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 30 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.
Odyssey Dancer Hailee Payne made into the Top 4 on Season 12 of the hit Fox TV Show “So You Think You Can Dance.” She follows Marcquet Hill and Tanisha Belnap, Top 20 on Season 11; Tadd Gadduang, third runner up in Season 8; Brandon Bryant, who came in second in Season 5; and Thayne Jasperson, Gev Manoukian and Matt Dorame, who made it to the finals of Season Four. Sixth Season Finalist Ryan DiLello guested with Odyssey in 2014 in the Company’s blockbuster Romeo+Juliet.
Governor Gary Herbert declared August 20, 2009 Brandon Bryant Day and proclaimed, “Odyssey Dance Theatre has been an important and viable part of the arts and culture of the great state of Utah for the past 15 years.” He commended the company for bringing favorable national and international exposure to the quality of artists and people in the State of Utah and Brandon's achievements, which will serve as an inspiration to many young dancers in this state.
Best of State
Odyssey was selected Utah’s Best of State in Dance 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and of all Arts and Entertainment 2007 and 2015. Odyssey Founder and Artistic Director Derryl Yeager was selected Best Choreographer 2009; Odyssey Associate Artistic Director/Principal Dancer Eldon Johnson, Best Individual Dancer 2010; Odyssey Associate Artistic Director/Principal Dancer Veronica Yeager was selected Best Individual Dancer 2012; Odyssey Principal Dancer Dayna Marshall, Best Individual Dancer 2013; and Odyssey’s Junior Company Odyssey 2, Best Youth Dance Group 2011 and 2012. Best of State recognizes those who have demonstrated achievement in their field and have produced superior results and outcomes; have differentiated themselves in positive ways from others within their field through innovation or creativity in techniques; and have made Utah a better place to live. Utah's strong cultural base, of which Odyssey is a significant player, is a powerful attraction for the Economic Development of the state. It is a main component for businesses wishing to relocate, but who desire a cosmopolitan and sophisticated cultural environment to offer its employees.