Amelia Rudolph loves the Salt Lake City Library building, but not just because it has lots of books and a comfortable reading areas.
The part of the library she's most familiar with, as dancer and artistic director of the vertical dance troupe Bandaloop, is the curved glass wall that faces out onto Library Square and will become the stage for the group's gravity-defying choreography during performances at the Utah Arts Festival.
"There's something about the fact that it's glass, so it's reflective," Rudolph said in a recent phone interview. "It allows us [seemingly] to double the number of dancers that we have."
And, at five stories, the library is not too big and not too small. "We're not so high above the audience that they can't see the detail that we're doing," she said.
This marks the second time Bandaloop has performed at the Utah Arts Festival, and Rudolph recalled that the audience was warm and generous. (She said someone sent a note to one of Rudolph's dancers, asking her jokingly "to be his fifth wife.") The troupe has practiced a group piece designed specifically for the Salt Lake City audience.
Rudolph founded the troupe in 1991, and the group has traveled the world performing from harnesses on the sides of buildings. Bandaloop received national TV exposure earlier this week, when the dancers figured prominently in a date on ABC's reality series "The Bachelorette." At 50 and with a two-year-old, Rudolph doesn't dance as much as she used to, but she still directs the troupe.
Dancing sideways, she said, "looks really easy, but it's a lot of work. It's literally harder for dancers to remember the choreography." She said that being tipped sideways, with the fluid in one's inner ear sloshing around, can affect the dancers' balance and with it their muscle memory.
Bandaloop will perform twice daily, at 6 and 8 p.m., each night of the festival, capturing the pre-dusk light that filmmakers call "magic hour."
The troupe uses some artificial light "to illuminate the dancers," Rudolph said, adding that "I really enjoy natural light, especially toward the end of the day. â¦ You can't hide anything not that you can hide anything anyway, doing what we do."
Where • Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City.
When • Thursday through Saturday, June 20-23.
Hours • Noon to 11 p.m. each day.
Admission • $12 a day for adults; free for kids 12 and under; $6 for seniors 65 and older; $35 for a 4-day pass.
Discounts • $10 opening-day special Thursday only; $6 lunchtime special, Thursday and Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; and a "y'all come back" pass, good for 2-for-1 admission on a return visit, available upon exit.