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By Kathy Adams
After a decade as artistic director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Charlotte Boye-Christensen is stepping down to found a new interdisciplinary dance company called NOW in Salt Lake City.
The amicable parting leaves Ririe-Woodbury with big shoes to fill on the advent of the company’s 50th anniversary. Boye-Christensen is only the company’s second artistic director since its founding in 1964 by Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe. “Charlotte has been phenomenal for the company,” says managing director Jena Woodbury. “We want the new director,” Daniel Charon, a choreographer and former dancer with Doug Varone, among others, “to maintain the high level of quality and contemporary edge Charlotte brought.”
Boye-Christensen has been commissioned by companies from Cuba to Singapore and is noted for a strong point of view in her work. “She has staked out a very new, quite singular, physical territory,” says Eric Handman, choreographer and assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Modern Dance.
The decision to leave RW was difficult, Boye-Christensen says, but the job of artistic director was so demanding that it took away from her energy to choreograph. NOW is poised to fulfill her long-term ambition “to bring the eyes and talents of the world to Salt Lake City, and a Salt Lake City perspective to the world.”
The decision also comes with a change in her personal life: She plans to marry artist and architect Nathan Webster. The two have partnered on several experimental collaborations in the past, and Webster, as a co-founder of NOW, is a key figure in its inaugural project in July titled The Wedding. (Read more about the production here.)
“I will miss the experience of absorbing Charlotte’s movement into my body directly from her,” says RW dancer Tara Roszeen McArthur. “Her voracity for creating new material is inspiring.”
Photo courtesy RW.