On this episode of DLEW, I continue the conversation with the co-founder of Salt Lake City dance company Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Joan Woodbury.
In Part 2, Joan and I DIG IN on dance education and arts funding. Joan and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company had a MASSIVE influence on these…
Dance Like Everyone’s Watching with Andrea Muhlbauer is the show that brings you inspiration and insight into the world of dance and choreography. Andrea and her amazing guests are saying the things that no one else will. D.L.E.W. will tackle the MAJOR problems facing dance and the arts: the diminishing of audiences, the rise of new technologies, and the loss of artistic purpose. Slightly controversial opinions and real talk are guaranteed.
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A note from Joan:
“Sometimes I get my facts of life all confused and I’m afraid I did so when Andrea and I spoke. Not that it’s important to anyone but me, but would like to clarify a few time-lines and events regarding Virginia Tanner’s discussions with the Rockefeller Foundation. Her first request was indeed to have a building for her children’s work. But when she was told that the Foundation did not give money for buildings but instead for ideas, she suggested the possibility having the repertory of major choreographer’s brought to Salt Lake City and set on CDT dancers and majors in the Dance Department at the University of Utah. They approved and in 1961 Helen Tamaris and Daniel Nagrin came and set Doris’s Dance for Walt Whitman. In 1962 Alwin Nikolais came and set Totem. In 1964 Ruth Currier came and set Doris Humphreys Passacaglia Fugue in C, and her own work Transfigured Seasons, In 1965 Anna Sokolov came and set Opus ‘63, and in 1966 Lucas Hoving and Betty Jones came and set Jose Limon’s Missa Brevis . Sometime during this period Virginia had discussions with the powers that be at the Foundation about starting a new Dance Company and in 1966 Repertory Dance Theatre was formed. That was when Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company disbanded and I went to help RDT as Artistic Director for two years.
The other issue I’d like to clarify is regarding the time line with the NEA. As I said, it was indeed inaugurated in 1965 with all of the art forms under its wing…dance, visual arts, literary arts and music. I made it sound as though dance was the only art form involved. (But of course!) The pilot Impact Project (precursor to Artists-in-Schools program) took place over a two year period 1969-1970. The three major Companies and their Artist/Teachers to be involved were Murray Louis (Murray Louis) Jose Limon (Lucas Hoving and Bella Lewitzki) and the two master teachers who visited and taught in all of the five sites prior to and after the Companies involvement were Virginia Tanner (1969) and Shirley Ririe (1970) It was during an early meeting, when the NEA committee was trying to decide whether-or-not the Impact Project was to be a “go” that Shirley spoke up about the wonderful qualifications of all of the teachers. Afterwards the program’s success spoke for itself.”