Though U students have some of the most expansive dance experience in the nation, school system standards are written to honor concert dance forms. However, this serves to limit the larger Utah population’s exposure to other cultural forms of dance.
Luckily, Ashley Anderson of the loveDANCEmore organization and Emily Izzo of the Utah Museum of Fine Art’s ACME Initiative are coming to the rescue. On Jan. 11, 2017, the UMFA team will be holding an ACME Dance Mash-Up in collaboration with loveDANCEmore, in order to give cultural dance more visibility in the local community.
The purpose of the event is to introduce new forms of dance and to help participants consider the ways in which dance can broaden the cultural communities we live in. There are at least four different traditional dances being performed and taught to anyone who attends.
UMFA’s Dance Mash-Up is open to the general public, but according to Izzo, it would be most beneficial to students and educators within the dance world.
Izzo added that all educators should make time in their schedules for this event because, “it really will teach participants all about cultural dance forms, and inform them on how to be more aware of the other cultural forms that are surrounding us.”
The event will feature several pairs of dancers and educators from all of the top dance studios and companies in the valley, including Tanner Dance’s Rachel Kimball. It is rumored that Kimball will be working with Gwen Smith to educate the community on tribal dance.
“This event is going to be interactive, participatory, and collaborative,” Izzo said, encouraging all who are interested to join in on this educational night. She particularly specified that they are looking for community members of all ages. Not only will audiences get to observe many different forms of dance, they will also be able to participate in learning and discussing the implications of incorporating different cultures into our everyday lives.
Dance Mash-Up is the fifth session in the bi-monthly ACME series, and the series will continue with the launching of the ACME lab alongside the remodeled UMFA’s opening. The lab will serve as a flexible space for community members to explore creativity, engage with the museum and do specific research.
ACME’s ultimate goal is to “involve the community in the museum and to involve the museum in the community,” according to Izzo.
The event is scheduled to take place in the Marmalade Branch Library on Jan. 11. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by the event at 7 p.m. Check it out and enjoy being engaged in the world of art, dance and culture.