- Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is an American
contemporary dancecompany based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1964 by University of Utahdance instructors Joan Woodburyand Shirley Ririethe company is dedicated to furthering contemporary dance by creating and performing original and innovative works of the highest quality modern dance, and promoting the understanding of and appreciation for the art form of dance through educational outreach programs in public schools and in universities.
Before founding Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in 1964,
Shirley Ririeand Joan Woodburyhelped create Choreodancers, a company of professional dance performers and teachers. After the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company name became permanent, the company choreographed and performed in Utahand throughout Arizona, Californiaand Colorado.
While at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis in 1968, Joan accepted a Minnesota Arts Council invitation to perform at four colleges. Woodbury returned to
Salt Lake Citywhere she and Ririe choreographed a performance and lecture for the Minnesota tour. In 1971, the show was seen in Canada by members of the first US-Canada dance conference.
A breakthrough came in the following year when the company performed at The Space in
New Yorkthrough director Alwin Nikolais. Representatives of the National Endowment for the Artsattended the performance and accepted the company for the Endowment's Artists In Schools and Dance Touring Programs.
The company's acceptance in these programs offered full-time touring as a national company and the most "Artists In Schools" performances in the United States of any company for 12 years. Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company was chosen to be part of the Dance On Tour state-touring program from 1990 to 1994 and performed in
South Carolina, Kentucky, Montanaand New Mexico.
The Company continued to perform internationally. In 1977, the International Congress of Girls' and Women's Sports invited the Company to
South Africafor an extended tour of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburgand Pretoria, marking the first time that a nationally and racially diverse performing group had performed in those areas. In 1978, they were chosen by the United States as representatives to the first Dance and the Child International meeting in Canada.
In 1980 Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company was selected as the first U.S. modern dance company to perform in
Sibenikof former Yugoslavia. The company also performed in Hong Kong, the Philippinesand Singapore. In 2002 Ririe-Woodbury became the first modern dance company to perform in Canton, China.
From 1987-1992 company tours included
Europe, American Samoa, and the former Soviet Union. Just one month before the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the dancers performed in East Germanyand were the first modern dancers to perform in Karl-Marx Stadtin the former Soviet Union and East Berlin in 15 years.
In 1993, the company traveled to
Slovenia. Ririe-Woodbury performed a benefit fundraiser for 70,000 Bosnian war refugees who were seeking shelter in Slovenian collection centers.
Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Danceselected Ririe-Woodbury as the dance company to house the works of modern dance innovator Alwin Nikolais, as his company, Nikolais Dance Theatrewas no longer in operation. Ririe-Woodbury's performances of works by Nikolais have received five-star reviews in the New York Timesand the LA Times.
In 2004 Ririe-Woodbury was one of five dance companies invited to perform at the
Edinburgh International Festival. In 2006, the company presented Nikolais's "Tensile Involvement" at the Fall for Dance Festivalin New York City.
* [http://www.ririewoodbury.com/ Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company]
* [http://www.nikolaislouis.org/ Nikolais-Louis Foundation for Dance, Inc.]
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