Ririe-Woodbury Dance: Flabbergast | Capitol Theatre | Dance | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Dance

Ririe-Woodbury Dance: Flabbergast

When: Fri., Jan. 30, 7 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 31, 2 & 7 p.m. 2015

At 2014's performance of Ririe-Woodbury's all-ages show Flabbergast, the audience sat with rapt attention. There was none of the usual squirming: No one needed to visit the bathroom, and all eyes were fixed solidly on the stage. For a theater auditorium full of elementary-school students at a dance concert, such a level of concentration was impressive. This year, Ririe-Woodbury is bringing back this engrossing production. Quirky and playful, the choreography by Tandy Beal will be enjoyed by all, but most especially by children. To create this full-length dance performance, Beal—known internationally as a performer, choreographer, writer, teacher, producer and circus director—drew on her past work with the Moscow Circus and the Pickle Family Circus. The pieces are held together by a loose story line, which begins with a grandmother who reaches out across time and space to her grandchildren. Her words launch the children into a world of dance and discovery where they learn of life's joy, beauty and, sometimes, sorrow. Of the individual pieces that make up the performance, some are funny, like cast members dressed as giant babies playing circus tricks on, over and around a sturdy wooden table. Some create a sense of wonder: Dancer Yebel Gallegos' duet with a giant white balloon plays out with silky slow-motion movement. Some confront tough subjects for kids, as when the company portrays the violence and fear created by bullying. And some are just plain fun to watch, such as when the dancers manipulate costumes of lightweight, flowing fabric to create beautiful shapes and patterns. (Katherine Pioli)

Price: $35

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