Bach, Beethoven, Puccini, Haydn, Mozart, Prokofiev, Khachaturian...Some of the world's most beloved music seen through the prism of 21st century choreographers.
Local choreographers create short works using familiar classical music. Choreographers include
- Marilyn Berrett
- Nancy Carter (aerialist, and winner of Regalia 2019)
- Nicholas Cendese
- Molly Heller
- Dan Higgins
- Stephen Koester
- Sharee Lane
- John Mead
- Sara Pickett
- Nathan Shaw
- Luc Vanier
- Natosha Washington
Marilyn W. Berrett is a professor in the Department of Dance in the College of Fine Arts and Communications. She was raised in West Jordan, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in modern dance performance. Professor Berrett earned an MA in dance from Brigham Young University in 1984 and accepted a full-time position at BYU in 1985. Her research includes choreography, children's dance, and dance education. She is the founder and artistic director of BYU's Kinnect, a dance education outreach company that performs and teaches the creative process in schools and community settings locally, nationally, and internationally.
Nancy Simpson Carter is a dancer, aerialist, choreographer, bodyworker, and movement researcher from North Carolina based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently she is in her 7th season teaching and performing with Aerial Arts of Utah. She also runs her own business, Rumble Motion Massage and Movement. In addition she performs with Fire Muse Circus and organizes in the Contact Improvisation and Acro Yoga communities. She won the 2019 REGALIA choreographer competition.
NICHOLAS CENDESE (Artistic Associate) was born and raised in Salt Lake City. He graduated from the University of Utah's department of modern dance with a BFA in the spring of 2004. Nicholas danced with Children's Dance Theater until graduation from high school, after which he received the Elizabeth R. Hayes dance scholarship. He was also chosen as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Fine Arts. He performed as a guest for RDT in the Olympic Arts Festival production of With My Red Fires. In 2004, Nicholas started RawMoves with the amazing Natosha Washington, which won a SLAMMY in 2005. He is the owner and director of South Valley Creative Dance. Nicholas danced with RDT for 11 years before transitioning to Artistic Associate in 2013.
Molly is the Director of Heartland, a multi-disciplinary collective centralized in Salt Lake City, with performances nationally and internationally. She is also an Assistant Professor within the School of Dance at the University of Utah. Her research investigates performance as a healing practice and the relationship between physical expression and emotion. Molly has also been on faculty at Westminster College (SLC), SUNY New Paltz (NY), and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC) and has taught for: ODC Dance Commons (San Francisco), Shawl Anderson Dance Center (Berkeley), Utah Valley University, Middlebury College (VT), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University (NE), Salt Dance Fest (University of Utah), Utah Ballet Summer Intensive (University of Utah), Ririe-Woodbury’s Professional Intensive (SLC), Boise State University, and Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID).
Dan Higgins, a San Francisco, Bay Area native, began dancing at the age of eighteen after a long history with organized sports. The physicality and athleticism directly translated into his love for dance. Dan received his training from the University of Wyoming, obtaining his B.F.A. in Dance Performance. He has worked with many critically acclaimed artists such as, Bill T. Jones, Nina Watt, Noa Zuk, Danielle Agami, Bill Evans, Joanie Smith, Molissa Fenley, and Zvi Gotheiner among others. Dan is a performer, teacher and choreographer who is currently interested in the mergence of semantic expression and body composition as they relate to the human condition. He has expanded his own work under RDT's EMERGE Series and at the Salt Lake Fringe Festival. Other choreographic projects can be seen throughout the states of Utah, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Dan continues to craft his own future work with the art of dance, and is grateful to be able to progress alongside a beautiful community.
Stephen Koester is a Professor as well as Chair in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. He was formerly co-Artistic Director of Creach/Koester, an all male dance company based in New York City, which toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe. In addition to his professional activities with Creach/Koester, Stephen has been a guest artist at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country and continues to choreograph and teach both nationally and internationally. He has made over 135 dances. In 2004, Stephen won Repertory Dance Theatre's "Sense of Place" National Choreographic Competition, setting a new work on the company, and in 2006 received a Utah Arts Council Established Artist Grant to support his company choreography.
Sharee Lane was a soloist dancer and staff member with Ballet West, and the School Director of the Ballet West Conservatory. Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah, she teaches ballet technique, advanced principles of teaching, and co-directs, as well as choreographs for the Department's Performing Dance Company. Her choreographies have been performed for the Berlin State Ballet School in Berlin, Germany, with her latest choreography Affinity, being restaged for the University of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music in fall 2012. As well as being a frequent guest teacher for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Ballet West, Professor Lane continues to be an adjudicator for the Montana Dance Arts Association and for Music-Fest in Spokane, Washington.
JOHN MEAD is an internationally recognized choreographer, performer and educator. Working professionally over the past 30 years, he has choreographed over 120 works, which have been performed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States. In 1988, Mr. Mead won the prestigious “Lausanne New Choreographers Competition” hosted by Bejart Ballet Lausanne, Switzerland and worked periodically for four years as a visiting faculty member of the official school of the Bejart Ballet: Rudra Bejart Lausanne. From 1992 to 2000 Mr. Mead was the Artistic Director of John Mead & Dancers in New York City, and was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the New York University Programme in Dance Education.
Sara Pickett, MFA, is an assistant professor (lecturer) in the University of Utah School fo Dance. She received her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah as a recipient of a University Teaching Award, and her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Weber State University where she was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including the Lindquist Creative Arts Fellowship. Mrs. Pickett is creator and co-producer of BRINE, a presenting organization for local artists in Salt Lake City, now in its fourth season. Mrs. Pickett is a passionate teacher who believes in the pure joy of moving by connecting to groove and kinesthetic exploration. She has been teaching and choreographing for major universities, various schools and entertainment companies in Utah and Colorado for over twenty years. Mrs. Pickett’s teaching history covers a wide range of subjects including all levels of modern, contemporary, jazz and hip hop techniques, dance history, choreography, improvisation, teaching methods, history of hip hop, and dance appreciation.
NATHAN SHAW received his BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah in 2004. Nathan is in his fourth year at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, where he serves as the first full time high school male dance teacher in Utah. Nathan was a company member of Repertory Dance Theatre for six and a half years. As a member of RDT, Nathan performed and taught throughout the US. He has since been named the winner of RDT's Iron Choreographer competition two years in a row. He often performs for SBDance and is a charter member of RawMoves Dance Company. He has taught for the Tanner Dance Program and served as Adjunct Faculty for both Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley University. Nathan has a passion for Musical Theatre. He has appeared in shows for Salt Lake Acting Company, Utah Symphony and Opera, and the Egyptian Theater. Nathan was named "Teacher of the Year" by the Judge student body in 2014. When not dancing he is usually cleaning up after his two dogs.
Luc Vanier is the founding Director for the School of Dance. He was a former principal dancer and company choreographer with Ohio Ballet and danced pivotal roles across the U.S. His choreography has been produced at the Joyce Theater in New York City and toured nationally. In 2001, he graduated with his MFA from the University of Illinois and became a certified teacher from the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique. Since then, Vanier has lectured and presented his research nationally and internationally on the integration of the technique and developmental movement in dance curriculum. In 2011, he co-wrote "Dance and the Alexander Technique: Exploring the Missing Link" published by the University of Illinois press. Before joining the University of Utah, Vanier served as associate director and head of dance at the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University.
Natosha Washington has been a choreographer and director her entire life, but professionally since 2004, after receiving her bachelor's desgree from the University of Utah in Modern Dance. Her work has been seen on many professional, collegiate and secondary school companies, both in and out-of-state, including, Repertory Dance Theatre, University of Utah's Performing Dance Company, Brigham Young University's and BYU-Idaho's Contemporary Dance Theatre among others. Originally from the south but now living in Utah, Washington is a highly sought after choreography, educator, performer, and speaker. As a voluptuous black woman raised in an LDS southern family, making her way in a white dance community, she has a multifaceted lens; she negotiates stereotyping, privilege, and identity every day in her work and loves the challenge the issues present. Ms. Washington is a talented community leader and facilitator. She recognized art is only as strong as the community it serves.