ST. GEORGE — Local choreographer and artistic director Summer Belnap Robertson has created an evening of dance excellence based upon the poetry of her beloved dance teacher and mentor Candy Lish Fowler and performed by the St. George Dance Company.
The company is an adult modern dance group under the direction of Robertson whose original choreography for the concert comes from inspiration generated by poems taken from Fowler’s award-winning book of poetry titled “On A Road That Knows Me.” The dance concert will carry the same name as Fowler’s book.
The performance will take place one night only, April 13, at the Electric Theater located at 68 East Tabernacle in St. George at 7 p.m. The program will last one hour and is handicapped-accessible. Tickets are $15 general admission and $8 youth/seniors.
Dancers performing are Sarah Ashworth, Marjoline Cazalis, Jenna Clark, Sarah Clark, Sherlyn Davis, Cassidee Edmunds, Trinity Fletcher, Sage Gallagher, Sydney Garcia, Jennie Grimes, Kathryn Holman, Rachel Holman, Gloria Morin, Courtney Pearce, Jonno Vetsich and Rebekah Wainwright.
An inspiring teacher
Fowler grew up in Granger, Utah, graduating from high school as the Sterling Scholar in English where she was also crowned Utah’s Junior Miss. As a young dancer, Candy performed under the direction of Virginia Tanner in the Children’s Dance Theater at the University of Utah. Through her years of training at the university, she had the opportunity to work with great dance pioneers such as Doris Humphrey, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, Ririe-Woodbury, RDT and Bella Lewitzsky.
In 1977, Fowler moved with her family to St.George. She was an adjunct professor of modern dance at Dixie College for five years. In 1982, she worked at Dixie while turning back to children’s dance to teach her own daughters the same joy in movement she had experienced in her youth.
For years, Fowler produced highly acclaimed original dance plays as the founder of Southwest Dance Theater. She later established the dance program at Tuacahn Center for the Arts and served on the Utah Arts Council.
In addition to dance, Fowler is a skilled writer and poet. Her poetry has won on both state and national levels. In 2015, Fowler was selected by the Utah State Poetry Society as “Utah Poet of the Year” based upon her manuscript “On A Road That Knows Me.” The book has been referred to as “poetry that cuts straight to the heart and is a fierce collection with a sharp edge.”
“Candy’s poetry is powerful and launches feelings of movement, both joyful and introspective for the upcoming concert,” Robertson said.
Southwest Dance Theater was a pioneering effort that has been woven into the community for over 35 years where it has impacted hundreds of lives. On March 1, the St. George Arts Commission presented Fowler the “2018 Award of Excellence in the Arts” encompassing both dance and writing performance.
As a young girl, Robertson attended Fowler’s Southwest Dance Theater where she enjoyed the dance experience so much that it instilled in her a lifetime passion for both movement and choreography. Robertson now follows in her teacher’s footsteps and has created over 50 original dance works of her own.
Robertson received a bachelor’s in fine arts in contemporary dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Arts in dance education from Columbia University.
She founded the St. George Dance Company in 2008 and her choreography has been described as innovative, witty and whimsical, yet appealing to all audiences.
As a tribute and celebration of her teacher, Robertson has created an evening of dance inspired by Fowler’s book of poetry. A journey of story and words put into movement in a one-hour program that will lift your heart and soul (and maybe your feet). It will also include a special performance by young guest dancers from Southwest Dance Company in a piece choreographed by Katie Fowler Smith.
- What: “On a Road That Knows Me” Dance Concert.
- When: Friday, April, 13, 7 p.m.
- Where: The Electric Theater, 68 E. Tabernacle, St. George.
- Cost: $8-$15.
- Purchase tickets: Online or by calling 435-773-1221.