Odyssey Dance Theatre Celebrates 10 Years

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Shelley Osterloh ReportingAt a time when some performing arts companies are struggling, one local dance company just keeps growing, and now the Odyssey Dance Theatre has hit a milestone.

That milestone is an anniversary -- ten years. Odyssey Dance Theatre has found a unique niche in the world of dance performance by offering a wide variety of dance styles that is always, entertaining. Odyssey Dance Company is as eclectic as its creator. Derryl Yeager likes all kinds of dance; he was a principal dancer with Ballet West and performed in Broadway shows, music videos, film and TV.

Derryl Yeager, Artistic Dir. Odyssey Dance Theatre: "This company is like the company that I wish I could have performed with all those years ago when I was in my prime."

When he returned to Utah, he found a huge pool of talented dancers and the opportunity to create a company that reflected the joy of movement in all styles of dance.

Eldon Johnson, Odyssey Theatre Dancer: "This company does everything -- hip hop, jazz, modern, ballet, you name it we do it. We see something we like, Irish step dancing, we incorporate it somewhere in our shows."

Like the nutcracker for Ballet Companies, Thriller, Odyssey's Halloween show, has become a staple for the company. As dancers switch from Frankenstein's ballet to rhythmic Jasons and tap dancing bones, it is dance not for dance sake, but for entertainment.

Derryl Yeager, Artistic Dir. Odyssey Dance Theatre: "One of the comments we get all the time is from guys who get dragged to a dance performance and they say, ‘you know I don't like dance, but that was cool.’"

The company has also been selected to perform dances by some of the hottest new choreographers. Dancers are rehearsing Obsession Possession from Liz Imperio, who created dances for Madonna and Gloria Estafan, proving Odyssey's appeal is its creative unpredictability.

Odyssey Dance Theatre celebrates its ten year anniversary with its Spring performance called "Shut up and Dance." It's three different repertory shows and opens this Wednesday at The Rose Wagner Theater and runs until the 19th. Then the company goes on tour in Europe.

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