Monday, March 18, 2013

Women of Valor….In the Spirit of Service

Women of Valor
Repertory Dance Theatre presents
Women of Valor...In the Spirit of Service

April 11-13, 2013 | 7:30 pm

Jeanne Wagner Theater
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 West Broadway, SLC 84101

Cynthia Sandmire, born in Murray, Utah in 1967, joined the Navy Reserve after the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001 as a way to give back to her country. She has now served as a Corpsman in the Navy Reserve for over eleven years as a member of Detachment K, Operational Health Support Unit Bremerton, Washington. Petty Officer Sandmire has served all over the world from Afghanistan to the Philippines, and Hawaii. As a medic in the Navy, she has cared for thousands of patients including coalition forces, detainees, local nationals, as well as many children.

“Recruit, I do not dance,” said Sandmire’s Recruit Division Commander after she timidly tried to explain the discrepancy in her uniform with her hands. On her first day at boot camp this was exactly what she wanted to avoid – bringing attention to herself. Now, after serving in the Navy Reserve for the past eleven years, Repertory Dance Theatre and the Fort Douglas Museum are bringing attention to this local Utahn in a slightly different way. HM2 Sandmire’s story, along with those of other women veterans, will be featured in an evening length dance performance titled Women of Valor…In the Spirit of Service on April 11-13, 2013.

This performance will pay tribute to the women, like Sandmire, who have served selflessly in the community and in the military.

Women of commitment, dedication, courage
Women who serve as warriors, wives of warriors
And the mothers of warriors....
The nurses, mechanics, engineers and truck drivers
The pilots, cooks, medics, MPs and teachers

Choreography includes Commonplace by Susan Hadley, When Summoned by Bill Evans, and Bolero by Joanie Smith of Shapiro & Smith Dance.

Dramatic monologues will pay tribute to the service, sacrifice, dedication, duty, and the strength of women. Choreographers Susan Hadley, Abby Fiat, and Lynne Wimmer have created three commissions inspired by the many diverse roles that women assume in society. Stories of courageous female veterans, of women overcoming prejudice and breaking down stereotypes, and women who challenge the status quo, performing tasks that have traditionally been assigned to men, are woven throughout the program. Noted actor, Anne Cullimore Decker shares the emotions of a Gold Star Mother speaking of her loss and her pride in her son’s sacrifice.

Proceeds from the April 11 benefit performance of Women of Valor will support the Utah Women's Military Memorial at the Fort Douglas Museum. VIP tickets are available for $75 and offer priority seating as well as admission to a post-concert reception featuring honored guests. KUTV’s Sterling Poulson will host the post-concert reception. Several distinguished women will be honored, including Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, USAF, Retired, the driving force behind the creation of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetary.

Repertory Dance Theatre and the Utah Military and Veterans Affairs Committee are collecting stories of local women Veterans to highlight in the lobby of the performance. Stories will be printed and displayed in the lobby of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Local women veterans are encouraged to visit to submit their stories. The deadline for submission of stories and photos is March 18.
The military and contemporary modern dance; dramatic monologues and abstract movement – unusual pairings. There is nothing ordinary about this concert of modern dance just as there is nothing ordinary about the selfless and brave women, like HM2 Sandmire, who will be honored.

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