BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre Highlights Spatial Design in ‘CDT in Concert’
BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) will honor the late Caroline Prohosky, a retired faculty member and former CDT director, in their upcoming performance of Contemporary Dance in Concert. These performances will also feature choreography created by students and faculty members.
“After losing a battle to cancer in 2016, shortly after her retirement,” said CDT director Nathan Balser, “we chose to perform one of Caroline Prohosky’s most popular choreographic works from years past to remember her. We are performing ‘Tongues of the Earth,’ a choreographic work that celebrates an ancient civilization as well as spatial design. In addition to honoring Caroline Prohosky by performing one of her choreographic works, we are also presenting several other dance works that are inspired by Professor Prohosky’s design aesthetics.”
While remembering the past, CDT is also connecting dance to the future as they honor three of their student choreographers. CDT will perform dances created by seniors Kira Barker, Emily Bayles and Amy Call. The concert will also showcase four works choreographed by faculty members Kate Monson, Nathan Balser, Aubry Dalley and Liz Dibble.
CDT dancer Adam Schraedel said, “‘CDT in Concert’ is one of the most modern art showcases at BYU. While many of our dance companies and other performing ensembles highlight art styles and histories that have been around for decades, or even centuries, we’re striving to create and present work that represents the edge of artistic development.”
This production will also feature classic works such as “Tensile Involvement,” one of the most renowned contemporary modern dance works throughout the world. CDT will be performing it courtesy of the Nikolais-Louis Foundation.
“The highlight of the concert for me is ‘Tensile Involvement,’” said Schraedel. “This classic piece is over 60 years old and is instantly iconic for anyone who sees it. The piece highlights a theme in the concert of structural design in a magnificent way. We use elastic bands attached to the theater to design, warp and build physical architecture in the space. It really has to be seen to be believed.”
CDT dancer Danielle Ashby said rehearsing with a guest visiting artist has been the biggest highlight for her. “We had the opportunity to work with Alberto del Saz and learn a historical piece choreographed by Alwin Nikolais,” said Ashby. “Learning to dance with giant elastic bands has been an adventure. Alberto is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Nikolais technique, and I have loved learning more about it. I’m excited to share such an iconic work with many who have never been exposed to it. This concert will definitely have a piece for everyone to enjoy.”
Schraedel said, “We do pieces that have history attached to them, such as ‘Tensile Involvement,’ or the piece we’re doing as a tribute to our recently passed previous director, Caroline Prohosky, but even these are relatively recent. The rest of our work is brand new. There isn’t anything else so athletically, modernly artistic on campus.” CDT will also be highlighting spatial design through their performance of “Ingot,” created by guest choreographers Omar and Jennifer Olivas.
“I’m also in a duet, choreographed by Aubry Dalley, that involves dancing around light bulbs,” said Ashby. “It has been an interesting experience trying to imagine what it will be like to dance on stage with hot, glass bulbs all around us. We also are using a lot of fun props.”
Schraedel is also enthusiastic to implement the props. “Throughout the concert, many of our pieces use props and physical structure to create a new space for the dancers to inhabit. The scale and number of these props is something that we haven’t done in a long time.”
Balser said it is a pleasure to direct CDT. “I feel so lucky to get to work with gifted, hard-working students who are committed to the art form of dance,” said Balser. “We get to bring in fantastic professionals from all over the world. We meet them, work with them and learn from them. We also get to perform excellent, thought-provoking, uplifting dance works in really wonderful venues. I feel very fortunate.”
Tickets and Show Details
Performance Dates and Times: Feb. 15-17 | 7:30 pm and Feb. 17, 2:00 pm
Location: Pardoe Theatre, Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU
Tickets: Available in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by phone at 801-422-2981 or online at byuarts.com