Dance | Performing Arts

Ririe Woodbury’s Circle Cycle

circlecycleOver the years we’ve had repeated requests to expand 15 Bytes coverage to include arts other than the visual — dance, music, the theatre. While much new media in the visual art world blurs the boundaries between what was once simplly the “plastic arts” and its cousins, the performing and narrative arts, 15 Bytes remains focused on Utah’s visual art scene.

That does not mean we don’t appreciate and even want to encourage other art forms. Last month we began reviewing films in our pages, and we regularly cover books. And in our blog we’ll take the opportunity, when possible, to highlight events in Utah’s performing art world.

Because their stunning visuals will appeal to anyone keenly interested in the visual world, Ririe Woodbury’s fabulous dance performances are an obvious place to start. Their choreographers use the human body, costumes and lighting to paint moving works of art.

This weekend the dance troupe is performing Circle Cycle, a work first choreographed in 1992 that blends the dancers’ graceful movements with hula hoops, balls and balloons to evoke the joy and wonderment of being in the world as a child.

The spectacle of watching dancers roll across large exercise balls, emerge from a pile of balloons, step through rings of light and chase volleyballs across the stage will delight younger audiences and makes this performance a wonderful way to introduce children to modern dance. But Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe’s wonderfully orchestrated achievement is not childish — it is not an acrobatic event or circus performance; nor does it pander to the young audience. The fully-formed dance pieces are beautiful, physical calls to delight in and care for the world – whether that be mother earth, our playmates, or the child within. The pieces are more languid than they are frenetic, reminding us that childhood is as much about becoming engrossed in what happens to light when it passes through an old window as it is about running around a playground.

Circle Cycle will be at the Capitol Theatre for three performances this weekend before going on a national tour. Go to for more information and tickets.

Categories: Dance | Performing Arts

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