The U and SLC Prepare for Another Season of Unorthodox Arts


Kiffer Creveling

Students in the College of Fine Arts for the School of Dance perform in their final dress rehearsal for the Modern Student Concert II in the Marriott Center for Dance on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 (Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Parker Dunn, Online Managing Editor


The Spring 2021 semester here at the University of Utah is now underway. Coming out of a disastrous 2020, the U, as well as Salt Lake City and their respective art programs, are shaping up for yet another semester and year of unorthodoxy as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Arts at the U

For MLK week, the School of Dance hosted a webinar featuring recent works by guest choreographers Katlyn Addison and Jennifer Archibald. U dancer Brooke Wertwijn, who performed in Addison’s choreography, “Saint-George, The Composer, Fencer, and Creator,” will also be joining. The event was held over Zoom on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. and is titled “Speaking Through Movement.

Also new to the School of Dance is graduate student Halie Bahr’s course, “Choreographing Chaos: Expanding Creative Capacity Through Non-linear Narratives,” which expands upon Bahr’s research concerning the structure in dance.

The Department of Art & Art history will welcome sculptor Ilana Harris-Babou, who has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem, to the U for a talk over Zoom on Jan. 27 at 4:30 p.m. The following week, on Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m., French artist Julien Bismuth will also give a talk over Zoom.

Coming off of a successful run of “The Night Witches” back in October, the Department of Theatre will perform “Henry V” by William Shakespeare from Jan. 29 to Feb. 7., with guest artist Stephanie Weeks directing. The production will be shown via live stream. The last play of the season will be “Shrek The Musical,” running from March 26 to April 10.

Salt Lake City Arts

Salt Lake City arts organizations are also getting ready for their own spring season showcases. Starting Jan. 23, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will be hosting the exhibition “Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem.” This exhibition features a century’s worth of works by Black artists and will be shown at the UMFA until April 11.

The Pioneer Theatre Company will kick off their 2021 season in February with the Karey Kirkpatrick musical “Something Rotten!” Next up is the world premiere of “Ass” by Ellen Simon, which will be shown in March and April. The last production of the season is “Legally Blonde,” based on the book and movie under the same title.

The Salt Lake Acting Company is continuing its 2020-21 season with a to-be-announced digital production showing in February, which will be followed by the Elaine Jarvik play “Four Women Talking About the Man Under the Sheet,” starting up in March and ending in May. SLAC will also continue with the Salt Lake Film Society joint project “SLAC Digital,” which has allowed lovers of cinema to continue seeing new films at home during the pandemic.

Music in SLC is still a bit dry, with concerts getting canceled left and right due to the pandemic. Venues like The Depot are still trying to hold clean and safe events, but the scene as a whole seems to be stuck for now.

The beginning of 2021 for the arts is looking quite similar to last year, but hopefully, things will start turning around towards the latter half of the year and we can start getting back to enjoying the arts in person.


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