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It’s close to midnight: Dancers, alumni reflect as curtains open on final ‘Thriller’ season



#shut #midnight #Dancers #alumni #mirror #curtains #open #last #Thriller #season

Dancers leap onto a field and strike a pose within the dance “Jason Jam” throughout a costume rehearsal for Odyssey Dance Theatre’s “Thriller” on Thursday. That is the ultimate season of “Thriller” earlier than the corporate closes its doorways. (Lily Farrar and Lea Kosterlitz, Odyssey Dance Theatre)

Estimated learn time: 7-8 minutes

PARK CITY – Odyssey Dance Theatre is going through its eleventh hour because it opens the curtains for the ultimate season of the Halloween dance spectacle “Thriller.”

“Thriller” is Odyssey Dance Theatre’s hottest present that has snuck its means right into a yearly custom for a lot of Utahns during the last 28 years.

The present begins with its iconic zombie dance to Michael Jackson’s tune “Thriller” and continues by means of different spunky, foolish and spooky tales comparable to Frankenstein and his bride, chainsaw Jason, cursed mummies, witches, skeletons and extra.

Odyssey founder and inventive director Derryl Yeager and his spouse, Cheryl, the costume manufacturing director, announced in July they are going to be retiring and shutting the corporate after this yr’s “Thriller” season as a result of they’re going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Though a Utah-based firm with a majority of dancers hailing from Utah, Odyssey has attracted dancers and followers from throughout the nation.

Hope Parker was dancing professionally in New York when she noticed an audition discover for “a random Halloween present.” She determined to audition for enjoyable and after her first season of “Thriller,” she was hooked. This yr shall be her eighth season of “Thriller” and he or she is approaching these final exhibits with gratitude and pleasure.

The corporate goes out with a bang, performing “Thriller” 40 instances throughout 5 places within the subsequent 5½ weeks. Beginning with a sold-out opening present Friday on the Egyptian Theatre in Park Metropolis, tickets are going quick for this last likelihood for Utahns to see the present earlier than the curtains shut eternally.

The top is close to

For Odyssey dancers each previous and current, it is bittersweet understanding the top is close to.

Peiter Mortensen, an Odyssey alum who danced with the corporate for 9 years till he injured his ankle earlier this yr, stated it is robust to see the present shut.

“‘Thriller’ is a staple in Utah, similar to Ballet West’s ‘Nutcracker,'” he stated. “It has been round for therefore lengthy and folks love doing it.”

Odyssey alumna Dayna Marshall stated Utah’s dance scene will certainly have a gap the place Odyssey was once. “‘Thriller’ has been a singular vacation expertise for therefore a few years. It is laborious to simply accept that I will not be capable of take my youngsters to see this present each Halloween season!”

An Odyssey dancer performs a Frankenstein-inspired dance during a dress rehearsal for Odyssey Dance Theatre's "Thriller" on Thursday.
An Odyssey dancer performs a Frankenstein-inspired dance throughout a costume rehearsal for Odyssey Dance Theatre’s “Thriller” on Thursday. (Picture: Lily Farrar and Lea Kosterlitz, Odyssey Dance Theatre)

Marshall danced with Odyssey for 6½ years till she tore her ACL and meniscus throughout a “Thriller” efficiency.

“I am so proud to say I used to be part of Odyssey; and despite the fact that I am unhappy to see the doorways shut, the friendships and inspiration that got here from this firm will reside on,” Marshall stated.

Odyssey member Kiana Little had no intentions of pursuing dance as a profession at first. Nevertheless, she was acting at a dance competitors when an Odyssey member noticed her and inspired her to audition. She has now been with Odyssey for about eight years.

“Thriller has grow to be a Halloween custom in Utah and I do not suppose I totally notice simply how many individuals know and love the present,” she stated.

Though she is gloomy Odyssey shall be closing, Little stated she is past grateful to have been a small a part of it.

The Yeagers devoted their lives to Odyssey for therefore a few years, and now “they need to have time to give attention to themselves and I’m so comfortable that they are going to have the ability to do this,” Little stated.

Eldon Johnson danced within the very first Thriller and continued with the corporate for 18 years. Through the second half of his time with Odyssey, he was additionally one of many affiliate administrators who helped run rehearsals and help within the inventive facet of the corporate.

Johnson stated whereas it’s unhappy Odyssey is nearly over, on the similar time he thinks all the things has its time and its glory days.

“Although ‘Thriller’ is gonna be missed, it offers a chance for one thing else to return alongside that is perhaps slightly extra recent,” Johnson stated. “I believe it is leaving at a great level to depart a extremely fond reminiscence in everybody’s minds.”

The individuality of Odyssey

When Odyssey was based, Yeager hoped to offer dancers with the chance and expertise to carry out and develop whereas staying of their hometown.

Johnson began dancing when he was 16. As soon as he graduated highschool, he moved to Los Angeles to start out dancing professionally however did not love dwelling there. He got here again to Utah and was recruited by Yeager to hitch Odyssey.

For Johnson and plenty of different dancers, Odyssey was an ideal path for them. It gave dancers the power to remain in Utah and proceed their coaching all whereas performing and attending to do the identical issues most L.A. firms do.

“Odyssey has been capable of present dancers in Utah a technique to do one thing they love, whereas additionally making an earnings and never having to maneuver to L.A. to do it,” Little stated.

Two dancers perform "Slytherins," an acrobatic piece using aerial silks, during a dress rehearsal for Odyssey Dance Theatre's "Thriller" on Thursday.
Two dancers carry out “Slytherins,” an acrobatic piece utilizing aerial silks, throughout a costume rehearsal for Odyssey Dance Theatre’s “Thriller” on Thursday. (Picture: Lily Farrar and Lea Kosterlitz, Odyssey Dance Theatre)

For Little, dancing with Odyssey helped her take steps out of her consolation zone so she may discover and have enjoyable.

“As a result of that is what we’re doing on stage. We’re taking part in fake characters, however having very actual interactions with the viewers and one another. It is the good feeling and I will by no means be capable of describe it,” she stated.

Odyssey dancers primarily prepare in jazz and ballet all through the week, but additionally do hip-hop, ballroom, acrobatics, faucet, Irish step dancing, modern and partnering.

“It is tremendous various within the rep that it provides. It is laborious to discover a firm doing such quite a lot of motion types and genres and have it achieved nicely, multi function place,” Johnson stated. “That is what separates Odyssey from everybody else throughout the nation and throughout Utah.”

The range of types is what made Parker wish to keep at Odyssey after her first “Thriller” season.

“I joined the corporate as a result of I lastly discovered an organization that embraced each style of dance,” Parker stated. “Most firms embody one style and once you’re a well-rounded dancer, it is laborious to surrender all genres for one when selecting gigs and corporations.”

Parker stated she is comfortable for the Yeager household as they transfer on to a brand new chapter of their life. “I am grateful to have been a part of the Odyssey legacy. I’ve immense respect for a corporation that has allowed me to be myself and has all the time valued my laborious work.”

When Marshall joined Odyssey in 2008, she stated she was surrounded by “wildly” proficient dancers she regarded as much as, not solely as artists but additionally as human beings.

“All of us introduced one thing distinctive to the desk and had been challenged in types we weren’t comfy with. Derryl all the time wished extra than simply good dancers,” Marshall stated. “He wished personalities and entertainers who may transfer an viewers. I’ve by no means labored or laughed tougher than throughout my years with Odyssey!”

Lots of the dancers who’ve been at Odyssey at the moment are acting on Broadway or at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor in New York. They’ve gone on to compete on “So You Assume You Can Dance” or toured with Cirque du Soleil.

“They’re the judges at competitions and choreographers at your native dance studios. They’re your neighbors, mates and infrequently the most important personalities within the room,” Marshall stated.

As shut as household

Between “Thriller,” a number of Christmas exhibits, spring performances, numerous rehearsals and a European tour, the Odyssey dancers spend hundreds of hours collectively every year.

Members of Odyssey Dance Theatre practice the dance "Annabelle of the Ball" during a dress rehearsal for the show "Thriller" on Thursday.
Members of Odyssey Dance Theatre apply the dance “Annabelle of the Ball” throughout a costume rehearsal for the present “Thriller” on Thursday. (Picture: Lily Farrar and Lea Kosterlitz, Odyssey Dance Theatre)

Mortensen stated he considers Yeager a second dad, and through present seasons he would see Yeager greater than his personal dad.

“It turned a household. It did not really feel like a job for me as a result of I cherished going to work. I cherished being within the environment,” he stated. “I’ve made among the finest friendships I’ve ever had — long-lasting friendships — at Odyssey.”

Little stated she additionally met “eternally” mates by means of the corporate. “Whereas I actually love being on stage, what retains me coming again are the folks I get to share the stage with,” she stated.

Odyssey was a significant a part of Johnson’s life and dance profession. He stated he’s very grateful for the alternatives it supplied him and he solely has nice recollections from his time there. “I miss the corporate and it was an important, enormous a part of my life.”

Marshall agreed and stated the corporate turned a household for her as nicely. “I’ve danced with pregnant moms, witnessed my mates get engaged, carried out in theaters world wide, and developed friendships that may final a lifetime.”

When requested if she was going to see “Thriller” this yr, Marshall stated, “I would not miss the final season of ‘Thriller!’ Who is aware of… possibly you may see a well-known face or two over the past Kingsbury present!”

Odyssey Dance Theatre could have an alumni evening on Oct. 22 over the past present at Kingsbury Corridor with a couple of particular surprises.


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BeReal social media app: What is it? How does it work?



#BeReal #social #media #app #work

A brand new app is on the town and it hopes to shift customers away from the hyper-manicured and overproduced world of social media to the genuine.

Based by former GoPro worker Alexis Barreyat in January 2020, BeReal, a photograph posting app, has already made waves amongst members of Technology Z.

Working example: 12 months so far, BeReal’s month-to-month lively customers have grown by 315%, with 65% of lifetime downloads inside this calendar 12 months, in line with Apptopia.

So, what’s BeReal?

The French app has been pitched as an “genuine, unfiltered various to the curated posts on Instagram and TikTok,” in line with The Wall Street Journal.

Right here’s the way it works: As soon as a day, the app sends you a notification, telling you to publish your BeReal for the day — a photograph of no matter you’re doing on the time, whether or not it is mendacity in mattress or making dinner.

You solely have two minutes to organize. If you take the picture, it’s going to seize from the front- and back-facing digital camera on the identical time.

No filters. No retouching. Retakes are allowed however everybody can see that you just retook the picture.

There’s additionally a map customers can view to find different publicly posted BeReals. However watch out — each time you view another person’s picture, it’s a must to publish your personal.

Every posted picture could be shared on the worldwide feed or solely with associates. The app is accessible to obtain on iPhones and Androids.

Wired’s service author Reece Rogers even pegged the app as “well-designed and straightforward to select up.”

Why is BeReal turning into fashionable?

The notions of a curated feed are changed with an “unfiltered vibe,” which is creating room for one thing like BeReal.

The app’s personal description warns potential customers: “If you wish to develop into an influencer, you possibly can keep on TikTok and Instagram.”

Faculty college students appear to be the demographic. Meredith Mueller, a journalism pupil on the College of Kansas, downloaded the app just a few weeks in the past.

“I downloaded it, typed my info in after which it got here up with all my contacts with folks that already had this,” Mueller stated, per NBC News.

“And I used to be like, how have I by no means heard of this and all these individuals in my contacts have already got this?”

Instagram, Fb and even Snapchat courted customers with guarantees of extra intimate and real methods of connecting on-line, and ultimately, these guarantees wore off.

BeReal is the No.1 free app on the Apple app retailer.

What do mother and father must find out about BeReal?

In dialog with Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist, ABC affiliate KABC reported that BeReal has its upsides and drawbacks.

“Any social media app that promotes authenticity and in addition limits the time that you just’re on, for my part, is one which’s worthwhile,” stated Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist.

You possibly can silence the notifications however the expertise can nonetheless be unusual at instances.

“When a toddler is participating in a brand new app, it’s a teachable second to remind them of your personal household guidelines about social media and interact with them collectively,” Taylor added.

Mother and father must also pay attention to the kind of content material their youngsters are posting and viewing.

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Researchers use dirty diapers to develop new autism test



#Researchers #soiled #diapers #develop #autism #take a look at

Estimated learn time: 1-2 minutes

PROVO — A gaggle of researchers at Brigham Younger College is on the lookout for methods to detect autism in youngsters earlier. And so they’re utilizing soiled diapers to do it.

Affiliate Professor Rebecca Lundwall is hoping to discover a new method to take a look at for autism in youthful children. She’s accumulating samples from soiled diapers to assist discover hyperlinks between what’s in that diaper and what is going on on within the mind.

“A few of the byproducts of the micro organism that dwell in your gastrointestinal tract produce precursors to neurotransmitters that act in your mind,” Lundwall mentioned.

Lundwall is hoping this may very well be used sooner or later to develop a organic take a look at for autism in younger youngsters.

“If we are able to catch these children earlier, get them the form of assist they want in order that they will dwell full, completely satisfied lives,” she mentioned, “that might simply make me so completely satisfied.”

She’s asking households with infants who’ve an older sibling with autism to affix the examine. Researchers are also in want of households with infants who haven’t any identified kin with autism.

Contributors won’t really ship soiled diapers within the mail. Lundwall mentioned researchers will mail dad and mom particular assortment gear to make use of for the examine.

To participate, e mail the analysis staff at

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