March 27, 2019 Abdo Sayegh Rodriguez

Investigating Composition: A Workshop Series


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

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