Ten years ago, Charlotte Boye-Christensen took the role of artistic director of the nearly 50-year-old Ririe-Woodbury Dance company. She has in many ways changed the rules of dance, the public’s understanding of the artistry and the international notoriety of the already beloved troupe. She has decided to step down at the end of June 2013 to pursue other national and international choreographic opportunities.
Boye-Christensen, a native of Denmark, started dancing at 9 years old, but had stopped for a time during high school. She returned to dance at the age of 17, received formal training in London and completed a MFA Degree from New York University. She joined RWDC in 2002 with a vision of making the company more internationally renowned. “I never look at it in a purely Utah context, I look at it from a different place, a more international context,” she said in a 2008 interview.
During her tenure with RWDC, she has been involved in several exceptional collaborations, including The Figura Ensemble from her homeland of Copenhagen; local artist Trent Call; Danish composer Jens Horsving; four Mexican artists (who were all former gang members): University of Utah professor Eric Handman; and two collaborations with nationally renowned writer David Kranes and Canadian architect Nathan Webster.
“The fact that Charlotte has been with the company for 10 years is quite remarkable,” said Jena Woodbury, managing director of RWDC. “She’s an incredible and prolific choreographer and has been dedicated to developing the physicality of the dancers and creating a diverse repertory.”
In her final season, Boye-Christensen has put together a possible tour de force – bringing to the stage the works of incredible choreographers from around the world, including John Utans, Brook Notary, Alberto del Saz and Johannes Wieland.
“I have loved the creative work that I have done with the company over this last decade,” said Boye-Christensen. “It has been an inspiring and thought-provoking journey. I want to thank in particular the Ririe-Woodbury dancers, the staff, Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury, my collaborators and the community for 10 amazing years of contemporary dance in Salt Lake City.”
The season opens Sept. 20, visit ririewoodbury.com