Dance | On the Spot

Salt Lake City’s Joan Woodbury

Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe, co-founders of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company are this years recipients for the Madeleine Award, photo taken April 28, 2004. Photo by Tom Smart

Joan Woodbury, a Cedar City native, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and studied as the first Fulbright Scholar in dance with Mary Wigman in Berlin, Germany. She is a retired professor of modern dance from the University of Utah, where she taught for 47 years. With Shirley Ririe she formed the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Joan has choreographed more than 95 works for Ririe-Woodbury and has been commissioned by the Conservatoire Nationale in Portugal, Outlet Dance Company in Australia, Desert Dance in Arizona, the University of Hawaii and Julliard School of Music plus many others. She has danced and taught workshops and master classes throughout the United States as well as in Portugal, France, Yugoslavia, China, Canada, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, Singapore and Italy. 

What hangs above your mantel?

A gold leaf and black painting of a bird by Angelo Caravaglia (about 4 by 3 feet).

What is your favorite building in Utah?

The old Sandstone City and County building on State Street and 4th South in Salt Lake City.

What is the most memorable exhibit you’ve seen recently? 

Do I have to make a choice? I haven’t seen the Body Works exhibit at the Leonardo yet, (which I expect to find fabulous) but I loved Brian Kershisnik’s exhibit at the Price Fine Arts Museum on the University Campus last year and the recent exhibit from” Monet to Picasso “in the same building; and Pilar Pobil’s work at any time in her home.

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