balletic dance felt completely opposite of my movement tendencies at first. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to take a different approach in my movement quality and instead focus on the value of simplicity and flow in this lovely group dance. It is a wonderful challenge.
How have you evolved as an artist during your time with RDT?
My growth has been so steady that I’ve hardly even noticed… until I review old videos and marvel at how RDT has shaped me so tremendously. When I look back at the Jaclyn who had just joined the company, I seemed so unsure of myself onstage. I was fresh out of college, and was willing to do anything and everything that I was told. It was obvious that I had a hard time making my own decisions as an artist. I also had bad habits like anyone else: stiffness, fear, and ego.
Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of finding those opposites. Forming an opinion helps me become a more intriguing performer. Taking bold actions and even risks onstage can lead to some of the most magical experiences you will ever have. And being a good teammate is a major role you will always play throughout your career.
What are some of your favorite hobbies, both dance and non-dance related?
I love being with my family! We hike, cook, travel, and play. Lately, I am a major book worm. One New Year’s Resolution was to listen to two audio books a month. I am passionate about exercise and nutrition as well, as I am currently a certified personal trainer and am working towards a nutrition certification. I really enjoy studying interior design, and have become a crazy plant lady over the last year! I also enjoy writing about all of these interests in my life through social media platforms.
Jaclyn Brown is a Utah native and proud alumni of Utah Valley University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance. She currently serves as an Executive Leader of Dance on UVU’s School of the Arts Alumni Chapter and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She has been with Repertory Dance Theatre as a dancer since 2014.