Graham Brown, Department of Dance
In December 2013 I received $18,000 to fund the artist fees for student and professional collaborators in my dance theatre production You presented by Repertory Dance Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in SLC; January 29-30 2015.
Evaluation of how well the academic objectives of the proposal were met, and of the mentoring environment
- The 12 student performers and 4 student designers gained experience and resume credentials within their field of study by collaborating on this off-campus, professional Production.
- Student performers worked directly with me for 100 hours over the course of five months. During this time I taught them choreography, asked them to create choreography based on specific prompts, and coached them on their performance and choreography. They were contributors as performers in and co-creators of the final performance work.
- Student designers included a dramaturg, lighting designer, set designer, and marketing designer who all worked with me and in collaboration with each other to realize their respective design elements of the production.
- I gained personal growth as an artist through this process and the final performance product contributed positively to the dialogue on dance and theatre performance research.
- Overall, every element of the work came together very successfully and was well received by the community and other professionals and scholars in the field. Following is a sample of public reviews and audience responses via social media:
Stunningly intricate…A true tour de force
-Rick Westercamp, DC Metro Theatre Arts
One of “Utah’s arts standouts”
-Kathy Adams, Salt Lake Tribune
“You was an intimate, exciting, thought-provoking, unique, interesting, playful experience. I entered a little unsure, and left wanting to hug the entire cast and audience!”
-Molly Jorgensen, Idaho State University Department of Dance
“In my archive of art that has made a huge impact on me, You is in the top ten. I am telling you, if you go it will be with you for years.”
-C. Jane Kendrick, local blogger/columnist
“Terrific to see a strong, clear, new vision in the community. Absolutely one of the best dance/theater experiences of the year.”
-Eric Handman, University of Utah Department of Modern Dance
“I truly have not been witness to anything like this production!”
-Joseph Blake, local dance artis
List of students who participated and their academic deliverables
|Performance/Assistant Choreography:||Meagan Barnes, Elizabeth Briggs, Katy Crowley, Jose Farias, Jonathan Fox, Madeleine Homer, Tessa Homer, Brooklinn Hugie, Katherine Ledbetter, Shelby Marsden, Aubree Monson, Naomi Tanner|
|Scenic design:||Logan Hayden|
|Marketing design:||Rebecca Peterson|
|Lighting design:||Mckenzie Ottley|
Description of the results of the project
You was originally intended to be presented as a traditional proscenium show (meaning that the performance happens on a stage and the audience watches from fixed, frontal seating). Taking inspiration from some immersive theatre productions I saw in New York City, I realized that this was the necessary missing ingredient to the work. I decided to take a bold step and immerse the audience into the experience.
You was performed in a black box theatre, but the raked seating was removed, creating a large open shared space for the audience and performers. Instead of watching the performers dancing at a club, the audience was at the club with them. Through detailed movement of props and furniture throughout the show, they found themselves at a restaurant sitting next to performers, even in their room reading a bedtime story to their son, Timmy.
The show ran six times over one weekend. There was an overwhelmingly positive reaction. As audiences were brought inside of the experience, there was a deep connection felt to the work. This was a great experience for the collaborators who helped realize this ambitious project.
Because of the success of that run of performances, the City of Provo has facilitated a partnership with the Provo Towne Center to present a further advancement of You in a multi-room retail store that will be turned into a nightclub and home of the show for an extended run of performances. The show will open sometime between early fall 2015 and early 2016.
Description of how the budget was spent
|Professional performer fees||$10,000.00|
|Student performer/assistant choreographer honoraria (12 X $500)||$6,000.00|
|Student designer fees||$2,700.00|
The $700 excess, as well as all other production expenses were covered by a grant from the BYU Fulton Endowment for Dance.