Jamey Hampton, co-founder of ISO and one of the hottest properties in modern dance just now, will perform with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company on Friday at 7 p.m., on the pavilion at Snowbird. Admission is $5, available at the door.
Hampton is in Utah as a guest teacher and choreographer during Ririe-Woodbury's Move It '88 workshop, now going on at Snowbird until Aug. 5. He is also devising a new work for Ririe-Woodbury, which the company will dance in their spring 1989 concert. Also collaborating on that concert will be the Bobs, an a cappella singing group.Hampton is one of that evolving sort of modern dancer, who has progressed through several seminal companies. Born in Oregon, he graduated from Dartmouth College, where he trained with Allison Chase, a co-founder of Pilobolus. He joined that company in 1978, remaining for five years. In 1983 he joined Momix, touring with the group as a choreographer/dancer.
Despite their prestige and importance, those two exciting companies that thrive on collaborative choreography have always been noted for their volatility; dancers tend to go head on head, as talent clashes with talent. From such a background ISO was born in 1986, with four dancers - two men and two women - who moved out of Momix. The name is an acronym for "I'm so optimistic."
ISO has captured the fancy of the nation, already appearing under Columbia Concert management, and touring widely. " . . . the ISO repertoire at present suggests a swath across '80s popular culture - film, video, literature, fashion, sports, music from Wagner to Dolby, Debussy to Kronos Quartet, or maybe no music at all," said Otis Stuart in the current Dance Magazine.
"To date ISO has performed at the 1987 Fashion Aid benefit in London, contributed to David Bowie's `Glass Spider' concert tour, and collaborated with video artists such as John Fogerty and with the Berkeley-based a cappella new wave group, the Bobs."
Hampton indicated in the same article that the name may be new, but the same improvisatory, energetic way of creating survives. "Every piece is different . . . but there is a certain energy (in ISO) that is similar, recognizable," he said. "A lot of our work is based on the energy among us, and we put pieces together the way some bands put music together . . . writing the parts as they go. We also bounce off each other's movements and spontaneities. It's a surprise every day."
Hampton has danced also with Crowsnest and Tandy Beal and Company. His choreographic credits include increasing balletic assignments, for Lille Opera, Geneva Opera, Ballet Oregon, and MTV.
For further information about classes, workshops and performances of Move It '88, call 328-1062.