SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Fall 2001)
Dancing into the hearts of the World
SUU's renowned dance company will be part of the Cultural Olympiad at the 2002 Winter Olympics
The American Folk Ballet, founded by Burch Mann in 1960 and now part of SUU, will soon gather in Cedar City to prepare for its slated performance in the Cultural Olympiad-part of the 2002 Winter Olympics celebration-in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19.
"The University is thrilled that the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee recognized the outstanding talent and reputation the AFB has built over the years," SUU spokesman Dean O'Driscoll ('83, Communication and Physical Education) says. "The Ballet has been selected to perform with some of the best artists in the world for an audience that will consist of art lovers from all over the world."
Robert Fass, the acting executive director of the AFB, is very excited about the exposure this performance will bring to the University. "The AFB is one of the best-equipped performing arts companies anywhere to represent the American West at the Olympics. It's going to be a thematically appropriate program of what we did in the founding of the American West." He added, "It's a huge honor to be in the company of those per forming at this event."
The AFB, which has performed in various venues around the globe, including a national television appearance at the Oscars, reassembles in Cedar City after the fir st of the year to work on its program. Under the creative direction of Gwen Grimes, SUU artist-in-residence and long-time member of the dance troupe, AFB is part of the College of Performing and Visual Arts.
The theme of the great American West will be a conglomeration of Mann's unique concept; not only is the dancing unusual under the label of ballet, but it's accompanied by singing and narration. "This is a whole different visceral experience," Fass explains. "This is not what you picture in your mind when you hear the word 'ballet'."
Everyone interested in attending the e vent in the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 19 should contact Art Tix for more information or to purchase tickets at 801-355- 2787, or tickets may also be ordered online at www.saltlake2002.com.