Ursula Perry: Reflections on Sounds Familiar
SOUNDS FAMILIAR, what a whirlwind! It was such a joy, and quite a challenge to create. Working with multiple choreographers and grasping multiple ideas was a great exercise in what I feel RDT does best, cultivating and curating all styles of modern dance.
Of the twelve choreographers, it was truly special to work with a mentor from college (Sharee Lane) and one of my dearest friends over the last twenty years (Natosha Washington). I could not have been more grateful to create with people who have seen me evolve, not only as a dancer but a person over time.
When working with Sharee, I was able to connect my time at the University of Utah Ballet Department and the many things I have learned in my professional career. Moving from ballet to contemporary ballet to modern dance was a challenge, but informed me so much throughout this process. It was a real collaboration where I got to interpret and add to Sharee’s vision. To work with someone who was involved in the formative part of my professional career was a welcome reminder of where I was at that stage, and how far I have come.
Natosha (along with Nick Cendese) were a very big part of my introduction to modern dance, as I danced with them on their company Raw Moves. It was there that I was able to connect to the abstract and was pushed in a way that was mildly familiar but had not been given the opportunity to explore. When making this piece, Natosha was an advocate of allowing us the agency and input as to how/if the story she was trying to tell was properly being conveyed to the audience. I have to also thank her for choosing me and Tyler Orcutt to dance together. In all my time in the company I can only think of once I was fortunate enough to partner with him. As it is his last season, it was extra special to get to share this dance with him.
SOUNDS FAMILIAR was something that I have never seen, and a show that was truly innovative. To combine twelve different choreographers with different styles, backgrounds, and approaches depicted a wonderfully varietal performance that allowed not only the dancers but the audience to find something to enjoy.
Ursula Perry is originally from Houston, Texas where she began her training at the Houston Ballet Academy. Her journey to RDT has been supplemented by studies at Boston Ballet, Joffery Ballet, Alvin Ailey, the Edge Performing Arts, and University of Utah’s Ballet Department. Ursula has been dancing with RDT since 2013.