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December 30, 2011

Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands named 2011 Artists of the Year

The Director of University Dance Theatre and faculty member Toni Pierce-Sands along with Cowles Visiting Artist Uri Sands were named 2011 Artists of the Year by City Pages.
(see citypages.com Dec. 21)

" More than a couple of talented artists who happen to be life and artistic partners Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands are dancers with a mission. When they combined their initials to form TU Dance in 2004, they were determined to create a company and school that reflected the increasing diversity of the Twin Cities' urban community," writes Linda Shapiro. "In its relatively short life, TU Dance has managed to achieve artistic success, popular acclaim and broad reach in the community."

In the past year, these distinguished artists opened a state-of-the-art dance center offering dance a wide variety of experiences from ballet to Afro-Brazilian Dance, evolved a crack ensemble of performers animating Uri's multilingual choreography which has earned numerous awards attracting national attention and loyal fans, and their Ordway concert last May was the first ever to sell out the 1,000 seat house. Most recently their collaborative talents as choreographer and director were seen in the dance " ...And Let Go " as part of UDT's Dance Revolutions concert at Rarig Center.

December 22, 2011

Tessie Bundick On Being an Extra in Coen Brothers' "A Serious Man"


When Theatre Arts make-up instructor and designer Tessie Bundick was cast as an extra in the recent Coen brothers' film, A Serious Man, she began taking notes recording the production details of the celebrated writer/producer/directing team in action. She shares her behind-the-scenes observations of the technical aspects of the Oscar nominated film appear in December's online edition of the USITT Northern Boundary News. (http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/theatre/NBS_Dec11/Article2/Article2.html )
Appearing as an extra in two scenes --a funeral and a bar mitzvah--Bundick shares her particular interest in the wardrobe choices and costume fittings with the film's designer Ms. Mary Zophres, who has collaborated with the Coen brothers on many of their films. Zophres's designs were researched for this project by pouring through period photos at the Jewish Historical Society of the upper Midwest. Bundick reveals the designer's meticulous hunt for clothing and eye glasses to achieve an accurate 1967 period look for the film set in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Besides describing in detail the work needed to transform a St. Louis Park synagogue location into a setting with sufficient light in preparation for shooting, Bundick allows the reader to glimpse the collaboration between the Coen brothers and Roger Deakins, director of photography and cinematography. A Serious Man went on to win many awards and was nominated for two Oscars for best picture and best screenplay.

December 8, 2011

What a week for celebrating and enjoying the range of work in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance.


The BFA Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program Senior Class Company present final performances of their Senior Classic, a Chekhov repertory playing in our intimate Arena Theatre December 8-10. Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard, classic works in the dramatic repertory, fill the space with comedy, pathos (and beautiful costumes). Special note: Frameworks panel discussion on these Chekhovs on December 8, a reception and great talk about Chekhov, starting at 6 p.m. in In-Flux at the Regis. Electronic ticket accounts and comp card systems are in effect for the Chekhovs. Tickets are $5 for any student, $10 for everyone else, with a small ticketing fee. See the events listing on theatre.umn.edu for performance schedule. Still another special note: no late seating for the Chekhovs, due to the configuration of the Arena for these performances.

University Dance Theatre presents its annual concert on the grand stage of the Whiting Proscenium. Four powerful works choreographed by Ananya Chatterjea, Stephen Petronio, Uri Sands and Dianne McIntyre (who recreates Helen Tamiris' 1937 masterpiece How Long Brethren?). Grace and athleticism from youthful dancers in a beautiful evening (or matinee!) December 9-11. An opportunity to taste the very best in contemporary dance. Preview is on Thursday, December 8. Electronic ticket accounts and comp card systems are in effect. Tickets are $5 for any student, $10 for everyone else, with a small ticketing fee. See the events listing on theatre.umn.edu for performance schedule.

Special note: all evening performances, including UDT, at 7:30 p.m. Matinees at 2 p.m. Also, please be aware that on several evenings in the next few weeks, we will have multiple performances in Rarig and there are also activities at Ted Mann. We recommend that you acquire your tickets in advance, and allow yourself plenty of time for parking and arriving.

Tickets: visit tickets.umn.edu or call 612-624-2345.

Also, during this busy period: The X presentation of Stop Kiss in the Xperimental Theatre, December 8-11. See the events listings on theatre.umn.edu for details. Tickets for this event are FREE

December 7, 2011

Carl Flink, UMTAD Chair & his Black Label Movement @ TEDxBrussels

Carl Flink, University of Minnesota's Theatre Arts and Dance Chair, and his Black Label Movement company of dancers recently performed two pieces in Brussels hosted by an international gathering of cutting-edge technicians, engineers and designers, better known as TED. The first work, "A Modest Proposal" (also titled "Dance, You PhD") featured collaborator and Science Magazine correspondent John Bohannon with Black Label Movement dancers complemented with local performers. A second presentation, "Space Walk" ( also titled "Dancing in Zero Gravity") featured Eddie Oroyan with the Dancernauts, same company plus U of M dance alumna Jessica Ehlert. See the all the action at

TEDxBrussels with BLM

December 6, 2011