Salt Dance Fest

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SALT DANCE FEST 2018 beings together internationally renowned dance artists and dance makers Wally Cardona, Omar Carrum, Katie Faulkner, Eric Handman, Scotty Hardwig and Pablo Piantino for two weeks of moving, collaborating, and dance making.  Come dance with us.

Full Salt Dance Fest information coming late January 2018

Salt Dance Fest 2017:

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Salt Dance Fest 2017 brings together internationally renowned dance artists and dance makers Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga, Joanna Kotze, Katie Scherman, and Idan Shirabi, along with esteemed SLC dance artists Molly Heller and Satu Hummasti for two weeks of moving,

collaborating, dance making and the spirited exchange of ideas, June 5-16, 2017.

Salt Dance Fest is excited to have these significant, influential artists in residence to share their unique and acclaimed artistic perspectives, range and diversity of aesthetics and approaches to dance. Salt Dance Fest, unique among dance festivals in the western United States, is committed to the exploration of the creative process in addition to contemporary technique and repertory work. With participants from around the country and the world, the workshop highlights and investigates the creative process and is designed to be a laboratory that nurtures and supports experimentation, exploration, curiosity, collaboration and the development of innovative choreography.

Participants work intimately with acclaimed artists, developing and exploring ideas in dance and choreography. Now in its seventh year, past artists at Salt Dance Fest have included: Eiko & Koma, Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Teri and Oliver Steele, Marina Mascarell, Paul Selwyn Norton, Vickie Cortes, Kyle Abraham, Maura Keefe, Miguel Gutierrez, Netta Yerushalmy, Faye Driscoll, Zoe Scofield, Juniper Shuey, Pavel Zuštiak, Paul Matteson, Sara Shelton Mann, Jeanine Durning, Alex Ketley, Jennifer Nugent, Daniel Charon, and Jesse Zaritt. The workshop is housed at the University of Utah – a hub of dance pedagogy, performance and choreographic creation for the American West.

Participants of Salt Dance Fest select from three blocks of daily classes, engaging with the artists in: Contemporary Technique, Improvisational Practices, Performance Research, Composition, Creative Process, Repertory, Somatics, and Dance Theater (see Class Descriptions). The Salt Dance Fest 2017 class schedule will operate on a block system – participants may sign up for up to three blocks of classes as they prefer. Specific class requests, identified on the application form, are on a first-come first-served basis (further class information follows). The workshop/festival additionally includes a free morning somatic practice and /or barre as an introduction to the day, lectures and panel discussions with the guest artists, an improvisation jam and social events, as well as opportunities to present work in showings and concerts.

Workshop participants are expected to be mature, self-motivated dancers and young professionals interested in further developing choreographic, creative, performance and movement investigative skills. Participants must be 18 or older, and are expected to dance at an intermediate or advanced level. Enrollment is limited, providing more individual attention for each workshop participant. Housing and meals are available at an additional cost. College credit is also available.


SDF participants may extend their studies in Utah at Repertory Dance Theatre’s Summerdance 2017 Workshop, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Move-It Summer Dance Workshop and/or Integrated Movement Studies Program (IMS – IMMERSION or full certificate program) (see information below). Info at,, and

Workshop Blocks & Schedule

Free Morning Body Preparation Class (available to all workshop participants) — 8:45-9:25

Each morning will begin with an optional somatic-based class open to all festival participants on a drop in basis. These classes will serve as a physical preparation for the day and an opportunity to get in touch with yourself and your body.

Block I Classes – 9:30-11:30

• Technique Laboratory, Joanna Kotze
• Japan Avant-Garde (Erase Your Body) - Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga
• Satu Hummasti

Block II Classes – 11:45–1:45

• Contemporary Ballet - Katie Scherman
• Tennis Shoe Technique - Molly Heller
• Creative Process - Idan Shirabi

Block III Classes – 2:45–4:45

• Repertory- Idan Shirabi
• Performance Practice/Creative Process - Joanna Kotze
• Improvisation (Each Instant is Everything) - Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga



Download Full Schedule

Class Descriptions

Technique Laboratory – Joanna Kotze

Both laboratory and technique class, we will delve into the body’s architecture and its unique potential, gaining more information, trust and range throughout the week. Through technical studies, set movement phrases and improvisational practices, we will discover and challenge habits and pre-conceived notions while practicing our relationship to time, space and each other. Concentrating on the forces through the legs into the floor will lead us to finding more range, opposition and weight in the body. Let’s experiment, succeed, fail, keep trying, and have fun!

Japan Avant-Garde (Erase Your Body) – Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga

In the 1960’s, the avant-garde arts in Japan flourished in an atmosphere of protest and civil dis-obedience. At that moment in Japan’s history agrarian transformed to urban, small neighborhoods were replaced by high-rises and Japanese identity was confusingly intertwined with American values and cultural transformation. Within this bewildering environment, performing arts such as Butoh Dance and Tadashi Suzuki’s theater emerged, touching on and deconstructing the extremes between Western modern dance and Japanese traditional arts (such as Noh Theater and Kabuki). This workshop will examine some of the avant-garde forms that emerged from that potent epoch. The training will encourage physical and mental receptivity, a reduction of contracted muscles and awareness of minute bodily adjustments and interior textures. We will employ imagistic practices utilized in Butoh Dance with attention to water body metaphors found in Noguchi Taiso. Sharp physical engagement and precision will be addressed through Body Weather exercises and Tadashi Suzuki’s Method of Training. Our aim is to integrate polarities within the body, the inside/outside, left/right, head/toe, visceral/refined, image/sensate. This builds a coherent body ready to embrace the chaotic stream of the subconscious.

Contemporary Ballet – Katie Scherman

Class molds classical ballet technique with contemporary movement. Inspired by the philosophies of Alonzo King and Piña Bausch, Scherman guides students on a journey that values artistic risk-taking, independent thinking, and problem solving through exploration and dedication. Students will explore the technical potential for each step, as well as their own potential within the step. Scherman sees great benefit in giving students the time and space to make intelligent artistic decisions within a movement phrase. With intense focus on musicality and freedom, students will push themselves physically, mentally, and artistically.

Tennis Shoe Technique – Molly Heller

Utilizing (and playing with) athletic shoes as a medium for developing new dynamics within the body, spatial surfaces and partnerships, we will engage our feet as the living, feeling, deciding and probing extensions of ourselves. We will bounce, spring, direct and texture our active feet, testing our perceptions of effort, nuance and rhythmic complexity. This class will also train and foster adaptability – promoting vitality, resilience and expansion (physically, energetically, spatially and communally) within one’s dancing. We will grow our technical range dimensionally, work hard, sweat together, and get gritty.

Creative Process – Idan Shirabi

The work starts with breathing, usually on the floor. Recognizing and locating parts of the body and finding isolation in it. Later on the work concentrates on the accumulation of details, and finally it deals with letting go, reflecting on the progress in a more sophisticated body. Eventually, the work deals as well with time and memory, while playing with both choreographed & improvised materials. The workshop is made to expose dancers to Sharabi's movement language, as well as give them improvisational tools and technologies to use their creativity for their own research.

Repertory – Idan Shirabi

Using his personal tools for movement investigation as described above in his Creative Process class, Shirabi will develop a work with participants to further familiarize participants with his movement language, and tools and processes for choreography.

Performance Practice/Creative Process – Joanna Kotze

The practice is the performance and the performance is the practice. During this class we will work to realize the potential of the body in each moment in relationship to space, each other and the viewer. Through this process, we will attempt to reveal different parts of ourselves as a way to access less known movement and create a more intimate connection with the viewer. Using practices and scores, we will create and take apart, build and dismantle or take apart and create and dismantle and build, with the goal of honing a more alive performance experience for both performer and audience.

Improvisation (Each Instant is Everything) – Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga

This is a practice for living well. Every step, word and action extends an invitation to surrounding bodies. The cultivation of internal feeling states and the play of timing relationships become compositions in real time. We cultivate the 3rd-Eye (outside observer) view. A body in space stands in relationship to everything. Interruptions and unexpected actions are welcomed. We learn to say “yes” to the situation that alters feeling and to the feeling that alters the situation. The material presented is rooted in Action Theater, an embodied improvisation practice pioneered by Ruth Zaporah. In her words, this practice “incorporates the disciplined exploration of embodied exercises that lead to increased skills of strong, clear, spontaneous, and artful communication. Action Theater addresses and expands the vocabularies of expression including: movement, vocalization, and speech. Action Theater is a tool to examine one's perceptive and responsive process, bringing awareness to and thereby disempowering distracting thoughts of self-obsessions, fears, judgments and analysis.” Participants are asked to commit to the unknown. We will move, sound and speak in duets, solos and groups. Wear loose clothing and be prepared to shed your planning mind.

Improvising Dialogue – Satu Hummasti

In this class, we will work with movement, text, voice, song, and dialogue in an improvisational setting to build dances/vignettes/dialogues from a dramaturgical base. Instead of writing scripts to accompany movement, we will work with movement and textual improvisations to build situations and scenarios into longer dance theatre scores. No experience in dance theatre is necessary, just a willingness to play and improvise with both movement and text. Together, we will work on building a dance with text that comes from the inside out.


Guest Artist Bios

Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga

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As Artistic Director of the San Francisco-based performance company ink Boat, founded in 1998, Shinichi creates opportunities for exchange amongst diverse artists. The company has toured in North America, Europe, South Korea and Japan, often collaborating with local artists in museums, theaters, studios and site-specific locations. Shinichi is a certified teacher of Action Theater. His current interest and practice includes Qi Gong, Aikido, Noguchi Taiso, Noh Theater and Shakuhachi. His consistent mentors include Anna Halprin (Dance Maker), Ruth Zaporah (Action Theater), Masayuki Koga (Shakuhachi), Ralph Lemon (Dance Maker), Jan Nevelius (Aikido), David Wei (Qi Gong) and Damo Mitchell (Nei Gong). In the 1990’s, his training and regular performances with Hiroko Tamano and Yumiko Yoshioka left the distinct mark of Butoh Dance upon him. Shinichi has co-directed works with Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, Sten Rudstrøm, Yuko Kaseki, Takuya Ishide and KT Nelson (ODC). He is the author of the book “95 Rituals” and has been teaching dance composition at Mills College since 2009.

Under Shinichi’s direction, inkBoat has received 5 Isadora Duncan “Izzie” awards, 3 National Endowment for the Arts grants, 3 Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew, W. Mellon Foundation’s MAP fund grants and many others. Shinichi was named one of the “25 to watch” in 2008 by Dance Magazine and awarded a “Goldie” by the SF Bay Guardian in 2007. In 2007, he and his wife Dana Iova-Koga built and founded the dance studio inkGround in Northern California, running an annual summer workshop, “Dance on Land,” that explores the relationship of wild nature with dance, utilizing the surrounding forests, rivers and ocean-side as new media for the life/dance investigation.

Dana’s first dancing role, at age 4, was a cloud. Almost 40 years later, she’s still practicing forming clouds in her body. She graduated from NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing where she had many stellar dance teachers, including Tamar Rogoff, Mary Overlie and Wendell Beavers. It was during her time at ETW that Maureen Flemming introduced her to Butoh dance. She went on to spend several years in Japan working on Min Tanaka’s farm and dancing in many productions under his direction. The time spent farming and dancing in Japan began Dana’s exploration in the connection between the dancing body and the non-human natural world. This exploration continues in the annual “Dance on Land” workshops she co-teaches with life partner Shinichi. Dana has been dancing with inkBoat since 2006. She is currently studying Chinese Internal Martial Arts. And meanwhile her two children, masters of improvisation, ensure that life remains rich and colorful.

Joanna Kotze

Joanna Kotze

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Joanna is a Brooklyn-based dancer, choreographer and teacher who has been part of the New York dance community since 1998. She received the 2013 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. Her choreography has been presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Baryshnikov Arts Center, American Dance Institute (ADI), Danspace Project, Bard College, Jacob’s Pillow, New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and other theaters and galleries. Joanna has created new works on Ririe-Woodbury, Toronto Dance Theatre, Zenon Dance (Minneapolis), and the James Sewell Ballet (Minneapolis). Her next evening-length work will premiere at New York Live Arts in Spring 2018.

Joanna has received support from: the Jerome, Mertz-Gilmore, and Harkness Foundations; the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) BUILD; Brooklyn Arts Council; Yellowhouse; and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants. She is a recipient of two Process Space residencies through Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and was a 2013-2015 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence. She has had residencies at Sedona Arts Center, Marble House, The Camargo Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Djerassi, the Bogliasco Foundation, Mount Tremper Arts and Gibney Dance Center.

She danced with Wally Cardona from 2000-2010 and currently dances for Kimberly Bartosik/daela, Kota Yamazaki, and Stacy Spence. She has also worked with Netta Yerushalmy, Sam Kim, Sarah Skaggs, Christopher Williams, the Metropolitan Opera ballet, Daniel Charon, and others.

Joanna is on faculty at Movement Research and Gibney Dance in NYC. She has taught at and created original works for students at Barnard College, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, The New School, Long Island University, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Purchase College, Southern Utah University, Miami University and the American Dance Festival. She has studied Klein technique with Barbara Mahler since 2003, is originally from South Africa and has a BA in Architecture from Miami University (’98).

Katie Scherman

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Katie Scherman is originally from California and has performed with Houston Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, Zhukov Dance Theatre, Terpsicorps Dance Theatre, Bodyvox, and in numerous festivals and galas around the world. In 2009, she was honored with a Princess Grace Award in Dance. Scherman holds a BFA in Dance from LINES Ballet/Dominican University and an MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon. She is the 2015 recipient of the UO Graduate Student Emerging Artist Award, and was awarded a 2016 Alembic Guest Artist Residency at PWNW. Her choreography and teaching have been presented throughout the US. Scherman has held guest residencies at Pacific University, University of Utah, LINES Ballet/Dominican University BFA program, and the Bodyvox Junior Artist Generator program. For the spring semester 2017, Scherman will hold a visiting assistant professor position with the Dance Department at the University of Utah.

Idan Shirabi

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Headshot Gadi Dagon CROPIdan was born in Israel, 1984. He graduated Thelma Yellin and The Juilliard School before he danced in Netherlands Dans Theater and Batsheva Dance Company. He was chosen to create for NDT Upcoming Choreographers 10′ and has won The Zeraspe Award 06′, Copenhagen International Choreography Competition 2012 & 2014, The Mahol Shalem International Competition 13′, and The Hannover International Choreography Competition 2014.
Idan received the PAIS grant for performances of existing shows in 2015 for Interviews/Makom, Minister of Culture Prize for Best Performance of 2015, Balletmester Albert Gaubiers og Poul Waldorffs Fond scholarship in Denmark, and received Dododotan Best Performance 2014 for "We Men" as a performer.
Between 2011­ and 2014 he created for companies: “TheProject” of The Israeli Opera House, KCDC, The Israel Ballet, Ballet Junior de Geneve, NND, ZDT, and EBBC Madrid. In 2012, Sharabi was chosen to be one of the nine promising young artists of Israel by American Express and founded his group, Idan Sharabi & Dancers, in September 2012 . Since then, he has created several works for the group which were invited to festivals in Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Holland, Russia & Israel. Throughout the years, Sharabi has been teaching and creating with students/young dancers in schools & companies such as Contemporary Dance School Hamburg, Gothenburg Ballet Academy, Alvin Ailey School, The Italian Dance Alliance, Springboard Dance Montreal, The Maslool Dance Program, The Sadna in Ga’aton, Israel, Ballet Junior De Geneve, Zhukov Dance Theater SF and more.

His 2014/15 residencies included companies such as DDT, Royal Danish Ballet, Ballet Chilleno, NDT II, and he will premiere an original work in March 2016 with Ballet Luzern. Sharabi has been supported by American Express TYP Project, Israel Ministry of Culture, The Israel Festival, Suzanne Dellal, Bikurey Ha’Itim, The AICF, The Israeli Opera House, The Juilliard School Donors and a donor of The Dance Library of Israel Organization.

Molly Heller

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Molly is a dance artist based in Salt Lake City. Her movement research investigates performance as a healing practice and the relationship between physical expression and emotion. Her research is conducted as a solo practice, along side others in choreographic projects and it is interwoven into her pedagogical beliefs.This is Molly’s second year as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Dance at the University of Utah as well as adjunct faculty at Westminster College. She has also been on faculty at SUNY New Paltz (NY) and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC) and has taught for: Utah Valley University, Middlebury College, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University (Omaha, NE), SaltDanceFest (University of Utah), Ririe-Woodbury’s 2014/2015 Professional Intensive (SLC), Boise State University and Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID).

Molly’s choreographic work has also been presented in venues such as: Kingsbury Hall for TEDx SaltLakeCity, Gowanus Art + Production (NYC), Danspace Project at St. Marks Church (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Green Space (NYC), 2010 DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn, NY), The Mahaney Center for the Arts (Middlebury College, VT), Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID), Boise State University, Westminster College (SLC), Sugar Space Studio for the Arts (SLC) and the Ladies’ Literary Club (SLC).

Molly holds an M.F.A. from the University of Utah where she received the Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching (2015-2016), the Scott Marsh Mentorship Award (2014) as well as a University Teaching Assistantship (2013-2014). Molly holds certifications in Pilates and Reiki and is co-owner of SLC’s loose-leaf teahouse, the Tea Grotto. Currently, Molly is creating a new dance work, “very vary,” for the Eccles Regent Theater (SLC) that will premiere May 2017.


Satu Hummasti

Originally from Helsinki, Finland, Satu is a dancer, chSATU 0296oreographer, writer and teacher who has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe, South and Central America, and Russia. Her work has been seen internationally in Medellin, Colombia; Bordeaux, France; Edinburgh, Scotland (as a part of the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival); St. Petersburg, Russia (as a part of the Open Look Festival 2011), Helsinki Finland, Oulu, Finland (as part of the 2015 Arctic Steps Festival) and San Jose, Costa Rica; and nationally in New York, Boston, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. She performed in New York City with Fred Darsow Dance, Barbara Grubel Projects and Sari Nordman, and has done projects with Stephen Koester Dance, Mary Fitzgerald Dance, Bebe Miller, and A. Ludwig Dance Theater. In NYC she has shown dances at Dance New Amsterdam, Chashama, The Construction Company, Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon, and at The John Ryan Theater at White Wave, as a part of the d.u.m.b.o.and Cool New York Dance Festivals. Her work has been commissioned by Compañía de Cámara Danza UNA in San Jose, Costa Rica. Repertory Dance Theater in Salt Lake City, and Kannon Dance Company in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Modern Dance Department at the University Utah. Her current choreographic interests include building work with both text and movement from an improvisational base.





3 Blocks of classes (3 classes per day) – $690 ($630 early bird rate if paid before April 17)
2 Blocks of classes (2 classes per day) – $460 ($420 early bird rate if paid before April 17)
1 Block of classes (1 class per day) – $230 ($210 early bird rate if paid before April 17)

Participants are encouraged to take the entire workshop, three classes daily for two weeks. Participants may elect to take only one or two blocks of the class, one/two classes daily for two weeks. It may also be possible to arrange taking only one week, which is the minimum that a participant may enroll in one of the afternoon classes (contact SDF if you wish to request this option).

Individual Contemporary Technique class – $20

Open to public on a space available basis. Drop-ins may not be accommodated if the class is considered full.

Returning Participant Discount

If you were a Salt Dance Fest participant in the past, we want you back. Those who were full participants (3-blocks) once in the past, receive a 10% tuition reduction. Those who were full participants (3-blocks) twice in the past, receive a 20% tuition reduction. To take advantage of this discount, contact .
SDF participants may extend their studies in Utah at Repertory Dance Theatre’s Summerdance 2017 Workshop and/or the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company Move-It Summer Workshop. Take two workshops (including Salt Dance Fest) and receive 10% off each workshop. Take all three workshops for a 15% discount. For further information about taking two or more workshops at a discounted price contact . Those in the Integrated Movement Studies Program (IMS – IMMERSION or full certificate program), can receive a 10% discount on SDF tuition. Info at,, and


Location, Arrival & Orientation



Salt Dance Fest is housed on the University of Utah campus in the Marriott Center for Dance, which features six large studios and a 330-seat theater. The campus is situated in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains overlooking Salt Lake City, and the surrounding area offers tremendous recreational activities both for urban and wilderness exploration. Salt Lake City is known for its unique and vibrant and artistic culture, as well as for its museums, nightlife, mountains, deserts, the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Flats. Salt Lake City has numerous bus lines and TRAX (an extensive light rail system) allowing for easy travel around the Salt Lake Valley without needing a car.

Arrival & Orientation

Salt Lake City is a Delta hub and served by multiple other airlines. Taxis and TRAX to campus housing are inexpensive. The University is linked to downtown Salt Lake City by light rail (TRAX). Salt Dance Fest participants should arrive on Sunday, June 4 in order to check in at the orientation meeting, 7pm at the Marriott Center for Dance.

Rooms & Meals

Campus housing is available for Salt Dance Fest participants. Participants may be housed in University dormitories, typically in single rooms. An on-campus meal plan is available; there are multiple other eating options on or off-campus convenient to the Marriott Center for Dance.
On Campus Housing: $400 for 13 nights (assuming arriving June 4 and leaving June 17). Additional or fewer nights may be arranged. Those staying on-campus are requested to reserve their room by May 5. If paying $400, you may pay on-line by credit card. Other arrangements must be paid in cash or check.

Meals: 25 meals for $200 (plus tax) or 40 meals for $450 (plus tax) (rates subject to change)

For questions or to arrange housing, contact or 801-581-7327. To arrange meals, please visit Meals may also be purchased upon arrival.

College Credit

Salt Dance Fest participants may receive college credit for the workshop/festival, 1 or 2 credits at $160/credit – 1 credit for 2 blocks of classes and 2 credits for 3 blocks of classes. To register for credit contact or 801-581-7327.
Credit may be arranged during the workshop.
Credit may also be earned through these other Summer Dance Workshops in Salt Lake City
Repertory Dance Theatre’s Summer Workshop Series. June 26-30
For further information: 801-534-1000 or

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Move-It Summer Workshop – July 25-August 4, 2017. Join Artistic Director Daniel Charon and a faculty of contemporary dance artists in Salt Lake City, for this annual dance intensive that seeks to develop and hone the skills necessary to be a technically proficient, creatively motivated, and artistically expressive professional dancing artist.

For further information, contact 801-297-4241 or For further information about taking two or more workshops at a discounted price contact .



To be considered fully registered for Salt Dance Fest 2017, you must compete 2 steps:

1. Complete the online application here

Submit Salt Dance Fest applications early to insure placement with artists of choice. Enrollment is limited in order to offer an intimate working environment and is on a first-come first-served basis. Once a class is filled, Salt Dance Fest participants may be placed in an alternative block class. Application materials must be complete and tuition paid in full in order to be registered.

2. Pay your full Salt Dance Fest 2017 Tuition here

You can complete payment with a credit card securely online (below) or by mailing in a check/money order (payable to the University of Utah, School of Dance).

To pay full 3 Block tuition online
To pay 2 Block tuition online
To pay 1 Block tuition online

Cancellation & Refund Policy
Salt Dance Fest fees will be fully refunded (less $50 administrative fee) only if written notice of cancellation is received on or before May 29. Room and board fees may also be refunded (less $50 administrative fee) if cancelled on or before May 29.

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2016 Artists

Jeanine Durning

Jeanine Durning is a choreographer, performer and teacher from New York City, creating solo and group works since 1998. Her work has been presented across the US, in Canada and Europe. Her recent work, To Being, premiered in NYC at The Chocolate Factory Theater in September 2015, along with a remount of its companion work, inging. Durning has received numerous awards and residencies in support of her work, including a New York Foundation for the Arts award, the Alpert Award for Choreography, a Movement Research Artist in Residence, a GibneyDance DiP Resident, and a Viola Farber Dance Residency. Durning has a dedicated teaching practice, and has taught as visiting faculty at SNDO/Amsterdam and HZT/Berlin, since 2009, at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Eugene Lang College/New School and Movement Research. Jeanine is often commissioned to create original work, and since 2002 has created over fifteen works for companies, performers, and institutions, including a recent commission by Toronto Dance Theater. As a performer, Jeanine has collaborated with many choreographers of diverse creative concerns and priorities, including Susan Rethorst, David Dorfman, Lance Gries, Chris Yon, Zvi Gotheiner, Martha Clarke, Richard Siegal, and Bebe Miller. Since 2005, Durning has worked on and off with choreographer Deborah Hay in the capacities of performer, choreographic assistant, and from 2011-2013, as consultant to the Motion Bank, conceived by William Forsythe, on Ms. Hay’s choreographic and scoring practices.

Jennifer Nugent

Jennifer Nugent danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company from 2009-2014 and David Dorfman Dance from 1999-2007, receiving a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for her work in the company. She has also had opportunities to perform and work intensively with Daniel Lepkoff, Martha Clarke, Lisa Race, Doug Elkins, Bill Young, Colleen Thomas, Kate Weare, Gerri Houlihan, Barbara Sloan and Dale Andre. Her choreography and duet collaborations with Paul Matteson have been presented in New York City and throughout the U.S. She teaches regularly in NYC and abroad and has been a guest artist at numerous universities and dance festivals including The American Dance Festival and the Bates Dance Festival. This year Jennifer is a teaching artist at Smith College and Amherst College in Western, MA and is making work collaboratively with Angie Hauser, Wendy Woodson, and Paul Matteson.

Daniel Charon

Daniel Charon is a dance artist who has been active as a choreographer, teacher, and performer since 1995. He spent 18 years in New York where he maintained a project-based company and danced with Doug Varone and Dancers (1999 – 2010) and the Limón Dance Company (1996 – 1999). Additionally, he performed with Doug Elkins and Friends, the Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Music Theater of Wichita, Mordine and Company (Chicago), and Dance Kaleidoscope (Indianapolis). Daniel is a BFA graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a 2013 MFA graduate of the California Institute of the Arts in Choreography and Integrated Media. Daniel currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company where he has been since 2013.

As Artistic Director of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Daniel has created multiple original works for the stage, multiple installation pieces at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and has worked as video designer on a variety of projects. As an independent artist his choreography has been produced by the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival, the Inside/Out Series at Jacob’s Pillow, and the Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA) amongst others. He has presented multiple full evening concerts in New York City and has been commissioned to choreograph new work for many companies, universities, and festivals around the country. Daniel is a recipient of Dance Theater Workshop’s Outer/Space Creative Residency and of Topaz Arts Solo Flight Creative Residency. In 2015 Daniel choreographed The Pearl Fishers at the Utah Opera.

Daniel has taught regularly in New York at respected studios such as the Limón Institute, the 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, Dancespace, and the Peridance Center. He regularly teaches master classes and workshops around the country and has taught at the Metropolitan Opera, the Bates Dance Festival, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Comprehensive, the Varone Summer Dance Workshop, and the Limón Summer Workshop. He has been a guest artist at numerous universities and was an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College (NYC) and the California Institute of the Arts. Daniel held an annual dance intensive in Cambridge, MA and currently teaches a professional technique workshop in Boulder, CO every summer. He regularly teaches company class and master classes at various universities around the Salt Lake City area. Daniel has staged the works of José Limón, Jirí Kylián and Doug Varone at various schools and companies all over the world.

Alex Ketley

Alex Ketley is an independent choreographer and the director of The Foundry. Formally a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, he performed a wide range of classical and contemporary repertory in San Francisco and on tour throughout the world. In 1998 he co-created The Foundry in order to explore his deepening interests in choreography, improvisation, mixed media work, and collaborative process. With The Foundry he has been an Artist in Residence at many leading art institutions including Headlands Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Yard, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Taipei Artist Village, ODC Theater, the Ucross Foundation, and the Vermont Performance Lab. The Foundry has produced fifteen full evening length works that have received extensive support from the public, funders, and the press, as well as a number of single-channel video pieces that have screened at international video festivals. 

As a choreographer independent of his work with The Foundry, Ketley has been commissioned to create original pieces for companies and universities throughout the United States and Europe. For this work he has received acknowledgement from the Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition, the International Choreographic Competition of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveaur, the National Choo-San Goh Award, the inaugural Princess Grace Award for Choreography, the BNC National Choreographic Competition, three CHIME Fellowships, four Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography residencies, the Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Commissioning Award, and the National Eben Demarest Award. His pieces and collaborations have also been awarded Isadora Duncan Awards in the categories of Outstanding Achievement by an Ensemble, Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, and Outstanding Achievement by a Company. Through his long history with AXIS Dance Company, his work To Color Me Different was presented on national television through an invitation from the show So You Think You Can Dance and his film The Gift of Impermanence has screened internationally and won the 2015 Artistry Award at the Superfest International Disability Film Festival. With The Foundry since 2012, he has been deeply engaged in a trilogy of projects entitled No Hero which explore what dance means and how it is experienced by people throughout rural parts of America. The video projection Alex created for No Hero (West) was nominated for a 2012 Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design. Deep South was the third project in the trilogy and was researched in the rural South in collaboration with Miguel Gutierrez and supported by the first Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award (CMCC), a MANCC Media Fellowship, a Kenneth Rainin Foundation New and Experimental Works Grant, and the Historic Asolo Theater. In addition to his Foundry and independent work he is a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) and is Resident Choreographer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, a school that is deeply invested in students learning and growing though the engagement of contemporary choreography and methodologies.

Molly Heller

Molly is a dance artist, teacher and choreographer based in Salt Lake City. Molly holds an M.F.A. from the University of Utah where she received the Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching, the Scott Marsh Mentorship Award as well as a University Teaching Fellowship. Her movement research investigates performance as a cathartic act and the relationship between physical expression and emotional trauma. Molly has been a faculty member at SUNY New Paltz (NY) and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC) and for summer intensives such as Salt Dance Fest (University of Utah), Ririe-Woodbury’s Professional Intensive (SLC) and Boise State University’s DanceFest. She has also been a guest artist at Westminster College (SLC), Middlebury College (VT), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University (Omaha, NE) and Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID). Molly’s choreographic work has been presented in venues such as: The Mahaney Center for the Arts (VT), Gowanus Art + Production (NYC), Danspace Project at St. Marks Church (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Green Space (NYC), 2010 DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn, NY), Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID), Boise State University, Sugar Space Studio for the Arts and the Ladies’ Literary Club. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Utah and holds certifications in both Pilates and Reiki. Molly also co-owns SLC’s loose-leaf teahouse, the Tea Grotto.

Stephen Koester

Stephen Koester is a Professor as well as Chair in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. He was formerly co-Artistic Director of Creach/Koester, an all male dance company based in New York City, which toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe. With partner Terry Creach, Stephen received five consecutive choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, plus a choreographic fellowship from the New York State Foundation for the Arts. Creach and Koester also received the Bonnie Bird North American Choreographic Award along with extensive additional choreographic/company support. In addition to his professional activities with Creach/Koester, Stephen was a guest artist at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country and continues to choreograph and teach both nationally and internationally. Having made over 135 dances, his work has appeared in the repertories of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, Dance Forum Taipei, among others, including his own company Dance Koester Dance, which presented several Salt Lake City seasons. In 2004, Stephen won Repertory Dance Theatre's “Sense of Place” National Choreographic Competition, setting a new work on the company, and in 2006 received a Utah Arts Council Established Artist Grant to support his company choreography. At the University of Utah, Stephen regularly choreographs, and teaches improvisation, composition, technique, and graduate seminars. In 2002, Stephen received the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award for creative research, and in 2008 was named a University Professor.

2016 Classes

Technique – Jennifer Nugent

Using improvisational and set warm-ups, we will focus on the volume and weight inside the body and its relationship to the floor and movement. Exercises that bring awareness to the feet, spine, and pelvic floor encourage the feeling of release in the limbs, allowing us to fall and suspend off center, simultaneously finding a grounded, flexible base of support. Using these physical tools, we will explore sensation, instinct, and the inherent musicality inside the body, phrasing. All the while dancing, we will work toward a more grounded and direct approach to movement.

Hot Mess – Alex Ketley

A class in how we become the worst dancer possible. The foundation of this class has many parts. One is that, in almost every respect the way we gain insight into anything is to understand more clearly its polarity. As a class we purposely explore chaos, failure, and "bad" dancing, with the hope that then we will have a greater chance to understand and refine our personal notions around beauty. The class also acknowledges that creativity is at times born from the loss of control. Instead of looking at this idea obliquely, Hot Mess looks at this directly by having dancers confront a number of movement and vocal prompts that are literally impossible to execute in any good way. This class embraces and celebrates destabilization, with all the exuberance, fear, and learning that can happen when we accept and practice being lost.

Awakening Dimensionality through Sensation – Molly Heller

This workshop aims to expand our potential as receptive, multi-dimensional movers. Integrating energy principles derived from the Japanese healing art of Reiki, we will awaken a form of hyper-awareness that expands one’s dynamic presence while performing. As we intimately build partnerships – with our surrounding environment, with one’s self, and with each other, we will specifically investigate the potentiality of the hands and feet to feel movement and the power of the eyes to direct and transmit energy. This class calls us to recognize the potency of our emotive beings, to go beyond the “ordinary range of perception.”

Collaborative Choreography – Daniel Charon

This class approaches the creation of a new work from a collaborative point of view. It is designed to reflect a process one might find with a choreographer who looks to the dancer as a creative artist. In this class, dancers will engage in a variety of processes, ultimately generating a new dance work as a collaborative group. This class is about experimenting with choreographic systems, approaches, methods, and structures and will look to the dancers to play, imagine, think, dance, and create.

Doing What it Takes: The Dailiness of Practice, or Purposeful Purposelessness – Jeanine Durning

The meaning of our effort is not always self-evident. This is a movement research class that accepts that the meaning of our effort is in the exercising of it. This daily practice draws on, borrows from and appropriates multiple sources and seemingly disparate forms to approach the nuanced ecologies of who we are and what we can imagine ourselves to be. Release techniques, developmental movement studies, Ideokinesis, Contact, Kundalini, Qigong, shaking, tapping, turning, and serious play are just some of the modes we will traverse. We will bring all of who we are and what we can possibly bring to bear to be critical movers, radical problem-solvers, creative decision-makers, embodied philosophers, somatic inquirers, psycho-social experimentalists, time travelers, space invaders and perceptual gymnasts. Whether you take class to warm up or wake up, stand up or lie down, to move or be moved, to hone attention or intention, we can come together to question and challenge, through practice, this art form called dance.

Choreography – Alex Ketley

Each day Ketley will develop a new phrase of choreography with the students and use this as the platform for investigation. Consistent lines of inquiry include; sculpting with the body as an emotional, instinctual, and graphic landscape, how the fracturing and the complication of strands of information can feel generative of new ways of moving, discussions around how our use of time is directly correlated to our sense of presence, and the multitude of physical colors available to each of us as artists as we expand our curiosity about movement. Classes will be very physical, trusting that much of our knowledge is contained in the body.

Imaginative-Sensitive-Articulate/The Subtleties of Partnering – Jennifer Nugent

This class will offer time to improvise, problem solve, and deepen the relationship we have to our bodies, becoming more attuned to sensation, instinctual choices, and the subtleties of partnering. We will practice ways of safely moving into each other, directing our weight, harnessing and noticing the forces of momentum, large or small. Encounters ranging from highly physical to the simple and subtle will be explored and questioned through improvised and compositional situations.

What we do when we do the thing we do before we know what we are doing: Approaches to Creative Practice, Choreography and Performance – Jeanine Durning

The idea is not the thing. Each of us is an ever-shifting complex of radically divergent memories, desires, impulses and perceptions. This is a lab for cultivating our multiple considerations on multiple levels, put into conscious action and practice. We will support our questions as potential proposals for doing. Accepting not-knowing and the not-yet as generative states, we’ll sharpen our responsiveness to materials as they emerge, then fluidly develop strategies and systems for immersion in and reflection of the structures inherent to these materials. Through moving, speaking, writing, drawing, scoring, directing, proposing, watching, performing, sharing, discussing and listening, we’ll generate, reconsider, translate and reinterpret: action, affect, content and context. Through daily performance of our materials, we will learn to be in dialogue with our making. At its core, our work is the willingness to think/move/imagine in unanticipated directions.

Dance and Word – Stephen Koester

In this workshop, movement and language intersect in multiple ways. We explore how to write about the work of others. Through this, we practice how to talk about and critique dance as well as learn about our own aesthetic preferences. Similarly, we explore how we write about our own work, again to practice putting words to what we do in order to bring others and ourselves into a deeper understanding of our work. In addition, we explore how movement and language connect in making dance, asking questions as to how language helps to create choreography and/or color how we view choreography. This workshop will be equally divided between creating work tethered to language, and writing about dance. Ultimately we strive to heighten critical thinking, writing, and public speaking skills, and learn to quickly and orally describe and analyze what we've seen and/or made ourselves. Engaging in lively conversation and exploring related readings will guide participants to broaden and deepen ones’ definitions of dance. In creative work in which movement and language coexist, we extend choreographic possibilities and movement choice.

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