3-Day Contemporary Dance Workshop with Kjara Starič Wurst, June 22-24

As a choreographer and teacher, Kjara combines technically stylized classical ballet, the broken lines of contemporary ballet, and the softness and fluidity of contemporary dance. Emphasizing interpretation and precise movement as well as playing with different dynamics and rhythm. Kjara‘s choreography is very physical, filled with the suggestiveness of everyday movement and vulnerability, and emphasizes humanity and narration within the dancers. This three day workshop –for intermediate/advanced level dancers– will include an hour of structured warm up each day followed by two hours focused on choreography.

Kjara Starič Wurst is a Slovene choreographer, currently based in Milan, Italy. Ms. Wurst danced with Slovenski Plesni Projekt Contemporary Dance Company. In 2010, she founded Kjara’s Dance Project (KDP) to give young dancers the opportunity for more stage experience.

Thursday, June 22, 5:00-8:00pm
Friday, June 23, 5:00-8:00pm
Saturday, June 24, 11:00am-2:00pm

Cost: $150 (*Pre-registration required)

Student Name:

TU Dance Center 2017 Student Showcase, June 9-11

Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, and School Director Laurel Keen invite you to the TU Dance Center 2017 Student Showcase.  Students from the Children & Teen, and Pre-Professional divisions will be featured in several works by TU Dance Center teaching artists and TU Dance company dancers. Please join us in celebrating these young dancers and all of their hard work!

Friday, June 9 – 7:00pm
Saturday, June 10 – 7:00pm
Sunday, June 11 – 2:00pm

Tickets: $15 (includes a $2 processing fee)

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.

TU Dance Center Bake Sale, June 3

The TU Dance Center annual bake sale will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, from 9:00am-5:00pm at TU Dance Center.  All proceeds support TU Dance Center student performances, June 9-11 at the Rarig Center on the University of Minnesota West Bank campus.

Please join us and invite your family and friends to this event- the more the merrier!
Unable to attend? Consider a monetary donation here.

TU Dance triumphs in new dance at Ordway, StarTribune Dance Review

TU Dance triumphed at the Ordway in St. Paul on Saturday. Between works of spiritually uplifting grandeur and politically charged emotion, intimate demonstrations of highly technical skill and incredible ensemble work, the evening — which included a world premiere and three recent repertory pieces — took the audience for a sweeping ride.

The Ordway co-commissioned Ronald K. Brown’s premiere, “Where The Light Shines Through,” along with the Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation. It featured a rare solo by TU’s co-Artistic Director Uri Sands, who demonstrated his incredible polyrhythmic genius. With arms and shoulders, knees, hips and feet all going in different directions and at different speeds, Sands brought joy and vivacity to Brown’s West African-influenced movement.

Even in the most complicated sequences, the dancers in the piece made their work appear effortless. They were dressed in luxuriously ornamented costumes designed by Keiko Voltaire, which added to the work’s sense of ceremony.

Countering Brown’s hopeful and spirited work, Sands’ “Matter,” which premiered in 2016, went to much darker and more sinister places.

Teeming with bare symbolism, Sands unleashed a raw declaration as he explored America’s violent history in regards to race.

Dancers were draped in American flags. A giant image of the White House slowly shrank from view. The dancers simulated getting beaten, holding their hands to protect their faces. They grapevined, backs to the audience, in slow motion across the stage, as if targets in a shooting range. Through the hip-hop-influenced choreo­graphy and a devastating solo by Alanna Morris-Van Tassel, “Matter” spoke to brutal realities that persist in our society.

The two other pieces — “Footprint” by Gioconda Barbuto and the dancers from 2015, and “Candle” by Kyle Abraham, which premiered in 2016, highlighted TU’s magnificent work as an ensemble and their unparalleled individual dancers.

“Footprint” showed the ensemble at its best. With its jazzy, brooding beginning, the dancers slid, snapped and spiraled. They were then affected by a sickness. The contorted movements of one infected the others. The movements spread from one dancer to another like wildfire. Dressed in kilts and futuristic wear designed by Sonya Berlovitz in collaboration with choreographer and co-Artistic Director Toni Pierce-Sands, they moved as an amorphous whole.

“Candle,” meanwhile, gave the opportunity for some of TU’s top dancers to truly show their luster. Alexis Staley gave a mesmerizing performance, while Randall Riley and Christian Warner proved a delight in a duet that showed that despite their vastly varying heights, they were born to perform with each other.

Sheila Regan is a Minneapolis arts writer.

Source: http://www.startribune.com/new-dance-at-ordway-inspired-by-west-african-movement/420846403/

TU Dance receives a Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences Grant

We are honored to be among 21 national organizations receiving the Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences Grant.  “Building on past rounds, the emphasis in this fourth round of EDA is on refining existing engagement programs that have shown success at reaching dance audiences and communities.”

Read the press release here.

TU Dance will train diverse young students enrolled in our programs at TU Dance Center as Audience Ambassadors, to engage 125 diverse adults (some of whom have never attended a professional dance concert) as dance performance audiences, and learn from their experience.

Engaging Dance Audiences is administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


Improvisation class with Hijack, April-May 2017

HIJACK is the choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon & Arwen Wilder. Van Loon & Wilder each grew up in Chicago, met at Colorado College, and established their collaboration in Minneapolis in 1993. HIJACK will be teaching a series of classes at TU Dance Center.

Saturdays, April 29 and May 6, 20 and 27


Cost: $14/class or class cards

HIJACK has taught and performed in New York (at DTW, PS122, HERE ArtCenter, Catch/Movement Research Festival, La Mama, Dixon Place, Chocolate Factory, Brooklyn Studios for Dance), Japan, Russia, Central America, Ottawa, Chicago, Colorado, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Iowa, Portland at Bates Festival, Fuse Box Festival and Seattle Festival for Dance Improvisation (SFDI).  HIJACK teaches Composition/Improvisation/Contact Improvisation at the University of Minnesota. They have taught Improvisation/Contact Improvisation at Zenon Dance School every Wednesday morning since 2000.  With Body Cartography, HIJACK co-curates Future Interstates, a bi-monthly showcase for improvisation dance performance, at the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts. In 2013, Walker Art Center celebrated the 20th anniversary of HIJACK by commissioning the full-evening work “redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye”.  In 2014, Contact Quarterly published the chapbook “Passing For Dance — a HIJACK reader”.  HIJACK is currently “occupying” the Walker Art Center Mediatheque: making and performing dances in a small cinema with avant garde film.

TU Dance named “Best Dance Company” by City Pages – Best of the Twin Cities 2017!

Best Dance Company

TU Dance

The TU dancers continue to electrify the local scene, especially in their performance of Uri Sands’ Matter last November. The work drew on the dancers’ personal responses to recent instances of violence and racism with urgency. Sands’ complex choreography requires the exacting clarity of ballet melded with scrappy street smarts and urban syncopations. The 10 TU dancers met these demands and raised the ante, moving with the buoyancy of swimmers and the brazen attack of Katniss Everdeen on a mission, demonstrating that they felt equally at home in the air or on the ground. Within the communal framework of Matter, dancers showed startling individuality: Kaitlen Setzke Bell’s blend of precision and wildness, Youthen Joseph’s snaky street grace, Darwin Black’s effortless cool. Perhaps Alanna Morris-Van Tassel best captured the spirit of Matter in a solo where, wrapped in an American flag, she presented a body unhinged, vulnerable, and despairing.


Midday Adult Beginning Modern with Thern Anderson, May 1-22

This 4-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 perform with Choreogram Dance Company.  She has taught to all ages and abilities in Washington, DC, Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN.

Mondays, May 1-22, 12:00-1:30pm

Cost: $55 (pre-registration required)

Student Name:

Modern class with Robin Stiehm, April 26

Robin Stiehm’s class will utilize a diverse range of movement techniques, reflecting her varied dance experiences of over 40 years. Students will find a release into the floor, leading to strong standing movement and finally full-bodied airborne dancing. Class will begin with a basic alignment-focused warm-up, preparing the dancer for phrase work, partnering and improvisation exercises.

Wednesday, April 26 | 4:30-6:00pm
Cost: $14/class or class card

Robin Stiehm received her early training at the Minnesota Dance Theatre, under the direction of Loyce Houlton. She danced with MDT, New Dance Ensemble, and many others in Minneapolis before forming her own group, Dancing People Company, in 1994. After DPC’s decade in Mpls., Robin moved the company to Ashland, OR where she was Artistic Director for another 13 years before stepping down. Robin has choreographed for over 25 years, both with Dancing People and companies in the US. With DPC, Robin has toured extensively and taught at international festivals and universities in Russia, Europe and the US. She is currently on the faculty of the Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlan and also guest teaches in the US.

Open Class with Eva Mohn, April 12

Cullberg Ballet dancer and former TU Dance Company member Eva Mohn returns to the Twin Cities to teach this Wednesday, April 12th from 9:30-11:00am. Advanced/Professional Contemporary Class exploring both barre and center work.

Cost: $14/class, $120/10-class card (cash, check or credit card).

To learn more about Eva, please visit: http://www.cullbergbaletten.se/en/eva-mohn

Photo by Urban Jörén

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