Arts News

Juan Carlos Claudio, a Utah Pioneer in Dance

Juan Carlos Claudio, a seasoned dancer with Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, is not only honored in the dance community, he is a quiet man of standing in our community as well.

Many in the community may personally know him, many may have only heard of him or seen him perform on stage, and many may not even have heard of Juan Carlos Claudio. Regardless of the level of interaction with Juan, he is a Utah pioneer, as puns will go.

Struggling with his relationship with his father and with affection for other men, Juan has forged a way, through his many years in dance, to understand these struggles for himself. And, hopefully through the process help others open their minds, to appreciate same-sex relationships.

This month Juan returns to academia with three other professional dancers/choreographers in a literally “transitional” performance. In Identities in Transition: A Culmination of Graduate Thesis Choreography, Juan, along with Emily Fifer, Corinne Cappelletti and Monica Campbell explore intricacies of human identity, preservation, intimacy and idealism. Juan will present two pieces: A ‘Dance for the Camera’ film (multimedia) called “Burnt” and “The One & the Other,” a dance duet featuring Graham Brown. Based entirely on Juan’s childhood, “Burnt” examines the magnetic forces between sexuality, religion, betrayal and tolerance. “The One & the Other” is a highly physical interpretive piece in which two men seemingly struggle for control of their emotions and feelings for each other. It’s almost barbaric in context, but also soft and genuine.

Identities in Transition is part of Juan’s preparation to earn a Masters of Fine Arts. As an extraordianry dancer and talented choreographer, and in terms of his extensive vision as an artist, Juan Carlos Claudio is not only a respected community member, he is a Utah pioneer.      

Identities in Transition performs Nov. 20–22 at Marriott Center for Dance, 330 S. 1500 East, UofU. Tickets $7–10, 581-7100 or kingtix.com.

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