RDT’s LINK Series is an outreach program offering independent choreographers the opportunity to present their work in performance. RDT provides infrastructure and advisory support for production and marketing while allowing the choreographer to retain artistic autonomy.
MARCH 31-APRIL 2, 2022 | 7:30 PM
ROSE WAGNER - LEONA WAGNER BLACK BOX THEATRERDT’s Link Series presents SUPERWOMEN, an evening of dance by Rachel Barker, with guest artists Alexandra Bradshaw-Yerby and Liz Dibble on March 31, April 1 and 2, 2022, at 7:30 pm in the Leona Wagner Black Box Theater at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for students and children under 12, and can be purchased at arttix.com or by calling 801-355-ARTS.
SUPERWOMEN highlights the fresh and innovative choreography of three Utah-based woman artists as they take to the stage to speak their truths–however bold, zany, maternal, silly, or serious they may be. Director Barker chose the title “Superwomen” to encompass her “ongoing journey of replacing doubt and fear, particularly as an artist, with self-love and empowerment.” SUPERWOMEN celebrates the power and magnificence that women are made of---power that flourishes especially when they come together to help shoulder each others' burdens and buoy each other up. As guest artist Bradshaw-Yerby (formerly of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company) asserts, “there is no such thing as a superwoman— only superwomen.” SUPERWOMEN illuminates the journey to embrace our whole selves, in all of our vulnerable and inimitable glory.
Rachel Barker is an independent SLC-based artist and professor whose choreography and dance film work has received national and international acclaim. In speaking of Barker’s work, Edisa Weeks, Director of DELIRIOUS Dances, Brooklyn, NY says “[Barker] is a very facile movement inventor, who understands how to craft bodies in space. The strength was in the rhythm . . . the work was riveting.” Seattle-based interdisciplinary artist KT Neihoff states: “Transcending virtuosity. Making magic. [Barker] is also a teacher. They need to teach everywhere in the world.”
Barker will present three works in SUPERWOMEN, including the Salt Lake City premiere of her dance film, Sedimented Here (2021 Dance Camera West Festival Finalist, San Francisco Dance Film Festival Official Selection), in which the perspective shifts between breathtaking panoramic vistas of Moab, Utah, and gritty, intimate close-ups of dancers immersing themselves in red rock, sand, and water, engulfing the viewer in their visceral desert world.
In her live dance-theater-like duet, McCall and Celine (2022), Barker explores the concept of true connection through witnessing and deep listening, and the antithesis of it, in an episodic rollercoaster of events. Two dancers, clad in fabulous 80’s-style fluorescent unitards alternate between giving supportive hugs after sharing heartfelt spoken stories, to hucking white-bread sandwiches during an enthusiastic clogging performance. In Kaleidoscope (2022), Barker showcases her affinity for designing space, as thirteen dancers (including Daniel Do and Jon Kim Rox of Repertory Dance Theater) slosh from one end of the stage to another, arranging and rearranging their bodies and thirteen white geometric boxes inside a stark palate of neutral gray tones in a work that teeters between interpersonal harmony and discord.
Guest artist Alexandra Bradshaw-Yerby (Dance Faculty at Southern Utah University, former dancer with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company) presents her self-perfomed solo, Dear Jane—the title playing on a "Dear John" break-up letter. Bradshaw-Yerby explains, “In some ways, this piece is a break-up dance (with myself). In other ways, it's a how-to handbook for starting over.” With a sound score ranging from Schubert to Bonnie Tyler, Bradshaw-Yerby falls and soars about the stage space, constantly seeking to devour it and escape it all at once.
Guest artist Liz Dibble (MFA, SUNY Purchase) shares her duet, Zero Sum Game, a study in the breakdown of civil discourse. Rejecting the idea of communication as a competition, two dueling dancers repeatedly argue and make peace through a series of impressive virtuosic balances, gestures, lifts, and displays of eloquent athleticism. Dibble asks the question, “What if we all stopped to listen, instead of shouting to be heard?”
We hope that SUPERWOMEN will leave you with a visceral and palpable experience of the whole self, with all its glittering facets.
SUPERWOMEN is funded by Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.