For three seasons, Ballet West's Raymond van Mason and Repertory Dance Theatre's Jim Moreno have headed Out of the Wings Dance Company.
Wings is a pickup company, which means the dancers and choreographers are recruited from various ballet and modern dance companies around the city. There are even independent dancers who make appearances.So Moreno says that by its nature, Out of the Wings is a risky venture. "We've actually become masters of putting together last-minute performances to fill empty slots," said Moreno.
"Since we are a pickup company, sometimes a scheduled choreographer will find a better offer elsewhere. We have to scramble to fill those holes."
But regardless of that type of fundamental risk, there are many rewards.
"We've found there are a lot of local dancers who want to choreograph and get their works on stage," van Mason said. "And Jim and I don't put any restrictions on what the choreographers can do."
Out of the Wings will present its annual evening of dance at the Alice Sheets Marriott Center for Dance on the University of Utah campus June 18-20. Curtain for all the performances is 7:30 p.m.
General admission tickets are available for $12 in advance at the U. Union service desk and Dance-wear Unlimited, 1740 S. 1100 East. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 364-5147. Tickets will be available at the door for $15. Tickets for Friday's performance are $20. Part of the proceeds from those ticket sales will benefit the Homeless Children's Foundation.
This year's production includes nine works - Lynne Listing's "Voyagers," Rene Daveluy's "Crash," Marina Harris' "The Couple" and an excerpt from her independent production of "Hotel Normal," Julie Kane's "Bridal Bridle," Lisa Lamanna's "Bernadette," van Mason's "Reverie," Moreno's "Ophelia," Sandy Stone's "Duet & See" and Steven Mueller's yet-to-be titled work.
When van Mason and Moreno got together three years ago, their mission was to focus on dance for dance's sake. "We wanted to give people a cross section of the dance talent in the area," said Moreno.
"And we wanted to do it in a way that there would be no competition. And we wanted to make dance fresh again. In this business, especially between the dance styles, it's easy to get lackadaisical in your own group."
Another good aspect of Out of the Wings, said van Mason, is working with people who care about dance as an art.
"The people we have chosen this year, and in the past, work well with each other," he said. "And they are open to suggestions and criticisms. They listen to each other and take heed."
"Sometimes you can get too close to a work and not see what it can do," added Moreno. "And having your peers suggest things is healthy."