ODYSSEY DANCE UTAH WITH KURT BESTOR AND RICHARD PAUL EVANS, "The Dance," at the Capitol Theatre, June 16, 7:30 p.m. Additional performance June 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets available through ArtTix at 355-ARTS (2787) or 1-888-451-ARTS.

It was one for all and all for one when three Utah artists put their minds together and created a nice tear-jerking Father's Day celebration.

Odyssey Dance Utah — directed by Derryl Yeager — musician Kurt Bestor and author Richard Paul Evans have found their calling with "The Dance."

Bestor's typical Utah contemporary instrumental music highlighted the movements, choreographed by Yeager. The production was tied with a nice bow thanks to Evans' narration of his original story.

Evans' own daughter, Jenna, stole the show with her ballet variation in the "Pavanne" segment. As narrator, Evans' couldn't help but shed a few tears as he told about the last moments a father shared with his dancing daughter.

The choreography flowed with innocent spirit as the performance documented the daughter's growth into womanhood, as the father lovingly watched.

The children's dance, called "Sundancing," was another highlight as young Afton DelGrosso and her friends dance-stepped on blocks, shaded themselves with yellow umbrellas and spun for the joy of spinning.

The evening wound to a close with the reminiscent "Reverie" and the heart-breaking "Adagio," before Nathan Balsar, who performed as the younger version of the father, sang the Bestor composition "Dance for Me" as the Odyssey Dance Utah company reemerged for a fitting finale.

While the production went on without a hitch, it would have been more effective if Bestor's orchestra and Evans had switched places.

Evans narrated the show from a stool in the orchestra pit, while Bestor and his 10 musicians were stationed on the stage.

It should have been the other way around. The shiny and intricate musical instruments got in the way, visually, with the dancing. The dancers should have had a full stage with a little corner set aside for the narrator.

Opening the evening was Janalyn Memmott's "Dances In the Garden of Eden." The dancers were able to let loose during this work's six segments that touched on the various issues of life.

With both of these works put together for an evening-long production, Odyssey Dance Utah has shown remarkable growth in style and sentiment.


E-mail: scott@desnews.com