Southern Utah University dance students received top honors when they were awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, which allowed them the opportunity to perform Imago, an American masterpiece choreographed by Alwin Nikolais.
SUU’s Department of Dance is the first university ever to receive permission to perform Nikolais’s innovative work, Imago.
Additionally, SUU is one of only seven universities nation-wide to receive a National Endowment for the Arts grant to participate in the Nikolais Centennial Celebration.
This marks the second week of performance for SUU’s dance students who will perform five sections of Imago: The City Curious, which contains moments of delightful humor as well as great visual beauty. The extraordinary work consists of 12 episodes that include choreography, lighting, costumes and electronic score created by Nikolais.
The performance will run it final week March 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. in SUU’s Randall L. Jones Theatre.
In addition to these performances of Imago, SUU students will perform in a collaborative concert with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, the professional dance company charged with preserving Nikolais’s legacy. The group will perform in SUU’s Convocation Lecture Series on March 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the SUU Auditorium, and again that evening in a concert at 7:30 in the Heritage Center Theater. The collaboration will also lead to eight performances in area elementary schools that will provide an important education outreach and service-learning opportunity for the students.
Finally, the performance of Imago will take SUU’s student performers to Hunter College in New York City in spring 2011 as part of Celebrating 100 Years of Nikolais (1910-2010).
Alwin Nikolais created Imago in 1963, and as a result he was introduced to an international audience. Known for his innovations in multimedia, Nikolais was an American master who held five honorary doctorate degrees and was the 1987 recipient of the National Medal of Arts bestowed by President Ronald Reagan at the Kennedy Center Honors. Dance students at Southern Utah University are honored to be part of his legacy and to have the opportunity to share it with the campus and community.