Odyssey Dance Theatre, a modern/jazz/ballet fusion dance company based in Salt Lake City, is performing its spring repertory season, entitled "Shut-Up & Dance," now through March 27 at Kingsbury Hall. "Shut-Up & Dance" includes three alternating shows: a hip-hop interpretation of Romeo + Juliet, a unique modern-day take on the ballet classic Giselle, and the Beatles-inspired Let It Be. I attended the premiere of Let It Be Thursday night and enjoyed a spectacular evening of dance featuring some of the country's best dancers and choreographers.
If you like the FOX reality show So You Think You Can Dance, you'll probably like Let It Be. Odyssey's dance company includes more than one veteran of the TV show, and the middle section of Let It Be, a series entitled "Transitional Illuminations," is choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance judge and choreographer Mia Michaels. If you've seen Michaels' work on TV, you probably won't be surprised to hear that "Transitional Illuminations" is somewhat heavy, odd, and incomprehensible, but also touching, beautiful and sometimes breathtaking.
Let It Be opens with "Joplin Variations," a series choreographed by ODT artistic director Derryl Yeager featuring piano accompaniment by Yeager's longtime friend David Van Alstyne. Next comes "Here . . . Now," a modern/jazz series choreographed by L.A.-based Justin Giles. Michaels' "Transitional Illuminations" rounds out the first act.
The second act and title series of Let It Be features music by the Beatles and choreography by Yeager. It's lighthearted and fun, providing relief from the heavier material in the first act. Yeager's entertaining choreography showcases his ballet background.
If you're a dance fan, you'll enjoy "Shut-Up & Dance," whether you choose to see Giselle, Romeo + Juliet or Let It Be. Tickets are priced at $25-$45, but if you call the box office and mention that you're an Odyssey Dance Facebook fan, you can get a ticket for $20. Monday, March 22 is Family Night for Romeo + Juliet, and the whole family (up to 6 people) can get tickets for $15 each. Children under age 6 are not permitted, and I wouldn't recommend "Shut-Up & Dance" for children under 12, because they'll probably get restless.
Giselle: March 17, 23 and 26 at 8 p.m., March 20 at 2 p.m.
Let It Be: March 18, 20 and 24 at 8 p.m., March 27 at 2 p.m.
Romeo + Juliet: March 19, 22, 25 and 27 at 8 p.m.
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Photo courtesy Odyssey Dance Theatre