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Department of Theatre and Dance

Vertical Dance Performances Scheduled at Vedauwoo Aug. 25-26

Aug. 13, 2007 -- Popular vertical dance returns to Vedauwoo with three performances Aug. 25-26. This year’s theme focuses on the insect life.

Two performances for “Dancing Between Earth and Sky: Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo,” will be presented at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. The final performance is at 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 26.

The performance area is 14 miles east of Laramie on Interstate 80 off the Vedauwoo exit. Shuttle buses will take patrons from the outer, free parking area outside Vedauwoo to the trailhead leading up to the performance setting. Patrons should plan on arriving no later than 10:30 a.m. to the outer parking area.

A limited number of tickets are available on site, but also can be purchased in advance through the Fine Arts ticket office or the Union Ticket office. Tickets are $6 for all ages, including pets. For more information, call the Fine Arts Ticket office at (307)766-6666.

Vertical dance is a unique blend of modern dance using ropes and the natural contours of rock to allow free-flowing aerial movement. Since 1998, the presentations in the natural rock formations at Vedauwoo have offered Wyoming and northern Colorado audiences a breathtaking set to view dance, says Margaret Wilson, University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance assistant professor.

Wilson and Neil Humphrey, UW geology and geophysics professor, have choreographed the performance and created a UW program in vertical dance.

“Through the years we have selected a different theme for each performance -- mostly focusing on the experience of being at Vedauwoo -- dancing in a unique environment or influenced by different animals,” Wilson says. “This year we are focusing on the insect life, with both literal and abstract representation of ants, spiders, butterflies and other insects.”

All dancers for this year’s program completed the Vertical I course taught by Humphrey and Wilson. The course covers the basics of safety and gives the dancers experience with different rigging setups. The course also allows students to discover how they can apply their skill in dancing in a new relation to gravity. But for some, this will be the first time they will work outside, which presents new challenges, Wilson says.

“While many dance programs and dance companies use elements of vertical or aerial dance in performance, very few perform outside and receive the training that UW students are given in this dance genre,” she adds. “Vertical dance is one of the many valuable and unique aspects of the UW Theatre and Dance program.”

Dancers for the performance are Brian Cofer, Gering Neb.; Katrina Despain, Loveland, Colo.; Andrew Franks-Ongoy, Helena, Mont.; Tiffany Forester, Katelyn Metzger and Stuart Speckner, all from Cheyenne; Kathryn Rochelle, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Rachel Rosenfeld, Aurora, Colo.; Russell Gilbert, Roscoe, Ill.; and Lauren Winstead, Sheridan.

The dancers will perform to the music of “PQBP and Friends.” Peter Queal and Bill Plummer will join other local musicians to provide a wide range of music to complement the dancing.

For more information, contact Wilson at (307) 766-5138 or e-mail

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007


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