‘Next Phase’ Presented by Ballet Showcase


Dancers in “Bringing Down the Light” choreographed by Samuel Johnson. (Photo by Todd Collins Photography | @toddcollinsphotos)

By Haley Freeman


All around campus you can tell that the end of the Fall semester is finally here. The sun is setting at 5 p.m., temperatures are dropping below freezing and more and more students skip class as ski season begins. 

Making my way down lower campus to the Hayes Christensen Theatre in the Marriott Center for Dance, it was not hard for my body to long for the warmth and laziness of my dorm room. Yet, the second I stepped through the audience doors, I knew I was in for a night of energetic and inspiring dance. Almost every row of the theater was filled. As I got settled into my seat, I heard the quiet murmur of anticipation all around me.

A Bit of Background

“Next Phase” presented by Ballet Showcase, is a 10-piece ballet program full of choreography from junior and senior ballet students at the University of Utah School of Dance.

I spoke briefly with one of the choreographers, Fiona Galvin, who shared that the show consisted of pieces her and her classmates made while in the optional Choreography 3 class. She added that students had full creative liberty in their pieces. “The choreographers only have a time limit of five to seven minutes and the music was up to them,” she said. Costumes were supplied by the School of Dance Costume Shop.

Something for Every Audience Member

The music ranged from classical, contemporary and jazz to modern and even classic rock, shown in the finale piece “Rock of Ages,” choreographed by Amber Walterscheid. Some dances like “Isn’t it Romantic?” choreographed by Mindy Lasko, and “United,” choreographed by Natalie Montoya, portrayed a specific storyline. Other pieces, like “Infradia,” choreographed by Olivia Huseonica, focused on a more abstract theme. In the case of “Infradia,” the theme was an infradian rhythm.

The program had something for every audience member. I prefer classical ballet, so I really enjoyed the movement and visuals of “What Day Is It?” choreographed by Galvin.

I spoke with audience member Reece Goh, and she mentioned that “Bringing Down the Light,” choreographed by Samuel Johnson, was her favorite piece of the night due to its “striking movement” and “unique lighting.”

No matter the intention of the piece, the dancers were beautiful on stage. Both technique and artistry were presented strongly in the program.

Spend a Night at the Ballet

So here’s me giving you a little push to get out of the house and see ballet this fall and winter season. It is clear that the U’s artistic innovation and creativity are brewing, and it is inspiring to see. I have had to part with dancing this past year due to injuries, and seeing the individuality and passion of the choreographers and dancers in “Next Phase” made me want to get up on stage and join them.

Catch the next School of Dance live event EXPS/SLC Screening: “Round of Applause” Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. Click here for more information.


[email protected]