Sensible Existence Showing | April 28

Please join us for an informal in-studio showing featuring Sensible Existence, a TU Dance project with choreography by Marcus Jarrell Willis. In anticipation for our live performances at The O’Shaughnessy of St. Catherine University on May 13 & 14 at 7:30pm, we invite you to attend this event and get an up-close and personal look into the creation of this work, and have the opportunity to meet the artists involved. 

Sensible Existence Showing

April 28 | 5:30-6:30pm | TU Dance Center

This event is free and open to the public with a maximum capacity of 75 guest. First come, first served. RSVP required here! We are not receiving any more registrations for this event.

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 St. and Charles Ave.

Meet the Artists | Sensible Existence

Join us as TU Dance returns with live performances at The O’Shaughnessy featuring the expanded, evening-length presentation of Sensible Existence, a TU Dance project originally choreographed by award winning choreographer Marcus Jarrell Willis in 2017. Sensible Existence is a dance work inspired by Descartes’ writings on Self and the World. The work explores the questions surrounding its namesake. Existence is the fact or state of living or having objective reality. Sensible is an adjective describing something that is done in accordance with wisdom or prudence. The new Sensible Existence will draw from its original production elements and will feature new writing compositions uniquely crafted to this work. 

The O’Shaughnessy | May 13 & 14 | 7:30pm

For ticket information click here.

Meet the artists:

Sa’Nah Britt, born in the Twin Cities, began her journey at The School at TU Dance Center as a student in 2014. She graduated from the Perpich Arts Highschool in 2020 and has continued to pursue and shape her passion at TU Dance as a pre-professional student and most recently as a teaching artist for the school, where she strives to inspire and encourage other young artists. During her time at TU Dance, Sa’Nah has performed in various works by Marcus Jarrell Willis, Gregory Dolbashian, Ronald K. Brown, Laurel Keen, Alanna Morris, Abdo Sayegh Rodriguez, Darrius Strong, Maurya Kerr, Leila Awadallah, Alia Kache, and Yusha Sorzano. Her training has included a variety of techniques including African, ballet, modern, jazz, improvisation, krump, and contemporary. Sa’Nah is known for her ability to embrace a choreographers’ vision and present it in a way that is both unique and captivating. She looks forward to other opportunities where she can continue to grow and develop as an artist.

Madison Elliott is a NY based dancer, performer, choreographer and teacher. She is originally from Sioux Falls, SD where she co-founded, and is now the Executive Director of an award winning nonprofit, The Headlights Theater (a pop-up/drive-in performing arts collective that helps uplift local artists while bringing the community together in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond). She attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for High School and went on to receive her BFA in Dance and a Minor in Arts Management from SUNY Purchase College, class of 2020. Madison has worked with several companies in New York including HIVEWILD, Pocket Fuel Groovers and MeagMove. She has performed works by world renowned choreographers such as Doug Varone, Trisha Brown, Roderick George, Abby Zibkowski and many more. She has been featured in Dance Magazine for her dance film Empty Vessel, which has won 2 awards and been chosen for inclusion in the Future Dance Festival, Screen Dance International Festival, Astoria Film Festival, Portland Dance Film Fest and Lights Dance Festival. Madison also creates journals out of reused/recycled materials.

Amarachi Valentina Korie began her dance training at Baltimore County Youth Ballet at the age of 10. She attended Carver Center for the Arts and Technology and graduated as a 2014 Bill Gates Millennium Scholar. Ms. Korie then attended the Ailey/ Fordham BFA Program and there she performed Alvin Ailey’s Memoria during Ailey’s 2016 and 2017 New York City Center seasons. Soon after she became a Company Member with Ailey II from 2018-2020. She has received scholarships to The School at Jacob’s Pillow, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet School, and The Ailey School, having performed works by Robert Battle, Kyle Abraham, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Linda-Denise Fisher Harrell, and Emily Molnar. Ms. Korie is a 2-time regional NAACP ACT-SO competition gold medalist and Maryland All-State Dance awardee.

Joe LaLuzerne (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota) began dancing at  age 8 at Summit Dance Shoppe, training competitively and  studying ballet with Linda Muir Finney. Joe graduated from Texas Christian University in the Spring of 2021 where he obtained a BFA Ballet and a BA in Political Science. Joe has had the opportunity to work with choreographers LeeWei Chao, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Elizabeth Gillaspy, Susan Haag, Gabrielle Lamb, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Carmen Rozestraten, Keith Saunders, Amy Seiwert, Joshua Peugh, and Christian von Howard, among others. Joe has danced at summer intensives with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Jennifer Archibald’s ArchCore40, BalletX, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance: Arts Lab Desert Peaks, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kansas City Ballet, and most recently with The School at Jacob’s Pillow as a member of their Contemporary Ballet Performance Ensemble under the direction of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. After the completion of his undergraduate studies Joe attended Milano Contemporary Ballet’s International Training Program in Milan, Italy, before returning to Minnesota and joining TU Dance for this project.

Samantha Meryhew, a Saint Paul native, is currently a company member at Shapiro and Smith Dance, and was a former Apprentice at TU Dance Center. In 2011, she started her training towards her professional career as part of the first generation of The School at TU Dance. She has performed in works by Garth Fagan, Brian Brooks, Marcus Jarrell Willis, and Kjara Staric Wurst. She has also been a guest artist with Shapiro and Smith Dance performing in their production of Bolero in the Spring of 2017 and 2018. She has attended summer programs at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Complexions Dance, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She is proficient in classical and contemporary ballet, modern, and African dance. Noted often as a hard worker and a quick learner, she strives to delve deep into the physicality and emotional nuances of the movement presented to her. Samantha has a Bachelor of Art in Dance and Art from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Connor Simone received training at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, the TU Dance School, and the University of Minnesota. Connor is a current member of James Sewell Ballet in Minneapolis and has previously danced with TU Dance, Threads Dance Project, and the University of Minnesota Dance Theatre. He has performed works by artists such as Marcus Willis, Kjara Wurst, Gregory Dolbashian, Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, Will Couture, Carl Flink, Sidra Bell, Maurya Kerr, and Michael Walters among others. Alongside performing, Connor has worked for several arts organizations across the Twin Cities in IT and web development and is also teaching ballet for Eleve’ Performing Arts Center. 

 

Elliana Vesely (cover) is a Twin Cities, MN based dance artist who grew up in a small town in Northern Wisconsin. As of May of 2020, she holds a B.A. in dance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She complemented this degree with studies in biology and health & wellness promotion, receiving minors in both. While at the U of M, Elliana was cast in works by acclaimed artists; Leah Nelson, Joan Smith, Robert Moses, Eko Supriyanto, Kjara Wurst and Carl Flink. While in school, she also had the pleasure of working with Crash Dance Company, Shapiro and Smith Dance and performed in the 2018 North-Central American College Dance Association Gala. Elliana is honored to have been a recipient of the Beth Hope Suran Scholarship (2016-2020) and the Jean Congdon Scholarship (2019-2020). She is ecstatic to be dancing with Shapiro and Smith Dance, Black Label Movement, and ARENA Dances as a company member. Elliana has most recently toured with Burning Air by Shapiro and Smith Dance and run with me by ARENA Dances.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and culture heritage fund.

 

 

Photos (top to bottom): Marcus Jarrell Willis and former company member Taylor Collier by Yuval Moyal; Welcoming the Artists: Sa’Nah Britt by Vizionary Studios, Madison Elliot by Alice Chacon, Amarachi Korie by Nir Arieli, Joe LaLuzerne by @benedettepitscheider, Samantha Meryhew by Blake Nellis, Connor Simone by Isabel Fajardo, and Elliana Vesely by Armour Photography.

AUDITION: Seeking Male/Male Identified Dancers

A TU Dance Project | Choreography by Marcus Jarrell Willis

TU Dance is looking to engage male/male identified dance artists for live presentations and a film creation project this Spring with performances at The O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 13 & 14, 2022. Choreographer Marcus Jarrell Willis will be working with a group of dancers for a 9-week rehearsal process to reimagine and expand upon his work Sensible Existence, which was originally created for the TU Dance Company in 2017. This experience will culminate in two live performances as well as the creation of a dance-for-film project that will be shared throughout the State of Minnesota and beyond. Learn more about Marcus Jarrell Willis here.

For this project, we are currently seeking:

  • Male/male identified dance artists with a vast range of technical versatility and strong partnering skills. A keen sense of rhythm and articulation of gestural language are essential. 
  • Seasoned professionals to emerging dance artists are encouraged to audition. 
  • Dancers that are currently authorized to work in the U.S.

*All are welcome to apply. We have a strong interest in cultivating a culturally diverse group of dance artists for this project and creating a cast that represents our diverse world. 

PROJECT DETAILS: 

  • 9 week rehearsal process at TU Dance Center, St. Paul, Minnesota: March 14- May 14, 2022 (9:30am-4:15pm CST Monday- Friday)
  • Tech Week: May 9-14 (will include additional afternoon/evening rehearsals) 
  • Performances: Friday, May 13 + Saturday, May 14 at The O’Shaughnessy, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Dancers will be compensated $600/week and hired as independent contractors 
    • Airfare, housing, per diem and local transportation are not provided
  • IMPORTANT: due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all project participants will need to show proof of vaccination and masks must be worn at all times inside of TU Dance Center.

VIRTUAL AUDITION DETAILS: 

Please submit the following materials by Friday, January 28 to info@tudance.org AND laurel.keen@tudance.org.

  • Cover Letter: summarize your experience and its relevance for this project and answer the following 2 questions: What is something that you are currently exploring within your artistic practice?; What do you hope to gain from this process?
  • Resume
  • Headshot
  • Video Reel3 minute maximum; clear footage that shows the entire body; performance or studio footage that features some sort of repertory work (no improvisation); no class footage

Photo by Stéphane Chouan

 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and culture heritage fund.

 

 

AUDITION: A TU Dance Project | Choreography by Marcus Jarrell Willis

TU Dance is holding auditions for live presentations and a film creation project this Spring with performances at The O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 13 & 14, 2022. With support from a MSAB Arts Tour Grant, choreographer Marcus Jarrell Willis will be working with a group of dancers for a 9-week rehearsal process to reimagine and expand upon his work Sensible Existence, which was originally created for the TU Dance Company in 2017. This experience will culminate in two live performances as well as the creation of a dance-for-film project that will be shared throughout the State of Minnesota and beyond. 

For this project, we are seeking dance artists with a vast range of technical versatility. A keen sense of rhythm and articulation of gestural language is essential. Seasoned professionals to emerging dance artists are encouraged to audition. 

Learn more about Marcus Jarrell Willis: https://project-inc.org/mj-willis/

PROJECT DETAILS: 

  • 9 week rehearsal process: March 14- May 14, 2022
  • Time frame: 9:30am-4:15pm CST Monday- Friday
  • Tech Week: May 9-14
  • Performances: Friday, May 13 + Saturday, May 14 at The O’Shaughnessy, St. Paul, MN
  • Dancers will be compensated $600/week and hired as independent contractors 
    • Airfare, housing, per diem and local transportation are not provided

AUDITION DETAILS: 

  • Submit materials by Monday, November 22 (details below)
  • Audition Dates: Thursday, December 2 and Friday December 3, 2021
  • Location: TU Dance Center, 2121 University Ave. W., St. Paul, Minnesota
    • In-person auditions only
  • No fee to audition
  • Travel and housing is not provided
  • Daily Schedule
    • Day One: Thursday, December 2
      • Ballet Class: 10:00-11:30am CST
      • Repertory/Workshop 11:45am-4:00pm CST (lunch: 1:30-2:00pm)
    • Day Two: Friday, December 3
      • Modern/Contemporary Class: 10:00-11:30am CST
      • Research and Development Workshop: 11:45am-4:00pm CST (lunch: 1:30-2:00pm) 

MATERIALS TO SUBMIT (by November 22) 

*these materials are requested for reference only as opposed to pre-screening purposes 

  • Cover Letter 
    • Summarize your experience and its relevance for this project
    • Please also include reflections/responses to the following two questions: 
      • What is something that you are currently exploring within your artistic practice?
      • What do you hope to gain from this process? 
  • Resume
  • Headshot
  • Video Reel
    • 3 minute maximum
    • Clear footage that shows the entire body
    • Performance or studio footage that features some sort of repertory work (no improvisation)
    • No class footage 

IMPORTANT: due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all audition participants will need to show proof of vaccination and masks must be worn at all times inside of TU Dance Center.

Photo by Stéphane Chouan

 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and culture heritage fund.

TU DANCE IS HIRING

TU Dance is a non-profit, professional contemporary dance company located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 2004, the company creates and performs choreography celebrating a diversity of styles and dance traditions. Since its founding, TU Dance has changed the Minnesota dance landscape through its performances, presenting work of “buoyant energy and amazing grace” (Dance Magazine) and through its educational programming at TU Dance Center. The Center is a hub for dance education, training and practice that has already become a valued community asset in St. Paul with ties to the national field. TU Dance is committed to building and energizing engagement with dance by interweaving dance genres, inspiring students, hiring and training artists from broadly diverse backgrounds, forming meaningful partnerships, and engaging to a broad community. TU Dance strives to provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds to experience the connective power of dance

Please click below to get more information on each position:

School Coordinator

Administrative Associate

The School at TU Dance Center 2021 Spring Student Showcase VIDEO

The showcase –originally broadcasted on June 22, 2021– will include works featuring the students from the Children & Teen and Pre-Professional Programs that were filmed at the beautiful Raspberry Island in St. Paul, Minnesota. These works were choreographed by TU Dance Center Teaching Artists, and include a new work, entitled Reset, by international guest artist, Marcus Jarrell Willis who worked with the students virtually from Cardiff, Wales over the past year. Reset is a choreographic work, made for film, which reflects not only our current state of being in these challenging times, but also offers insight into the journey that lies ahead for TU Dance. We hope you enjoy this video as we recognize the beautiful work of our students and faculty, and offer a special congratulations to this year’s Pre-Professional student graduates!

Ticket Price Tiers: $10, $15 and $25 (suggested for households)

Name::
Quantity:  

*Viewing link (Vimeo) will be emailed to ticket buyers within 24 hours. If you purchase more than one ticket, please email us at info@tudance.org and provide additional email address(es) to receive the viewing link. The viewing link will be available for viewing until July 8, 2021.

If you would like to make a donation in support of TU Dance’s activities, please click here.

In-Person Open Classes at TU Dance Center

TU Dance Center’s open classes are back! Join us for in-person dance classes for intermediate/advanced dancers. To see the schedule visit Open Class Schedule.

Cost: $15 (please pre-register a minimum of 24 hours in advance)

If using a Class Card or reserving a place as a TU Dance Center Teaching Artist, please email us at education@tudance.org with your name, class title and class date at least 24 hours in advance. Upon arrival at TU Dance Center, please present your class card to a TU Dance staff member or Teaching Artist.

Please select the class you wish to take: :
Please select a payment option :
Student Name:

TU Dance Center is continuing to have COVID-related restrictions. A limited number of dancers will be allowed per class. Dancers must complete the TU Dance Center Health Self-Assessment  within 24 hours of class start time, and must practice social distancing and wear a mask during their visit and while taking dance classes. These classes will be provided only in person.

 

TU Dance Community Safety Statement 090121

Youth Inspiring Youth: Celebrating Amanda Gorman

Celebrating the accomplishments of the vibrant local, national and international youth with the purpose of inspiring our TU Dance Center’s youth and the community at large. This educational activity creates yet another space at TU Dance Center to elevate our youth. Students from The School at TU Dance Center will bring forward a young individual that inspires them for their work in any discipline, and answer the question: why am I inspired by [name]?. The selected youth and their journey will be shared with the community at TU Dance Center, social media channels and newsletters.

A series of Town Halls will be scheduled to spark conversation and learn about our youth being inspired by youth. Youth Inspiring Youth is a great opportunity to engage our community in a positive and uplifting way. More information coming soon!

Youth: the period between childhood and adult age. What is adult age? How do we define youth? How do YOU define youth?

To kick off this activity the staff of TU Dance has selected Amanda Gorman as the first YOUTH INSPIRING YOUTH!

Amanda Gorman
Wordsmith. Change-maker.

Gorman is an American poet and activist. Her work focuses on issues
of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate.

Age 22

(Read more about Amanda Gorman)

Photos: (top) Amanda Gorman by Kelia Anne for Rolling Stone magazine; (bottom) Amanda Gorman courtesy of theamandagorman.com

Dance Thrives Here | April 28, 2021

Join us, as TU Dance virtually embodies an evening of performances and celebration featuring works by renowned choreographer Ronald K. Brown. Dance lives and thrives in the bodies of the artists at TU Dance Center, bringing in the energy to move forward into the future we envision. By centering the location of this energy in the body, we are reminded that whether it be on zoom, in our homes, in the studio, or on a stage, we all continue to connect through dance.

Dance Thrives Here… will include:

  • Voices from the students, alumni, artists, parents, board and audience members
  • Three recorded works by Ronald K. Brown. Clear as Tear Water originally created for Toni Pierce-Sands and Where the Light Shines Through performed by the company, and Four Corners performed by the students of The School at TU Dance Center
  • A celebratory toast…be ready to raise your glass!
  • Post-show discussion with Toni Pierce-Sands, Ronald K. Brown Artistic Director, and Arcell Cabuag Associate Artistic Director of Evidence a Dance Company

Wednesday, April 28th at 7:00 pm (CST).

The length of the event is approximately 45 minutes. Zoom link will be emailed to those registered 24 hours in advance.

Please register for this FREE event here.

Donations are welcomed @ www.givemn.org/story/dance-thrives-here.

Photo: TU Dance Center mural designed by Lela Pierce and created in collaboration with the community. Copyrighted ©

TU Dance invites you to join us November 19th for GIVE to the MAX Day!

Greetings from TU Dance!

This time has brought to all of us challenges never experienced, yet an opportunity to regenerate, reimagine, rethink, reenvigour, regroup.

It’s inspiring to connect with our students taking online and in-person classes, and witnessing how our teaching artists and accompanists continue to deliver high-quality training and support to our students. The video below is an example of how TU Dance is sustaining the connective power of dance during this new era, where our students find creative ways to communicate with fierce expressiveness.

The School at TU Dance Center programs have been re-imagined to support our entire community as we transitioned to remote and hybrid learning platforms. We are heartened by the courage, passion, and creativity of our staff, teaching artists, and accompanists as they continue to carry out our mission. Below are a few highlights of their efforts as we continue to navigate this new virtual world:

  • We continued offering classes for our Pre-Professional, Children & Teen, and Adult programs during the Spring and Summer.
  • We continued our contracts with 24 teachers and 11 accompanists.
  • Our company dancers were furloughed in April, and we honored, in full, our contractual responsibilities providing them all severance packages.
  • The financial aid application process was reopened in April 2020 and additional funds were allocated beyond what was initially budgeted to our TU Dance Access Fund to aid families affected by unexpected financial hardship.
  • We reduced the tuition of the Adult and Dancing Together workshops by 33%.
  • We developed brand new programming to support the emotional well-being of our community.
  • We facilitated three free weekly online classes with an average participation of 30 local, national, and international students.
  • We transformed our Spring Student Showcase into a live interactive virtual event, which included performances from all our Pre-Professional and Children & Teen programs.
  • In response to yet another killing in the hands of the police, we offered two virtual community conversations Taking time and space to reset, led by Mary K. Boyd, president and CEO of MKB & Associates, an education and human services consulting business and educator who advocates for the recognition, respect, voice, strength and potential of African/African American children, youth and families.
  • Our summer programming continued with masterclasses, summer programs, and intensives with TU Dance Center teaching artists and renowned national teaching artists such as Renee Robinson, Maurya Kerr, and Gregory Dolbashian. Additionally, we collaborated with New York-based dance company Evidence, A Dance Company featuring Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown and Associate Artistic Director Arcell Cabuag. The newly designed summer intensive named Intersect attracted students from many US cities as well as from Japan, Uruguay, and Turkey.
  • We re-imagined our Fall classes to include a hybrid of in-person and virtual classes which included national and international guest artists Peggy Seipp-Roy (California), Arcell Cabuag (NYC) and Marcus Jarrell Willis (England).
  • With the support of Aroha Philanthropies, and considering the state of social, political and economical hardship, we were able to offer National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) workshops for all of our staff, teaching artists, accompanists, students and parents. www.namimn.org
  • We have been participating in local and national conversations about reopening with Dance/USA and IABD (International Association of Blacks in Dance), and other local art groups.

TU Dance reaches through diverse dance traditions to uncover the connective power of dance for audiences, students, artists, and the community.

We’ve continued to fulfill our mission with imagination and remain steadfast and uplifted by our community’s resilience. TU Dance Center will continue to be a space for our community to express the unwavering belief that black and brown lives matter and our hope for the future that we imagine is possible. This season, we are planning a series of community conversations, creating the space for continued reflection and learning.

From Nov 1-19, TU Dance joins the GiveMN’s #GiveMN campaign. We invite you to participate in continuing to build this new chapter of our story. Your contribution to TU Dance will help us maintain and create new and needed programming while we support all of those who make TU Dance’s mission a reality.

Together we will get through this!Please consider making a donation to TU Dance by visiting: www.givemn.org/organization/TU-Dance or by clicking on the “I Gave” button.

Together we got this!

All of us at TU Dance

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