The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company presents three contemporary works at Vilar Center on Jan. 12 |

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company presents three contemporary works at Vilar Center on Jan. 12

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company was founded in 1964 by two women, beginning in large part due to their enthusiasm for dance education and supporting artists.
Special to the Daily |

If you go …

Who: The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.

Cost: $58 for adults; $25 for students.

More information: Visit or call 970-845-8497.

in the world of modern dance, it’s rare to find a dance company that has been around for over 50 years. While contemporary art is usually focused on what’s new, now or next, The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company has proved that longevity and staying power are not antithetical to creating modern dance.

Founded in Utah in 1964 by two women, Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe, the company began in large part due to their enthusiasm for dance education and supporting artists, said Daniel Charon, artistic director for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.

“For me, as artistic director, it’s about continuing that legacy, bringing in different choreographers all the time,” Charon said. “We love bringing in emerging choreographers and having them work with a professional company (for the first time). We love bringing in established voices also, because we commission these (pieces) so it stays fresh and current in a certain way.”

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company will perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $58 for adults and $25 for students and available now at the Vilar Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 970-845-8497 and visiting

‘All Over the World’

The program will include three works from three different choreographers. “You and the Space Between” is choreographed by Miguel Azcue, an artist from Cuba; “The Opposite of Killing” is a piece by Tzveta Kassabova, a Bulgarian choreographer presently working and living in the U.S.; “Storm” is choreographed by Charon himself. The piece deals with “human relationships and many different facets of our existence, the rush of life around us, slowing down and contemplating our more intimate and quiet relationships,” he said.

In addition to showcasing new and emerging choreographers, the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company also places a big focus on commissioning works from international artists.

“(One of) our missions it to support choreographers and artists from all over the world,” Charon said. “I want to know what they’re up to, see what they’re doing and expose them to the community.”

Another one of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s philosophies is that “dance is for everybody.”

“Often people go to dance and they feel like they need to ‘figure it out,’” Charon said. “What does that do? It makes (dance) harder to relate to and makes people feel like they’re not smart enough to figure it out but they are. They just have to trust the experience they’re having … We want everybody to feel comfortable in some capacity with dance.”

In today’s current political climate, Charon believes that dance can be a way to bring people together and create a dialog.

“The beauty of contemporary art is it can be interpreted in many different ways,” Charon said. “There are so many ways to use the art form (of dance) to bring about a conversation about us as human beings … The body is so important to our understanding of our own humanity. If more people can be in touch with that, it makes for a better society and a better world.”

For the performance in Beaver Creek at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, Charon said he hopes that people who aren’t very familiar with the contemporary dance world come and experience the work of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.

“I encourage people, if they haven’t seen dance for awhile, or if they’ve seen dance and didn’t have a great experience with it, to come and see (the show),” Charon said. “(The performance) will be very accessible and user friendly. There’s something for everybody. Release the pressure of trying to figure it out. Come and enjoy the experience.”

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