Contemporary Dance Theatre Takes Audiences to Neverland in ‘Straight on ‘Til Morning’

Aerial, Urban Dance on Display in CDT’s ‘Peter and Wendy’ Inspired Concert

BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theatre will transport audiences to Neverland Feb. 6-8 in  ‘Straight on ‘Til Morning,’ an evening of dance theatre inspired by Peter Pan. The concept — the brain-child of CDT director Keely Song Glenn — has been a long time in coming.

“About nine years ago as I was rocking my baby, I was reading ‘Peter Pan,’ and I thought, ‘This is the most delightful story,’” Glenn said. “Not just the narrative, but the author’s voice, the beautiful imagery and how he goes off on tangents. I thought, ‘Someday, if I ever have the chance, I want to create a show about Peter Pan that doesn’t actually involve Peter Pan.’”

CDT Dancers
An artist’s depiction of Francisco Gella’s choreography for CDT. (Anna Wright)

She described the show as an abstract narrative about finding the elusive Peter Pan, based loosely on the novel by J.M. Barrie. Each featured choreographer chose a quote from the book to inspire their piece, and the artistic team crafted a storyline around them. The pieces were then set on the company over the past six months. 

“To see that dream that was placed on hold nine years ago actually come to fruition — I think that’s the most delightful thing,” said Glenn. “When they say never throw anything away in the arts — that’s a real thing. Keep that idea. If it gets you excited, if it makes you want to do something, hold on to it. Maybe it goes on the back burner for a little bit because of life and circumstances, but when the time comes, you’ll have an idea and you’ll be ready to move forward with it.”

The concert will also be the first time that aerial ropes work will appear on the BYU stage. The company has been training with the ropes since August, under the direction of new professor Adam Dyer

CDT dancers
An artist’s depiction of Francisco Gella’s choreography for CDT. (Anna Wright)

“It’s been quite a learning curve because this is something that none of us have ever done previously,” said company member Brady Swanson. “But it has been really cool to be able to grow together and see the progress that we’ve each made. We’re really excited to share what we’ve learned.”

The production incorporates elements of theatre, visual art and written and spoken word, and aims to create an all-inclusive artistic adventure for its viewers.

“The show is very playful and very imaginative, not only for the dancers, but for the audience members,” said dancer Megan Fuhriman. “It requires a lot of play and a lot of emotional risk.”

But she invites the audience to take that leap, and to enter the performance with an open mindset. 

“It’s okay to feel during the show,” said Fuhriman. “There are moments where you can laugh, there are moments where you might cry. Being open and vulnerable to those emotions is important, and it’s okay for the audience to go there with us.”

Tickets and Show Details

Performance Dates and Times: Feb. 6-8 | 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 8 | 2 p.m.

Location: Pardoe Theater

Price: $10-16

Tickets: Available in person at the BYU HFAC or Marriott Center Ticket Office, by phone at (801) 422-2981 or online at arts.byu.edu