Odyssey Dance Theatre’s mission is to provide quality entertainment and artistic excellence in theatrical dance as a professional dance company; to provide employment for Utah’s talented dancers; to exercise and maintain fiscal responsibility and be debt free; and to make theatrical dance more accessible to a wide audience, by utilizing current social themes and music, as well as creating and re-creating classical and full-length works that are exciting to young and old alike. Odyssey Dance Theatre operates within the following context:
- 1. Historical – reflecting ballet’s ancient roots and history.
- 2. Aesthetic – reflecting dance’s evolution into one of the most refined, energetic, and entertaining art forms.
- 3. Contemporary – commitment to performing works by the world’s best and most innovative choreographers.
- 4. Popular – reflecting its commitment to making dance more accessible to a wide audience.
Founded in 1994 and directed by Derryl Yeager, former Ballet West Principal, Broadway, Television, and Film veteran, Odyssey Dance Theatre explodes with world-class bravado, passionate charm, and choreographic invention, combining the classical virtues of ballet with the attack of jazz; the freedom of modern dance; the raw energy of hip-hop; the syncopated rhythms of tap; the fluid partnering of ballroom; and the spirit of Broadway and Vaudeville to create a fresh dance vocabulary and entertainment genre that engages audiences across the country and around the world. Odyssey is the “common man’s” dance company, with something for everyone to enjoy – not just for those who see dance as an “elitist” form of entertainment. The use of contemporary, popular music, along with classical, makes it exceptionally appealing to a broad based demographic.
Odyssey employs 24 dancers, more than half of whom are Utah born. The company gives these highly proficient dancers a chance to make their home here (when they could dance anywhere they choose) and to still realize their dreams of dancing with one of the pre-eminent dance companies in the field. Odyssey Dance Theatre dancers are equally proficient in every style of dance, including ballet; tap; jazz; modern; Irish; ballroom; and funk/hip-hop. Odyssey’s creative repertoire, versatility and multi-talented and spirited dancers give the company a sustainable, competitive advantage. The company has carved a unique niche in the local, national and international dancescape and has, in fact, created a whole, new market for dance.