Dance Transforms Lives: A fundraiser for The School at TU Dance Center featuring Laura Kane Scher Photography

TU Dance is partnering with photographer Laura Kane Scher to raise funds for The School at TU Dance Center. For the last few years, Laura has been photographing our Children & Teen and Pre-Professional Program students in the studio and on stage as well as social events, capturing beautiful moments of our beloved TU Dance Center Community.

Laura’s unique eye grabs the essence of each fleeting moment for the world to enjoy, memorializing it for a lifetime. As you take a tour through the photo galleries, we hope that you are inspired to bring home photos of the students you care about, and if possible, consider giving an extra donation. 75% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will go to support The School at TU Dance Center. Your purchase helps to ensure that The School at TU Dance Center continues to be a home for dance education, supporting scholarships for students and a robust offering of programs. We at TU Dance nurture the human connection through the power of dance. Thank you for your support!

Visit the galleries by clicking the image below!

Laura is offering another fundraising option for TU Dance families and the entire TU Dance community. She will be donating 25% of all photo sessions booked between July 25 – August 25, to be shot before January 1, 2021.  Please mention TU Dance when booking. For more information click here.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LAURA KANE SCHER

Laura Kane Scher is an accomplished documentary photographer who studied photography at the renowned Film in the Cities (FITC) program, worked in the photo department at the Star Tribune for 12 years and has had her own photography business for several years.

“I was drawn to photography at a very young age because I always felt like an observer rather than a participant. When I received my first camera it felt like a natural extension of my body, and captured the lens through which I had been seeing the world.

My favorite subject to photograph has always been children. What draws me in is the purity, unfiltered joy, and the lack of self consciousness that young people have in front of a camera. I have found over the years photographing my daughter dance has been the same, so it was natural to offer my services to TU Dance. Shooting for The School at TU Dance Center has become one of my favorite projects because I get to capture dancers focused on their own emotions and movements and then portray that beauty to a broader audience through my images. The children at The School are expressing their true selves through their own art, and to marry their art with mine is something I find extremely beautiful.”, says Laura.

Toni Pierce-Sands, TU Dance’s Artistic Director and Laura grew up together at Saint Paul Open School, a small diverse K-12 school that started in 1971 by Laura’s mother and other parents, teachers and administrators, who wanted an educational option to the traditional school systems. Through Open School, Laura’s mother built a community around her family, welcoming her children’s friends and others to gather at her home. Toni, the dancer friend who Laura went to see as a child dancing The Nutcracker, became one of those extended family members.

Laura’s daughter Lucy, who has been dancing since she was very little, now studies at The School at TU Dance Center. Laura and Lucy learned about TU Dance through Toni. At TU Dance Center, both Lucy and Laura were able to find the community they were searching for, a place where Lucy could continue to grow as a dancer and a human. For Laura, “TU Dance is about everyone, individually and as a whole. The reason for starting the school was to provide opportunities to any child to dance no matter what their circumstance or resources are. TU Dance embraces us all and has become a family on its own. A family that we consider ours, and a second home for most – just like my mom’s house was.”

Visit Laura’s blog about the photo fundraiser.

Intersect Summer Intensive, August 3-8

Evidence, A Dance Company and TU Dance join forces in an inspiring 1-week virtual Summer Intensive. Intersect (to meet and cross at a point/to share a common area), is an open level inter-generational Summer Intensive for participants with a wide range to no dance experience that will provide the opportunity to experience both companies’ approaches to dance and dance training.

Participants will begin each day with classes from TU Dance Center teaching artists, including TU Dance Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands, that are grounded in TU Dance’s three pillars of Horton-based modern, West African and ballet. While these are commonly referred to as technique classes or training, TU Dance takes a look into how these dance forms intersect with one another and the many possibilities they offer. The goal of these classes is to prepare the dancer’s mind, body and spirit to be fully present, ready to receive and engage, tap into different energies and feel prepared to move openly into what follows. The workshop section of this intensive will be led by Evidence, A Dance Company Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown and Associate Artistic Director Arcell Cabuag. Participants will learn Evidence repertory as well as Afro-Cuban and traditional and contemporary African dance techniques that are incorporated in the choreographic style.

The Intersect Summer Intensive will conclude with a discussion between teaching artists and students followed by a celebratory class open to the community. See the Intersect Summer Intensive Daily Schedule here. All classes will be provided via Zoom.

August 3-8, 2020 | Registration deadline extended: Sunday – August 2, 2020

Cost: $500 (inclusive of the registration fee). A limited number of scholarships will be offered. To apply for an scholarship please complete this form by July 29.

To learn more and to register visit Intersect at http://www.tudance.org/summer/

Read the press release here.

Kari Mosel, TU Dance Development & Marketing Coordinator

We are excited to welcome Kari Mosel as TU Dance’s new Development & Marketing Coordinator. Kari has created several promotional materials for TU Dance’s company and school and has helped to manage TU Dance’s video archives. Kari has many years of experience working in several positions in the dance field, both as an artist and administrator.

Kari Mosel originally hails from Eau Claire, Wisconsin where she grew up riding horses, climbing trees and tripping over her own feet. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota in 2004. During that time she began a nearly two-decade journey with Shapiro & Smith Dance, performing with them from 2002-2019 and continuing to serve as their board treasurer. She was also a company member and teaching artist with Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater from 2006-2018. In 2012 Kari was nominated for a SAGE Dance Award for “Outstanding Performer”and in 2013 she was a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers. Kari has been assisting TU Dance with video editing and promotional materials since 2014. She received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Photography and Digital Imaging in the Spring of 2018.

Support TU Dance During the Give-At-Home-MN Campaign

Greetings from TU Dance!

We hope you and your loved ones are well. 

TU Dance, like most nonprofits, businesses, and individuals has been impacted by the effects of the current situation. Since the beginning, our concern and response has been filled with compassion and care. We continue to fulfill our mission by working to:

  • Ensure everyone remains safe
  • Ensure our TU Dance Center students continue to dance and be inspired
  • Ensure our Staff, Dancers, Teaching Artists, Accompanists, and others who depend on TU Dance are considered in our decision making
  • Ensure we continue to listen to the needs of our community 

As we deal with the ever changing situation, some decisions have not been easy. We were saddened that the company Spring Season at The Cowles Center, which included four world premieres, had to be cancelled due to gathering restrictions. Several TU Dance Experiences –our field trip program to TU Dance Center– were cancelled, as well as the TU Dance Center Spring Student Showcase, which was scheduled for June 13. All of these cancellations have a direct impact on our students, artists, patrons, and the community at large.

The School at TU Dance Center programs were reimagined to an online platform. We were amazed by the courage, passion, and creativity of our staff, teaching artists, and accompanists. They dedicated many hours to learn, reinvent, and adapt to this new reality. Since the classes were transferred to the virtual world, we are proud that:

  • Our Pre-Professional and Children & Teen programs’ previous enrollment has remained consistent, while new students have been joining our programs. Currently 158 students are taking classes online!
  • 24 teachers and 11 accompanists continue to be employed. 
  • The financial aid application process has been reopened and we have allocated additional funds beyond what was originally budgeted to our TU Dance Access Fund to aid families affected by the current circumstances.
  • We reduced the tuition of new adult and Dancing Together workshops by 33%.
  • We offered, in collaboration with teaching artist DejaJoelle, Quarantine Love: Self-Care During a Pandemic, a workshop specially created in response to the current situation.
  • We are offering three free weekly online classes with an average participation of 30 local, national, and international students.

The loss of revenue from unrealized performance ticket sales, educational programming cancellations, reduced tuition fees, hosting open community classes at no charge and increased financial aid, among other things, has created stress on TU Dance’s finances. Meanwhile, our commitment to the community has not ceased. We have taken every effort to support our artists during this difficult time. With imagination, we’ve continued to fulfill our mission and remain steadfast with the connective power of dance. 

From May 1- 8, TU Dance joins the GiveMN’s #GiveAtHomeMN campaign. We invite you to participate in building this new chapter of our story. Your contribution to TU Dance willhelp us maintain and create new and needed programming while we support all of those who make TU Dance’s mission a reality. Please consider making a donation to TU Dance by visiting: www.givemn.org/organization/TU-Dance

Together we will get through this!

All of us at TU Dance

Review: TU Dance presents strong works new to Minneapolis

TU Dance’s fall concert offered fluid works with themes of light, pain, strength and renewal. 

By Sheila Regan Special to the Star Tribune OCTOBER 21, 2019 — 6:04PM

TU Dance’s performance at the O’Shaughnessy this past weekend wasn’t quite as flashy as the company’s collaboration with Bon Iver, which has kept the company busy touring around the country since the 2018. It also wasn’t as sublime as its spring performance of works by Alvin Ailey and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. But the concert did offer a couple of strong works never before seen in Minneapolis.

“Something Amber,” originally commissioned by Alonzo King Lines Ballet Training Program, began the program and was the highlight of the night. It began in darkness to the sound of strings playing a long, sustained note. As the lights gradually lit the ensemble, the dancers moved like seaweed. Their arms floated above them, their bodies fluidly rising and falling.

Lush and alive, the work, which was presented by TU for the first time, had a sensorial quality, while Vladimir Martynov’s gorgeous neoclassical music provided the ghostly score.

The second piece in the program, “Clear as Tear Water,” originally was created by Ronald K. Brown for TU Co-Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands, who danced in its premiere in 2005. It’s a juicy solo, and Taylor Collier performed the piece with fortitude. There were flashes of traumatic history in the work: a slave with her arms tied behind her back, for instance. In another moment, a woman hunched over in backbreaking labor. We also see the central character exude power and strength, buoyed by those that came before her. There was a sense of renewal, even rebirth, particularly in its final moments, when Collier was doused with a stream of water, baptized in water and light.

“Salve,” commissioned for Ballet Memphis in 2017, featured a church pew as a central set piece and began with the dancers one by one prostrating themselves on the floor. Eventually, they discovered healing in the space. It’s set to Gavin Bryars’ “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” which loops a recording of an unknown homeless man singing with increasing harmonies of strings and brass.

The work was moving, even if you wanted to cry mercy to make the song stop repeating over and over by the end. There was an odd choice in costumes — the women’s diaphanous, light-colored dresses were paired with black socks, which was a rather strange look.

The program concluded with the company premiere of “Tracks,” originally commissioned by Alvin Ailey II in 2018. With glitter and shimmying shoulders, the piece paired revelry with gravitas.

Photo by Michael Slobodian ©

Review: TU Dance re-creates the past well, but the present feels more exciting

By ROB HUBBARD | Special to the Pioneer Press

PUBLISHED: May 4, 2019 at 1:32 am | UPDATED: May 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Now and then, TU Dance presents a program of dance from now and then. The St. Paul-based company will feel about as up-to-the-minute as one could hope, and then will pay tribute to the past, breathing life into something created in another era.

Such is the case with the troupe’s 15th anniversary program at the O’Shaughnessy on the campus of St. Catherine University. Beginning with a graceful, high-energy Ronald K. Brown piece that the company premiered at the Ordway two years ago, then delivering a work by intrepid theatrical adventurers Urban Bush Women, TU Dance finished the evening very much honoring the past with a pair of pieces by American dance giant Alvin Ailey.

While all were worthwhile experiences, Friday’s performance felt most powerful when the choreography was at its freshest. The Brown work was bursting with energy, launching the performance with a surge of electricity before Urban Bush Women veteran Jawole Willa Jo Zollar joined the troupe for a more intense and emotionally complex creation.

The Ailey dances were expertly delivered, but they seemed a bit too much like museum pieces to me, faithful re-creations tightly wrapped in nostalgia. While the O’Shaughnessy crowd surely loved Ailey’s 1974 work, “Night Creature” — rewarding it with a standing ovation — it was so immersed in “then” that I found myself longing for the urgency of “now” found on the program’s first half.

It’s understandable if the audience contained enough regulars at TU Dance performances that Brown’s “Where the Light Shines Through” felt a little too fresh. After all, the company just brought it to the stage for the first time in 2017. However, I was taken with its combination of cooperation and forthrightly asserted individuality. Bearing a Crayola box full of boldly colored costumes by Keiko Voltaire, the seven dancers threw their bodies about with admirable abandon, elements of traditional African dance emerging and sliding into unexpected synchronization. It felt like a slice of TU Dance at the peak of its powers.

The rest of the evening was made up of company premieres, starting with Zollar’s 2004 “Walking With Pearl … Africa Diaries.” Employing less music, more silence, the movement punctuated by the sound of breathing, it was a disarmingly intimate experience. Even more so because driving the mood were excerpts from the diaries of dancer Pearl Primus, read by Zollar from a chair at the stage’s edge. The text is a love letter to “Mother Africa,” evoking sweet mangoes and sunsets, tears and trauma, the words inspiring, each dancer sharing something quite individual and arresting while the soundtrack surged with an orchestra of kalimbas or the hypnotic sound of a kora, an African harp.

After intermission, it was all Ailey, starting with “Witness,” a solo work delivered expertly by Taylor Collier on opening night. Clad in a white gown, she danced before a choir loft full of cathedral candles while traditional gospel music filled the hall. Created in 1986, it was America’s most famous African-American choreographer returning to one of his favorite themes, the church of his childhood. As the soundtrack morphed into explosive improvisation on a saxophone, the dancing laid bare where the sacred meets the sexual in a very interesting performance.

But it also felt tightly tied to the past, as did “Night Creature,” which, despite being from 1974, is very much about the mid-20th-century twilight of big band swing as a cultural phenomenon. Spearheaded by the magnetic Alexis Staley and adorned in the eye-catching costumes of Barbara Forbes — with nods to both the ’50s and ’70s — it’s a hybrid of classical ballet and jazz dance that surely must have seemed iconoclastic when it premiered on TV.

While TU Dance’s founders and co-artistic directors, Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, surely wanted to pay homage to Ailey — in whose company they’d both once performed — I came away feeling as if the Brown and Zollar pieces were a greater tribute to the legendary dance artist’s spirit than the attempts to reconstruct his creations. On a program that seemed increasingly backward looking, I was reminded that TU Dance’s greatest asset is its heartfelt immediacy. 

Photo by Michael Slobodian ©

Review: TU Dance re-creates the past well, but the present feels more exciting

TU Dance at 15: Honoring Years of Vibrant, Socially Conscious Work

The contemporary dance company in St. Paul revives an old commission in an anniversary performance Oct. 27

Published: 

In a typical Ernie Barnes painting, bodies coil around some physical feat—mid-stride, mid-breath, or mid-air. Clothes ripple. You can almost hear the bright colors. Barnes, born in the Jim Crow South in 1938, was also a professional football player. With paint, he captured scenes of springy athleticism while often illustrating his views on the leaps and pitfalls of the African American experience.

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts commissioned TU Dance for the first time in 2011, and choreographers Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands came up with a show inspired by the lissome, extended-limb elegance of Barnes’ work. Now, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the contemporary dance company in St. Paul’s South St. Anthony neighborhood, that show, With Love, returns. It melds with the music of Donny Hathaway, jazz and blues legend from the ’70s.

And it reminds us that, for 15 seasons, TU Dance has not only brought national attention to the Twin Cities’ dance scene (recently putting on a show with Bon Iver). It has also consistently and uniquely examined the body as it confronts narratives on gender and race. Like Barnes, TU Dance tackles important questions—about social justice, history, and human resiliency—with verve.

TU Dance’s anniversary performance, on Saturday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m., also features a new retrospective work covering the company’s history since its 2004 founding. And eight dancers will perform Salve, a 2017 commission by Ballet Memphis, where grooves interlace to demonstrate healing through community. Before the show, artistic directors Sands and Pierce-Sands discuss how it came together. Afterward, in a 20-minute Q&A, they and company members open up.

TU Dance and the International Association of Blacks in Dance

TWENTY-FIVE BLACK-LED DANCE COMPANIES AWARDED QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS

The International Association of Blacks in Dance distributes a second round of MOVE (Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance) grants to dance companies in 12 States across the U.S.
with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has awarded $250,000 to 25 Black-led member companies throughout the United States. Each company has received an unrestricted INFLUENCERS grant of $10,000 for general operating expenses. IABD awarded the grants as part of its inaugural financial and organizational health program, MOVE: Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance, which was generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“This round of grants penetrates to the very root of our communities, where these companies thrive, create, and provide much needed services to their constituencies. These organizations are critical and serve as a lifeline in many communities across the U.S. They are literally saving lives,” said Denise Saunders Thompson, President and CEO of IABD. “IABD is awarding general operating support grants to offer just a bit of relief and funding capital to address any challenges they might be facing. The companies include:

Iibada Dance Company, Indianapolis, IN
Dance Iquail, Philadelphia, PA
Muntu Dance Theatre, Chicago, IL
Robert Moses’ KIN, San Francisco, CA
Step Afrika, Washington, DC
Threads Dance Project, Golden Valley, MN
Eleone Dance Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
TU Dance, St. Paul, MN
Urban Bush Women, Brooklyn, NY
Garth Fagan Dance, Rochester, NY
Washington Reflections Dance Co, Washington, DC

The COLLECTIVE Cohort, as they are called, is participating in a peer-to-peer online learning community that includes technical assistance, financial planning, organizational development strategies and training with the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), as well as relevant and important discussions on issues facing these companies on a day-to-day basis. The COLLECTIVE kicked off its activities in July with an online webinar administered by IABD and NFF. The training includes access to information and tools that will support longevity and strengthen the capacity of these organizations to remain recognized artistic and thought leaders.

In March 2018, IABD received a $2,636,000, multi-year grant award from The Mellon Foundation for Phase II of the organization’s Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI). In partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund, this phase of the COHI program offers capital deployment, financial consultation, and technical assistance to participating IABD member companies.  Responding directly to many of the lessons learned from Phase I activities (i.e. site visits, financial diagnostics, educational workshops), it serves as recommended next steps to strengthen IABD, Inc., its member organizations, and by extension, the field of Black dance. The collaborative nature of this program aims to ensure the vitality of the Black dance sector by addressing historic barriers, building parity among Black dance organizations that support and create work with differing aesthetics, and developing new organizational processes and practices for nonprofit arts organizations.

For more information about the COHI program, please visit www.iabdassociation.org/COHI.

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ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN DANCE: The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin, and assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. IABD has become the Mecca for Blacks in Dance, such as administrators, artists, choreographers, dance companies, directors, educators, researchers and scholars, and those interested in artistry, Black dance issues, and performance presentations. The Association, founded in 1991, provides a network, formal newsletters, choreographer’s directory, and published papers; it is the raison d’être for the annual conference and festival. The Association also responds to and initiates dialogue around issues that impact the Black Dance Community as well as the Dance community at large. IABD has developed national prominence and allowed the Black Dance Community to come together on important issues. For more information on IABD visit iabdassociation.org.

ABOUT THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION: Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at  mellon.org.

ABOUT NONPROFIT FINANCE FUND: Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) advances missions and social progress in underserved communities through financing, consulting, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing that empower leaders, organizations, and ideas. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), NFF currently manages over $310 million. Since 1980, we have provided almost $700 million in financing and access to additional capital in support of over $2.3 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide. NFF is headquartered in New York City and serves clients from five offices across the country. For more information on NFF visit  nff.org.

Come Through on MN Original by TPT

Watch the beautiful mini documentary created by TPT for their MN Original series to be aired on TV later this fall.

Come Through was commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series with support from the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge – Saint Paul and The City of Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program.

TU Dance to perform at the Hollywood Bowl, August 5

TU DANCE & BON IVER: COME THROUGH

“Profound beauty and ambition.” —Los Angeles Times on the music of Bon Iver

“A performance of generosity, grace and primal power.” —Dance Magazine on TU Dance

“Hopes are off the charts.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune on the collaboration

Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 25, 2018 – Electrifying contemporary dance company TU Dance, known for navigating complex themes of social change “with variety and innovation” (StarTribune) and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, whose “rustic chamber pop with an experimental edge”(Pitchfork) and “hyper-modern balladeering” (The Guardian) has garnered Grammy Awards and significant international acclaim, come together in an unprecedented collaboration of Twin Cities-based powerhouses. Come Through — conceived as an invitation, motivation and declaration by the collective — will make its West Coast premiere at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Sunday, August 5, 2018, following a sold-out premiere of four shows at the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul. The commission features new music from Vernon as well as new choreography from TU Dance’s “incredible polyrhythmic genius” (Star Tribune) Uri Sands.

The artists developed the work together at TU Dance Center in Saint Paul, April Base Studios in Eau Claire, WI, and in residence at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Vernon expressed his excitement for the project stating, “I feel so inspired in collaborating with Uri on new work. I know that the experience will be both positively challenging and extremely rewarding for all involved.”

“I’ve always found the music of Bon Iver and Uri’s choreography to possess a unique sensibility,” explained Toni Pierce-Sands (TU Dance). “Yet what is most compelling for me about this collaboration is how their artistry together—in the studio—seems to tap the emotional core of my existence. I can only imagine what the audience might experience.”

Come Through was originally commissioned and presented by the Liquid Music Series of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with support from The City of Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program and the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge – Saint Paul.

FEATURED ARTISTS:

TU Dance
Uri Sands, Artistic Director and Choreographer
Toni Pierce-Sands, Artistic Director

Dancers
Kaitlin Bell  Taylor Collier  Jacob  Lewis Adam  McGaw  Randall Riley  Amanda Sachs  Alexis Staley  Christian Warner  Elayna Waxse

Bon Iver
Justin Vernon
BJ Burton
Michael Lewis
JT Bates

Visual Art Team
Aaron Anderson
Eric Carlson

CONCERT DATES AND LOCATION

Sunday, August 5, 2018 – 7:00pm
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
https://www.hollywoodbowl.com/events/performances/391/

REVIEWS

https://blog.thecurrent.org/2018/04/review-bon-iver-and-tu-dance-come-through-at-the-palace-theatre/

https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/20/review-bon-iver-and-tu-dance-form-an-ideal-creative-confluence/

http://www.startribune.com/new-bon-iver-music-finds-soulful-success-in-st-paul-premiere-with-tu-dance/480379733/

http://www.startribune.com/dancers-and-musicians-amplify-each-other-in-bon-iver-tu-dance-premiere-in-st-paul/480379743/

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BIOGRAPHIES

ABOUT BON IVER

Formed in Fall Creek, Wisconsin by Justin Vernon, Bon Iver has achieved worldwide acclaim since the release of the band’s debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007. The debut generated word-of-mouth buzz and praise from critics and fans alike. After assembling a talented touring band and traveling across the world, Bon Iver released its highly anticipated 2011 follow-up album, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Met with further critical acclaim, the release netted the songwriter Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist. After a hiatus in which Vernon collaborated with countless artists and toured with his own Volcano Choir, Bon Iver returned to the stage at Vernon’s Eaux Claires Music Festival, later announcing the project’s third album, 22, A Million, released on September 30, 2016. Further touring in 2017 and 2018 has found Bon Iver collaborating and touring with various musicians in both familiar and new venues in the US and Europe.

https://boniver.org/

ABOUT TU DANCE

Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, TU Dance has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and for performances that are engaging, dynamic and generous. Modern dance, classical ballet, African based and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways to provide opportunities to experience the connective power of dance.

In its 14-year history, TU Dance has consistently performed to enthusiastic and sold out audiences, including the 1,900-seat Ordway Performing Arts Center in Saint Paul. The company has also enjoyed local and national recognition, including Star Tribune’s Artists of the Year, the inaugural Princess Grace Award in Choreography, DANCE Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” City Pages’ 2011 Artists of the Year, “Best Dance Company 2014” by Minnesota Monthly and multiple Sage awards for outstanding performance. TU Dance was awarded the 2011 Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Initiative and was recently named as “Best Dance Company of 2016” by the StarTribune.

2011 saw the opening of TU Dance Center, realizing a vital part of Toni and Uri’s vision to establish a welcoming hub for rehearsals, dance education and training in Saint Paul. Now in its seventh year, TU Dance Center offers year-round educational programming for dance students of various ages and levels of experience.

http://www.tudance.org

Toni Pierce-Sands (Artistic Director) Prior to co-founding TU Dance, Minnesota native Toni Pierce-Sands performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Tanz Forum in Germany, Rick Odums in Paris and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she was a featured soloist in such signature pieces as Revelations. Toni has also appeared in the Twin Cities as a guest performer with several companies. Her command of the Horton Technique has led to teaching posts throughout the United States and Europe. Toni directs programming and teaches classes at TU Dance Center in Saint Paul. She is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota, and was the Director of University Dance Theater for several years. Toni was awarded a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Dance, and was named the Sage Awards’ “2011 Outstanding Dance Educator”. Toni was recognized with a 2013 Links Emerald Service Award for service in the arts, and recently was awarded the 2015 USA Knight Fellowship in Dance.

Uri Sands (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 performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years, Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, as a guest artist with Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, and as a principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre. His recent choreographic commissions include, among others, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Ballet Memphis, Dance St. Louis, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Uri was named City Pages’ 2011 Choreographer of the Year, and was awarded a Princess Grace Award in choreography, a Joyce Foundation Award, a McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography and the 2015 USA Knight Fellowship in Dance.

ABOUT THE VISUAL ART TEAM

For over a decade, Aaron Anderson and Eric Carlson have been producing collaborative works, events, and exhibitions. They currently maintain a multidisciplinary studio based in Brooklyn,  NY. Carlson (b. 1984) is an interdisciplinary artist from Brooklyn, working with collections of semiotic content generated through processes of drawing, image/object collection, and assemblage. Since 2006 he has maintained a diverse exhibition history exhibiting at both art institutions and DIY spaces; a self-publishing practice producing zines and artist books; and an independent design studio working with artists and musicians. Anderson, (b. 1981) is from South Dakota, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. His interests include poetry, education, light antagonism and participation mystique.

ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2018, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the 14th year in a row at the 29th Annual Pollstar Awards and was awarded the Top Amphitheater prize at the 2017 Billboard Touring Awards. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer.

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Photo by Michael Slobodian

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