Dance that reflects our frantic pace, featured in UVU's modern dance concert

UVU’s Synergy Dance Company will mark their 25th year with Accelerate, an evening of innovative and imaginative works of contemporary and modern dance.

Seven Department of Dance majors have choreographed numbers for the 27-member company, alongside professor and co-artistic director Kathie Debenham, and guest artist Francisco Gella.

Gella is an independent dance artist based in Los Angeles. He has danced with Repertory Dance Theater, Pacifica Ballet, and the Philadelphia Ballet. His choreography has been set on professional companies, universities, and studios throughout the country.

When he arrived at UVU, he had a plan for what he wanted to students to do. But when he met the dancers, he scrapped the idea entirely, changed his concept and found new music.

“I came in prepared, then got into rehearsal and had nothing,” Gella says with a laugh. “But the new music fit the mood, and the energy of the dancers. It just felt right.”

Inspired by fashion, architecture and design, Gella likes to design all the elements of his choreography - beyond steps and into lighting and costumes.

The piece is “an abstract commentary of our sensory excessiveness,” Gella says. “Especially with technology, flipping through phones. Information is readily available in the palm of our hands. All the gestures and the frantic pace of the piece is representative of all the craziness that we experience in everyday life and also how we cope with it until we say ‘enough’ and disconnect.”

Gella said that his work, although inspired by many things, should be interpreted by the audience.

“When you go to a museum and you see a painting, everyone’s interpretation will be different. Some people might see beauty, others violence. When I construct my work, it's really a moving painting,” he says.

The harmony and concert of all of the elements coming together has been very meticulous - and UVU’s Synergy company was up to the challenge.

“It requires a lot of physical agility which is a signature of my work but also juxtapositions and ironies,” Gella says. “I never really like to dumb things down so even if they’re students I want to present something of a professional caliber, and give them the experience of how it is to work in a company. I’m really proud of and happy with their work. This has been a labor of love for me.”


'Accelerate' by Synergy

November 29, 30 and December 1

7:30 p.m.

Ragan Theater

Tickets here: