Ririe-Woodbury names new artistic director

Dance • Daniel Charon is the first man to lead the company in its 50-year history.
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Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company has appointed Daniel Charon as its new artistic director.

Charon is only the second hire in the company's 50-year history since its founding by Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury. He also is the company's first male artistic director.

He replaces Charlotte Boye-Christensen, who stepped down to found NOW, a new interdisciplinary dance company in Salt Lake City.

Based in New York since 1995, Charon danced with prestigious companies such as Limón Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Dance Kaleidoscope and Doug Elkins and Friends.

He has been choreographing since 1998 and led his own project-based company from 2004 to 2011. Since then, he has completed his MFA in choreography and integrated media from CalArts.

In his new position, Charon hopes to increase Ririe-Woodbury's national visibility. "I believe the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company proudly fits on the world stage as a dance organization of the highest caliber," he said in a news release.

Jena Woodbury, Ririe-Woodbury's managing director, is excited to introduce a new artistic voice to the Utah, national and international community. "Daniel's expansive experience as a dance artist will help cultivate connections in the national dance community," she said.

Dancer Tara McArthur, the longest-standing member of the company, said Charon's experience as a full-time dancer in a prominent company gives him a dancer's perspective, while his commitment to showing his work in New York City adds a presenter's experience.

"Daniel will continue to give the company class — something the dancers really connected with as part of his interview," she said.

Charon's appointment coincides with a 50th-anniversary fundraising campaign that Ririe-Woodbury will launch in June. The goals is to raise $2 million over the next five years.

Ririe-Woodbury has already received several major gifts, including $150,000 from the Sorenson Family Legacy Foundation; $75,000 from Zions Bank; $37,000 from Martha MacDonell of Lima, Ohio; and a $25,000 matching gift from Connie Jo Hepworth-Woolston and Art Woolston of Nevada.