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Two Utah Dance Companies Invited to Perform in Scotland

Two Utah Dance Companies Invited to Perform in Scotland



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Carole Mikita Reporting Dozens of dancers wearing sweatsuits and tennis shoes boarded a plane for Scotland this morning, while another group is still here in Utah rehearsing.

Scotland's Endinburgh International Festival is considered the most prestigious in the world and to have two groups from Utah invited for the first time is impressive. Ririe-Woodbury leaves Saturday; Ballet West is on its way.

With toe shoes tucked away in suitcases, Ballet West dancers waited in line at the ticket counter, destination, Edinburgh, Scotland. They’ll be performing by invitation at the International Festival. An opportunity like this is exactly what the company's artistic director has been hoping for.

Jonas Kage, Ballet West Artistic Director: "It feels just right. The company needs to be seen in an international forum like this. I think it's really time for that, so we're very excited."

One of the most excited among them is Ballet West's newest dancer, Ross Clarke, whose family back home in Scotland can't wait to see him.

Ross Clarke, Ballet West Dancer: "They're actually coming to the show Saturday and Sunday. And then I'm going home to stay with them for a week."

And after the tutu, one dancer will don a wedding gown. Kira Johnson and Nicholas Smith could not resist the romance of the British Isles.

Kira Johnson, Ballet West Dancer: "The ceremony's gonna be in Borthwick Church and the reception will be in Borthwick Castle. And they're just right next to each other. It's about twelve miles south of Edinburgh. I think it's gonna be a gorgeous setting."

Meanwhile, other dancers are still rehearsing. Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe are also taking their company, by invitation, to Scotland. Just like the ballet, this troupe is sought after because it performs the works of legendary choreographers.

Joan Woodbury, Artistic Director, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Co.: "We feel grand. I think Edinburgh has invited five major dance companies from around the world and we're one of the five and Ballet West is the other of the five. So two from Salt Lake City is really quite remarkable."

Performances take place this weekend for Ballet West, next week for Ririe-Woodbury.

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