Master Class with Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands, October 19

Join The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University and TU Dance for a Horton-based modern master class with Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands. This class is for intermediate/advanced level college students and will be held at The O’Shaughnessy.

Saturday, October 19 | 1:30-3:00pm

The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University

2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105

Cost: $10.00, payable online. Online pre-registration is required. Registrants will receive a code for a $5.00 ticket to the TU Dance fall concert at The O’Shaughnessy, October 18-20.

Student Name & Email Address:

This class may be cancelled if the minimum registrant number is not reached.

Photo by Michael Slobodian.

Adult Beginning Modern Workshop with Thern Anderson (Midday), Fall 2019

This 6-week workshop with Thern will teach body and spacial awareness, rhythm and phrasing, ensemble dancing and injury prevention through modern dance patterns and improvisation.

Thern Anderson started dancing at the University of Minnesota and has performed with Choreogram Dance Company, Spira, Oregon Dance Consort, and most recently performed as an independent artist with Marciano Silva dos Santos, Offleash Area, Lori Mercil, and Paula Mann. She has taught to all ages and abilities in Washington, DC, Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN.

Mondays, 12:00-1:30pm

Session 1: September 9 – October 14
Session 2: October 21 – December 2 (no class on November 25)

Cost: $85.00 (pre-registration required)

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below.

Please select one option below :
Student Name:

Adult Beginning Ballet Workshop with Tina Anderson, Fall 2019

This 6-week ballet technique workshop emphasizes alignment, placement and somatic awareness.  The class consists of barre and center work that focuses on balance, classical line, connecting steps, and simple turns and jumps.

Tina Anderson Wallum’s 23-year performing career included principal and soloist work with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Ballet Minnesota, Ballet Arts Minnesota, Ballet of the Dolls, Savannah Ballet, The Contemporary Ballet Company, and Pennsylvania Ballet. She holds her BS from Radford University in Virginia. She has taught ballet classes for Ballet Arts Minnesota, Ballet Minnesota, Classical Ballet Academy, Chinese Dance Theater and is currently teaching at the University of Minnesota. Her current scholarly research is in Mind-Body Centering and somatics where she is devoted to creating a sense of embodiment in her students.

Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm

Session 1: September 3 – October 8
Session 2: October 15 – November 19

Cost: $85.00 (pre-registration required)

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below.

Sessions (please select one option below) :
Student Name:

Adult Beginning Modern Workshop with Thern Anderson (Evenings), Fall 2019

This 6-week workshop with Thern will teach body and spacial awareness, rhythm and phrasing, ensemble dancing and injury prevention through modern dance patterns and improvisation.

Thern Anderson started dancing at the University of Minnesota and has performed with Choreogram Dance Company, Spira, Oregon Dance Consort, and most recently performed as an independent artist with Marciano Silva dos Santos, Offleash Area, Lori Mercil, and Paula Mann. She has taught to all ages and abilities in Washington, DC, Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN.

Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30pm

Session 1: September 4 – October 9
Session 2: October 16 – November 20

Cost: $85.00 (pre-registration required)

To register, please complete the registration form and proceed to make an online payment below.

Sessions (please select one option below) :
Student Name:

W(Righting) Your Truth Workshop with Brother(hood) Dance!, August 24 & 25

THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

W(Righting) Your Truth with Orlando Hunter of Brother(hood) Dance! is a creative writing incubator for dancers and writers (poets, songwriters, and scholars) to investigate ideas in which they may not have had the space to explore or are dreaming about how to actively and effectively use their gifts to write their truth.

We are dancers who write and are interested in the translation of words to bodies, bodies to words. We live in a world where myths and narratives are constantly being created around the body. How do we rewrite and recreate ourselves from quasi-narrative notions of self and wholeness? If words and actions negatively impact our emotional bodies, how can we heal using these same modes to rebuild and secure our inner strength. Write, right, your truth.

August 24 & 25, 3:00-5:30pm

Students should wear clothing that they feel comfortable moving in (no jeans) and bring a notebook and something to write with. This workshop is open to all who can dance and write. 

Cost: $45.00 for the two-day workshop, payable online or at TUDC by cash, check or debit/credit card. Online pre-registration recommended.

Brother(hood) Dance! is an interdisciplinary duo that seeks to inform its audiences on the socio-political and environmental injustices from a global perspective, bringing clarity to the same-gender-loving African-American experience in the 21st century. Brother(hood) Dance! was formed in April 2014 as a duo that research, create and perform dances of freedom by Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine. We have performed our works at FiveMyles, Center for Performance Research, B.A.A.D! (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance), VCU-The Grace Street Theater, DraftWork at St. Marks Church, JACK, Movement Research at Judson Church, Colby College, Denmark Arts Center and other venues. As a collective, our work demonstrates how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, we find that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. Brother(hood) Dance! considers movement as a metaphor for the ever-seeking man who experiences a continuous loss. Brother(hood) Dance!’s work urge us to renegotiate performance as being part of a reactive or – at times – autistic medium, commenting on oppressing themes in our contemporary society.

Orlando Hunter is a choreographer who researches, illustrates and creates from an African-American male perspective. In his work he tackles issues resulting from a capitalistic imperialist patriarchal white supremacist system. Hunter grew up dancing hip-hop and graduated with a BFA in Dance from Univ. of Minnesota, where he performed works by Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones, Carl Flink, Louis Falco, Colleen Thomas, Uri Sands, Stephen Petronio and Nora Chipaumire. His solo “Mutiny” was selected to represent the University of Minnesota at the 2011 ACDFA gala in Madison, Wisconsin. Orlando studied LGBT activism and history in Amsterdam and Berlin. He has performed with Christal Brown/INspirit Dance Company, Contempo Physical Dance, Forces of Nature, Makeda Thomas, Threads Dance Project, TU Dance and Ananya Dance Theater, an all women’s company where he was the first male member and toured with them to Trinidad & Tobago and Zimbabwe. Hunter is a co-founder of the collective Brother(hood) Dance!

Photo by Jaimé Dzandu.

Location & Parking Information: TU Dance Center is located at 2121 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114. Find us on the north side of University Avenue, one block east of Vandalia, located directly behind Subway on the building’s east side. Limited parking is available in the lot in front of TU Dance Center. Additional parking is available in the north side lot accessible by taking Vandalia and Charles.

Master Classes with Maurya Kerr and Marcus Jarrell Willis, August 10

Join visiting guest artist Maurya Kerr for diving into being, a class that offers an improvisatory landscape of generative play and imaginative rigor. Participants will shape-shift and risk-take; challenge self-conceived limits of generosity and curiosity; fortify creative, investigative, and physical stamina; plummet into joy, failure, and the exquisite messiness of having a body; and dare to care deeply. This class is for an Advanced/Professional Level. Saturday, August 10 | 10:00-11:30am

Join visiting guest artist Marcus Jarrell Willis for a Modern/Contemporary class at TU Dance Center. The class is a blend of familiar Horton-based technique exercises with other modern release forms during the warm-up portion. The remainder of the class is an exploration of the continuous development of Willis’s own signature language through gestural and contemporary forms of Modern Dance movement. This class is for an Advanced/Professional Level. Saturday, August 10 | 12:00-1:30pm

Cost*: $20 per class or $30 for both classes, payable online or at TUDC by cash, check or debit/credit card. Online pre-registration recommended. 

*There is a special rate for those students currently enrolled in the Advanced Pre-Professional Summer Intensive. Please contact Administrative Associate Maxine Yamazaki at maxine.yamazaki@tudance.org for information.

Please select one option below :
Student Name::

 

Maurya Kerr is a choreographer, educator, performer, and the artistic director of tinypistol, where her choreographic work has been honored by numerous awards, grants, and commissions. She was an ODC artist-in-residence from 2015 to 2018, and completed her MFA through Hollins University in 2016, writing her thesis on people of color and their access to, or prohibition from, wonderment. She was a member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet for twelve years, and most recently performed in The Foundry’s Deep South, and BodyCartography Project’s felt room at SFMOMA and the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Museum. In 2017 she co-founded the tiny little get down, a quarterly dance party intended to defiantly and subversively fortify otherness through embodied joy and the power of the collective. Photo credit: Andrew Weeks

Marcus Jarrell Willis has performed with RIOULT, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza and was a member of Ailey II. Willis performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2008-2016 traveling around the world performing, teaching numerous masterclasses and participating through Outreach in various communities both locally and abroad. He has been a resident teacher for the KCFAA Paseo Project and was a member of the KCFAA Ailey Trio, leading lecture demonstrations in schools around the Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas area. Willis is a returning teacher at Centre Chorégraphique James Carles Stage International de Danse in Toulouse, France. Willis has presented his choreographic work in the 2009 TDDC Contemporary Dance Festival in NYC, The Ailey Dancer’s Resource Fund performances, The Dance Gallery Festival, The Moving Beauty Series and Gdánsk Festival Tańca in Poland. Commissions include works created for Ailey II, TU Dance, Company Danzante, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, University of Minnesota, Lucia Marthas Institute for the Performing Arts in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Satellite Collective, The Dance Gallery Festival Level Up Commission in 2013 and The 92nd Y Dance Introduction Series, among others. Willis is the Founder of MJ Willis Project-Inc, which made its debut in Wales in 2017, premiering “My Brother, Dear Sister”. He was named Best Choreographer for TU Dance creation “Sensible Existence” in City Pages 2018-Best of the Twin Cities. Currently, he is the 2018/19 Leverhulme Choreography Fellow at Rambert Dance in London. Photo credit: Stéphane Chouan

Classes will be held at TU Dance Center, located at 2121 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114. Find us on the north side of University Avenue, one block east of Vandalia, located directly behind Subway on the building’s east side. Limited parking is available in the lot in front of TU Dance Center. Additional parking is available in the north side lot accessible by taking Vandalia Street and Charles Avenue.

Modern/Contemporary Master Class with Marcus Jarrell Willis, April 20

Join us as visiting guest artist Marcus Jarrell Willis teaches a Modern/Contemporary master class at TU Dance Center. The class is a blend of familiar Horton-based technique exercises with other modern release forms during the warm-up portion. The remainder of the class is an exploration of the continuous development of Willis’s own signature language through gestural and contemporary forms of Modern Dance movement. This class is for an Advanced/Pre-Professional Level.
 
Saturday, April 20 | 2:00-3:30pm
 
Cost: $16, payable online or at TUDC by cash, check or debit/credit card. (Online pre-registration suggested. Class cards accepted with additional $4 fee.)
Student Name & Email Address:

 
Marcus Jarrell Willis has performed with RIOULT, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza and was a member of Ailey II. Willis performed with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2008-2016 traveling around the world performing, teaching numerous masterclasses and participating through Outreach in various communities both locally and abroad. He has been a resident teacher for the KCFAA Paseo Project and was a member of the KCFAA Ailey Trio, leading lecture demonstrations in schools around the Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas area. Willis is a returning teacher at Centre Chorégraphique James Carles Stage International de Danse in Toulouse, France. He has presented his choreographic work in the 2009 TDDC Contemporary Dance Festival in NYC, The Ailey Dancer’s Resource Fund performances, The Dance Gallery Festival, The Moving Beauty Series and Gdánsk Festival Tańca in Poland. Commissions include works created for Ailey II, TU Dance, Company Danzante, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, University of Minnesota, Lucia Marthas Institute for the Performing Arts in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Satellite Collective, The Dance Gallery Festival Level Up Commission in 2013 and The 92nd Y Dance Introduction Series, among others. Willis is the Founder of MJ Willis Project-Inc, which made its debut in Wales in 2017, premiering “My Brother, Dear Sister”. He was named Best Choreographer for TU Dance creation “Sensible Existence” in City Pages 2018 Best of the Twin Cities. Currently, he is the 2018/19 Leverhulme Choreography Fellow at Rambert Dance in London.
Photo credit: Stéphane Chouan

Dancing Your Story Workshop, May 6 – July 1

Join teaching artists Thern Anderson & Mary Moore Easter in a dance and writing workshop with curriculum designed for adults ages 55+. Participants will explore creative exercises in which the two art forms are inextricably linked and expand their range of physical expression through improvisational activities and practicing set choreography. Movement will be used as a prompt for writing a variety of texts. Classes are accompanied by live music. There will be a culminating event on the last day of class.

Participants of all levels and abilities are welcome. No previous experience is necessary. Limited spaces available. This workshop is free.

May 6-July 1 | Mondays, 2:00-3:30pm (no class on May 27 in observance of Memorial Day)

Sample class: Thursday, May 2 | 2:00-3:30pm

TU Dance Center, 2121 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55114

Please contact TU Dance Education & Outreach Coordinator Kaitin Kelly Benedict at kaitin.kbenedict@tudance.org or (651) 505-3264 with questions and to register.

TU Dance Center is located at 2121 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114. Find us on the north side of University Avenue, one block east of Vandalia, located directly behind Subway on the building’s east side. Free parking in the lot in front of TU Dance Center.

Teaching Artist bios:

Thern Anderson is a dance educator with a wealth of experience teaching children, adults, professional dancers and community groups. Thern brings somatic movement principles and improvisational skills to her teaching of modern dance techniques. In teaching dance to beginning adults, her philosophy is that anyone can dance and find pleasure in movement. Classes include the study of body and spatial awareness, rhythm and phrasing, ensemble dancing, and injury prevention. Students learn through modern dance phrases as well as improvisational structures.

Mary Moore Easter’s first poetry collection, The Body of the World, was published by MadHat Press in 2018. The manuscript was a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in 2017.  A Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and Cave Canem Fellow, Easter is published in POETRY, The New York Times, Seattle Review, Water Stone, Calyx, Pluck!, Persimmon Tree, Fjord’s Review, The Little Patuxent Review and the 2015 anthology Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence and an M.A. from Goddard. Born in Petersburg, Virginia to parents on the faculty of then-segregated Virginia State College, she was as immersed in their artistic and intellectual interests as she was in limitations segregation imposed on her black world. She re-rooted as faculty at Minnesota’s Carleton College where she was founder and director of the Dance Program.

This activity is supported by a Seeding Vitality Arts MN grant from Aroha Philanthropies.

Investigating Composition: A Workshop Series

THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Please join us for a 3-Day Workshop Series with Uri Sands, Leslie Parker and Laurel Keen. Participants will begin each day with a brief class or warm-up followed by a workshop format including improvisation, phrase work and discussion. There will be a common thread of composition investigation throughout the series. Sands, Parker and Keen will each bring their own insights into how they view the creative process and tools that can be utilized in the making of new work, whether you are a maker, a dancer or both.  

Open to advanced pre-professional students and professional dancers. 

Wednesday, April 3, 5:00-7:30pm with Uri Sands
Thursday, April 4, 5:00-7:30pm with Laurel Keen
Friday, April 5, 5:00-7:30pm with Leslie Parker

Cost: $150

Uri Sands (TU Dance Artistic Director and Choreographer) has received national recognition for choreography that is notable for the fusion of classical elegance with edgy contemporary action, for pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism. A native of Miami, Uri trained at New World School of the Arts, and performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years, Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, as principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre, and as guest artist with Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. His choreographic commissions include, among others, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Dance St. Louis, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Uri has received the Princess Grace Award in choreography, the Joyce Foundation Award and the McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography. He was named City Pages’ 2011 Choreographer of the Year, and–along with Toni-Pierce-Sands–the 2010 StarTribune Artist of the Year. Uri was recently named as a 2015 USA Fellow, receiving the Knight Fellowship in Dance together with TU Dance co-founder Toni Pierce-Sands.

Leslie Parker (TU Dance Center Guest Teaching Artist) is a dance artist/maker, improviser, performer, and educator with an archive of embodied memories of 34 years of studying, researching, teaching and performing contemporary and sacred dance practices of the African Diaspora. Informally, her training is credited to a fierce community of activists, organizers, and artists who emphasize the significance of community while restoring and/or maintaining its vibrancy. Formally, she holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University in partnership with The Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm, The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and The Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. She is a 2017 Bessie Award winner for Outstanding Performer and was recently awarded the Jerome Foundation’s 2019-2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship.

Laurel Keen (School Director, TU Dance Center) began her training with Minnesota Dance Theatre and went on to study at School of American Ballet, Dance Aspen School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. After performing professionally with Minnesota Dance Theatre, she spent a decade alongside Alonzo King as a company member with LINES Ballet in San Francisco, where she originated 21 roles, toured extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally, earned the prestigious Princess Grace Award, and was featured on the covers of Dance and Pointe magazines. Laurel moved back to the Twin Cities in 2011 and earned her degree as a physical therapist assistant from St. Catherine University and worked with Reynolds Rehab Physical Therapy and Orthology Physical Therapy. Laurel has taught for TU Dance, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and the University of Minnesota and has served as School Director at TU Dance Center since 2015 under Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands.

Photo: Laura Scher

Bharatanatyam Master Class with Ragamala Dance Company, March 23

Please join Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy for a Bharatanatyam master class at TU Dance Center.

Taught by Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy of Ragamala Dance Company, this master class introduces participants to the Pandanallur lineage of Bharatanatyam, focusing on the rhythmic, gestural, and expressive vocabularies that are the underpinnings of the form. In addition to active instruction, the class explores concepts of lineage, aesthetics, the close relationship between music and movement in Bharatanatyam, the evolution of culturally rooted art forms, and their ongoing relevance in the 21st century. This class is open to any level of experience.

Saturday, March 23 | 2:00-3:30pm

Cost: $16, online pre-registration required.

Student Name & Email Address:

Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy are Artistic Directors of Ragamala Dance Company, founded by Ranee in the Twin Cities in 1992. As choreographers and performers, they explore the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the contemporary, highlighting the fluidity between the secular and the spiritual, the inner and the outer, the human and the natural. Their training in the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam under legendary dancer/choreographer Alarmél Valli, known as one of India’s greatest living masters, is the bedrock of their creative aesthetic.

Most recently, Ranee and Aparna were awarded 2018 Guggenheim Fellowships and selected as 2017 Research Fellows by the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy). Their work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and the Walker Art Center, and presented by the Kennedy Center, Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, International Festival of Arts and Ideas, University Musical Society, Cal Performances, Just Festival (Edinburgh, U.K.), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), and National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai, India), among others.

Ranee currently serves on the National Council on the Arts, appointed by President Barack Obama. She is a recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a 2012 United States Artists Fellowship, and a 2011 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award.

Aparna is a recipient of a 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a 2016 Joyce Award, a Bush Fellowship for Choreography, and was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch for 2010.

This event is part of the Ragamala Rooted community engagement series. Ragamala Rooted is supported in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the Knight St. Paul Arts Challenge, the Mardag Foundation, the F.R. Bigelow Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation, Target, and the City of St. Paul Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization Program.

Photo credit: Grant Halverson

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