At the start of 2020, I found myself full of hope. Half of my first season with Repertory Dance Theatre ended and I am proud of what I achieved. It was a challenging, exciting period, but my brain was and still is processing through the information presented to me. The new year is a time of reflection, contemplation, and looking forward into what the future would bring. The roaring 20’s were coming back, and little did anyone know the journey that this year would bring.
Despite the current situation we are facing and the change it has wrought, I still look at the bright side. I am excited to have learned three different works for our future performance, Earth Tone. It has been postponed and now cancelled, but the hard work and rehearsals we undertook before the COVID-19 pandemic hit will still be cherished moments. Dance happened, is happening, and will happen.
Earth Tone consists of three pieces by choreographers Zvi Gotheiner, Elizabeth Waters, and 2019 New Century Dance Project Choreography Competition winner Rebecca Aneloski. They each contain a unique voice and process that truly inspired me. Castor and Pollux, choreographed by Elizabeth Waters, was created in 1956 and has previously been performed by Repertory Dance Theatre.
Artistic and Executive Director, Linda Smith, set the piece upon the company and masterfully guided us through the restaging process. Dancing the Bears Ears, choreographed by Zvi Gotheiner, was created in 2017 on Repertory Dance Theatre in conjunction with some dancers from ZviDance. Many of the current dancers were part of a journey to the Bears Ears National Monument to interact with the historical site and learn from the Native American community. Different members were in charge of sections and we wove them together to bring this piece back to life.
As a dancer, I am excited and intrigued by the creation process. Rebecca Aneloski, director of And Artists, a Salt Lake City- based collective, won the choreography competition at the 2019 NCDP, created by RDT alumni Francisco Gella. She received a commission with the company and created a piece in collaboration with Tyler Orcutt, Ursula Perry, Daniel Do, and myself, Jonathan Kim. This process was truly a highlight of the season for me. Rebecca Aneloski is coincidentally the person who introduced me to the dance scene in Salt Lake City in 2017 and this felt like a cosmic, full circle moment. She is a dancemaker intrigued with finding moments of inbetween and mistakes that become magic. Her curiosity and investment in the process pushed me to dig deeper. Something I will remember and cherish during this process was the darkness of the rehearsal room.
Our single window to the back alley of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center provided the light we needed for much of our early rehearsals. She was interested in transforming a familiar space into a home for a new creation. It helped me appreciate the space I call work in a new way and reminded me not to take it for granted. It created an environment that felt singular in comparison to other atmospheres I experienced with RDT and pushed me in different ways. In light of recent events, even in moments of unease and fear, I hold onto these memories that ground and center me in the joy of life. There is value in the present and discoveries to be made. I am grateful to have danced, to be dancing, and to dance again in the future.
To stay connected with Repertory Dance Theatre, check out our blog posts, online classes, and new teacher resource materials. Look out for more information on Earth Tone and our 55th season coming soon.
Jonathan Kim graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2017 and joined Repertory Dance Theatre in 2019. Previously, he performed with SALT Contemporary Dance, SJDanceCo, and Lineage Dance Company. He in inspired by improvisational methods, his parents, and the rollercoaster called life.