Explore ‘Beneath the Surface’ with Southern Utah University’s dance concert

Southern Utah University dance student, undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University’s department of theatre arts and dance are preparing for their fall performance of “Beneath the Surface: An Original Choreographed Dance Concert.” The concert will open Wednesday and run selected dates and times through Dec. 4 at the Randall L. Jones Theatre.

“This performance of Beneath the Surface is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a variety of innovative dance experiences created by our talented students, faculty, and guest artists,” said Kay Andersen, chair of the department of theatre arts and dance at SUU. “This process brings a collaboration of student choreographers and our technical theatre students in an experience that is innovative, dynamic, and always educational.”

SUU dance students, under the direction of Lise Mills, will present a restaging of “The Foot Peddler,” a choreography of Burch Mann, the founder of the American Folk Ballet.

“I love Burch’s choreography,” said Mills, who performed for over 30 years with Burch Mann and her daughter, San Christopher. Mills said:

As I have found every year I have set something from the American Folk Ballet repertoire, the students are never quite sure what they are getting into the first year they do it, but they quickly find out they love it and look forward to being a part of it the next year, and the next. It’s addictive. The choreography is extremely challenging and unique. Not only do they have an opportunity to learn some difficult choreography, but also how to act and tell a story.

Mills was effusive in her praise of Mann.

“I love working with the students and sharing my expertise of Burch’s work with them and have a wonderful time through the process,” she said. “I always tell them, ‘If you make me cry, you’ve hit the mark.’ Every year, I cry.”

Rocky Mountain Power is a continued supporter of the American Folk Ballet and provides funding each year to carry on Mann’s legacy.

“When I finished my piece and got to watch my dancers perform what had previously just been an idea in my head, I was beyond excited,” senior dance performance major Emilee Clements said. “However, the most rewarding part of any production is showing your hard work to an audience.”

For more information about the SUU department of theatre arts and dance, go to the department website.

Event details

  • What: “Beneath the Surface: An Original Choreographed Dance Concert.”
  • When: Nov. 29-Dec. 2, and Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
  • Where: Randall L. Jones Theatre, 200 W. College Ave., Cedar City.
  • Details: Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Southern Utah University faculty, staff, and students are free with a valid ID card. Faculty and staff IDs are allowed one guest. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the show or online.

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