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 LimÃ³n 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.