NY Dance Company Arrives at the Ellen Eccles Theatre

“breathtaking, explosive, and exhilarating” – Santa Barbara News Press

LOGAN, UT — The Cache Valley Center for the Arts presents New York based dance company ASZURE BARTON & ARTISTS on Tuesday, October 18 & Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ellen Eccles Theatre. Tickets are $24 to $35 and are available at the CVCA Ticket Office located at 43 South Main, online at www.EllenEcclesTheatre.org or by calling 435-752-0026. The performance is sponsored in part by Dan & Manon Russell, Caffe Ibis, The Valley Channel, and the University Inn & Conference Center.

“Profoundly beautiful dance,” said Wally Bloss, executive director for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts. “Aszure Barton’s choreography is compelling and spellbinding. It draws you in and turns you out all in one orchestrated movement.”

She has been called “brilliant” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “audacious” by the New York Times, the Globe & Mail has called her choreography “exuberant” and the Boston Globe considers her “a rare accomplishment in the world of contemporary dance.” Now Utah audiences can experience for themselves the joyful, exuberant, sassy, playful and quirky work of rising choreographic star and Baryshnikov protégée Aszure Barton and her collective of visual, sound and performing artists, Aszure Barton & Artists.

The program opens with Les Chambres des Jacques. This movement speaks of the beauty, humor, complexity, and fragility of the heart. This piece was originally created for Les Ballets Jazz Montréal and premiered in 2006. The second half of the evening highlights Barton’s newest work, the evocative and theatrically striking Busk, which received rave reviews and an extended run at the Jerome Robbins Theatre in New York, is set to a soundtrack of evocative music by Russian violinist and composer Lev Ljova Zhurbin along with a powerful selection of world music including choir music from Sweden’s Orphei Drangar. The word “busk” comes from the Spanish root word buscar, meaning “to seek”; buskers (another word for street performers) literally seek the fantasy of fame and fortune. Busk opens with video imagery of trees, which soon gives way to bare stage. BUSK retains Aszure Barton’s signature style of precise whole-body expression inflected with an intense and intimate awareness of the thin line between humor and sadness.

Since its founding in 2002, the company has maintained their home base in New York City while developing their reputation as an international contemporary dance project. The company’s works have toured to Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Asia, Africa, Canada and the United States. In the spring of 2010, the company finished a tour throughout Europe and North America with performances in Germany, Vienna, Russia, Canada and the US. The company’s 2011 tour includes performances in Hawaii, the West Coast and throughout North America. Aszure Barton & Artists features the incredible talent of ten dancers with whom Barton collaborates; Cherice Barton, Tobin Del Cuore (who has danced with local Philadelphia company BalletX), Julia Eichten, Andrew Murdock, Emily Oldak (Cirque du Soleil’s Love), Christopher Ralph, Donald Sales, Annika Sheaff, and Ben Wardell. Barton herself will appear in Busk.

Aszure Barton, a protégé of the legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov (and the first choreographer for his Baryshnikov Arts Center), has earned the distinguished reputation of producing striking choreography for stage and film, and together with her intimate ensemble, she continues to develop critically acclaimed productions around the globe. She has established herself as one of the most promising and consistently commissioned young choreographers in modern dance and ballet. According to The Globe & Mail, “Barton makes dance that moves through the body like a firecracker. It’s an unstoppable explosion of amazing, full-out movement that feels fresh and unique…This is fabulous dancing, with heart and lots of visceral surprises. You could safely recommend it to your neighbor who thinks modern dance is intimidating.” Her work is created in a celebration of music and movement, and with a love for collaboration with dancers, filmmakers, designers, photographers and musicians with the aim to provoke the audience into developing new ways to look at their lives and their bodies. Her choreography mixes the elements taken from ballet, modern, folk, pop and hip hop.

At only 35, she has already created works for established groups like Nederlands Dans Theater, American Ballet Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, celebrated dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov as well as choreographed the 2006 Broadway revival production of The Threepenny Opera. She studied with Cathy Hauptman, Sandra Gray and Deborah Morgan and was designated a Paul D. Fleck Fellow at The Banff Centre. She received her formal training at the National Ballet School in Toronto, where she helped originate the Stephen Godfrey Choreographic Showcase. She was the Resident Choreographer for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (2005-08) and was named the very first Artist-in-Residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in 2005, creating new works each year since. She has been proclaimed the official ambassador of Contemporary in Choreography in Alberta, Canada. As a dancer she has performed with such celebrated artists and companies including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Hell’s Kitchen Dance, the National Ballet of Canada, Wendy Osserman Dance Company, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and her own Aszure Barton & Artists. In 2002, she formed Aszure Barton & Artists, presenting her first piece at a deli on 42nd Street in New York City. For more information about the company, visit www.aszurebarton.com.

Tickets for this performance are $24-$35, with a wide variety of discounts for families, USU Students & groups of 15+. Tickets can be purchased online at www.EllenEcclesTheatre.org. In addition to evening performances, CVCA’s arts education program will host an hour long master class with Aszure Barton & Artists on Monday, October 17 at 2:30 pm in HPER 215 on the USU Campus. Cost to attend this master class is $10 per person. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about these performances or the associated master class call (435) 752-0026 or visit the CVCA Ticket Office located at 43 South Main, in Downtown Logan, Utah during regular business hours M-F 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and one hour prior to all show times.

This tour is made possible through the Performing Arts season at the Cache Valley Center for the Arts and the generous support from our season sponsors including: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation; Marie Eccles Caine Foundation – Russell Family; Cache County Restaurant/RAPZ Tax Funds, Logan City Cultural Arts Grant; Utah Division of Arts & Museums & the National Endowment for the Arts; and Wasatch Logan Arts Foundation.

CVCA maintains a tradition of bringing audiences the world’s best contemporary touring dance companies. Later this season CVCA presents the pride, passion, love, & sorrow of Spain with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana.

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Performances of Aszure Barton & Artists are supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. BUSK was co-commissioned by The Banff Centre (Banff, Canada), Danceworks (Santa Barbara), and the Ringling International Arts Festival, John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota, FL) in association with The Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York, NY).