Odyssey in Beijing

Odyssey's trip to Beijing was phenomenal on so many different levels that it's hard to know where to begin.

From the moment our prestigious New York Booking Agents Jodi Kaplan & Associates invited Odyssey to perform in Beijing, coinciding with the Olympics, I knew it was something we must do. My immediate reaction was What a great way to connect culturally with the Chinese people through our universal language of dance! It was that and so much more.

It was a rough road getting there -- harder than any of us could have imagined. Funding was minimal, and we had to keep scaling back on the number of dancers and staff who could go, until we ended up with just seven dancers and me, to accommodate the limited budget.

Funding may have been scarce, but media coverage has been amazing—starting with ABC 4’s report before we left Salt Lake City (see the video on our website at There were reports on NPR and KUER, and KSL’s Amanda Butterfield did a live report on Odyssey from Beijing. There were articles in the Salt Lake Tribune and a feature story on the cover of the Deseret News A&E section (which we’ve included below). There’s international and national press, as well, including an interview on China Radio International. We were joined on the trip by DANCE MAGAZINE’s Assistant Editor Emily Macel, who said, “I had such an amazing time, and it was a pleasure to witness your dancers onstage and offstage. Looking through the photos I keep thinking What a great group of talented dancers!" The article will appear in their January or February 2009 issue.

The dancers got to take a wonderful class, taught by one of the directors of the Beijing Modern Dance Company. The dancers loved it, and it was a cool bonding moment between dancers. At the end of class, the teacher said her hope is that someday we can get the whole world dancing.... what a great thought and sentiment!

We have been invited to return to perform in China this December (a paying gig this time)!

In this time of such political strife and controversy, it was so important to get to the people, meet the people, show them what we do and connect with them on a purely emotional and human level. If we could all do that a little more, we’d be well on our way to world peace!

Thank you for your interest and support and best wishes,


Derryl Yeager
Founder and Artistic Director

For the full text of the Deseret News article, see,5143,700250962,00.html


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