History - Behind-The-Scenes (1986)
June, 1986 - Setting Up Rehearsal Space

History | History Text | History Posters | 1986 | Behind-the-Scenes
Setting Up Rehearsal Space (1986)

Westgate Fine Arts Center

Second Floor Rehearsal Space Exterior

Founding Co-Directors: Elizabeth & Jimmy Miklavcic
Guest Appearances: Hank & Mr. Basto
Location: Westgate Fine Arts Center, 342 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah
Length: 1:38:27 minutes
This video from June 1986 was set up as a documentary static shot and took place on the second floor of the Westgate Fine Arts Center, as Elizabeth and Jimmy went about doing their best to set up the space for upcoming rehearsals. This wonderful and challenging rehearsal space was donated to Another Language Performing Arts Company for four months during the summer to prepare for the upcoming September debut concert As Our Thoughts Escape Us.

To get to the second floor one walked in the front door and down a long white hall. Doorways along this hall led to several artists studios and one apartment. Walking up the hall was fascinating, because, every time, something different was taking place. At the back of the hall was a flight of stairs that led up to the second floor. On the north side of the building at the top of the stairs was an active peanut roasting machine, and the smell of roasting peanuts filled the entire upstairs. Also, dust from that activity traveled into the rehearsal space. Jimmy had put up walls of plastic sheets as protection, but the dirt permeated everything. Literally working for peanuts the Miklavcics rolled up their sleeves and made the best of a very funky situation.

To set the scene of what it was like to rehearse in that space...even though Elizabeth thoroughly mopped the floor with a bucket of water and Lysol at the beginning of each day of rehearsals, the dirt was so ingrained in the old floor that the dancers would be filthy by the end of rehearsal. It was also very hot, anywhere between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was no working air conditioner.

On the day of this recording, Jimmy bought particle board and topped it with masonite to extend the working aspects of the floor. Only the narrow strip made out of hard wood in the center was usable, the rest of the floor on either side was splintering badly, dangerous, and unusable, especially for modern dancers who go from the air to the floor in one phrase.

With all that being said, Elizabeth loved that rehearsal space. It was easy to park on the west side of the building. That was a particularly big benefit considering being downtown. It would have made a great home base for Another Language Performing Arts Company, but the owners of the building had only donated that area of the second floor for the summer. Loft construction would begin in the Fall of 1986 and that second floor area was eventually divided up into several apartments.