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April 30, 2012

"Choreography is a Key in Spring Awakening" raves StarTribune

In a special to the Star Tribune, dance critic Caroline Palmer raves that U of M Theatre Arts and Dance chair, Carl Flink's "choreography is a key" part of Spring Awakening's success as a "theatrical event that shines with raw brilliance." Palmer credits Theater Latte Da's director Peter Rothstein's talent for integrating stage direction with Flink's choreography throughout the production. Flink's contribution is original, in that it doesn't seek to copy the Broadway production fashioned by Bill T. Jones. "Flink...brings his own movement interpretation to the stage...At times the performers are literally flinging themselves at the walls, shimmying down poles or climbing into the audience. They grapple with the space around them in the same way they are wrestling with all the lessons of life." Palmer concludes "Each artist makes visible and tangible the internal hormonal slam-dance that defines the teenage years."
Read Caroline Palmer's April 29 StarTribune article scroll down

BY CAROLINE PALMER --Special to the Star Tribune. April 29,2012
Theatre Latté Da and the University of Minnesota of Theatre Arts and Dance's take on "Spring Awakening" summons all of the seething anger, shattered dreams and daring hope of adolescence into a theatrical event that shines with raw brilliance. Part of its success is thanks to Carl Flink's choreography and how well director Peter Rothstein integrates it throughout the production (book and lyrics by Steven Sater).
When Frank Wedekind wrote the source work in 1891 he described as "a tragedy of childhood" and Flink picks up on this dark theme throughout the movement - it fairly roils with the barely-contained energy and scrambled desires of disaffected youth. The teenage characters have reached an age in which they finally understand life's injustices. This hard-won awareness translates, understandably, into extreme physical, as well as emotional, response.
Bill T. Jones choreographed "Spring Awakening" on Broadway (and earned a Tony Award for his efforts). Flink picks up on the high-flying jumps and pogo-style bounding Jones brought to the work, spurred on by Duncan Sheik's sometimes punk rock influenced score. Each artist makes visible and tangible the internal hormonal slam-dance that defines the teenage years.
But Flink doesn't seek to copy Jones - he brings his own movement interpretation to the stage. At times the performers are literally flinging themselves at the walls, shimmying down poles or climbing into the audience. They grapple with the space around them in the same way they are wrestling with all the lessons of life (Tyler Michaels as the doomed Moritz embodies this conflict particularly well). And then sometimes they simply breathe. The madness slows down momentarily. The movement finds a softer, understated and more lyrical tone in many of the musical's anthemic songs such as "Mama Who Bore Me" and "The Word of Your Body."
"Spring Awakening" has a lot to say about betrayal. Parents fail their children, teachers fail their students and friends fail one another. Knowledge and truth are undermined by secrecy, pride and selfishness. Flink integrates all of these challenging ideas into his choreography. It's not neat and tidy - rightfully so. Instead it is performed by the entire cast with all the raging heart and rugged soul of young people who so desperately yearn to be set free from the bounds of social convention that they must express themselves by using every means necessary.

April 24, 2012

Frankenstein seeks Warm Bodies (30-40 per show)

BA Theatre Program Head Luverne Seifert, and Director Joel Sass seek
audience members for their upcoming promenade-style project:
April 30 and May 1 at
8:00 and 9:00 pm each evening
Location Whiting Proscenium.
Limited availability: 30-40 warm bodies per performance.
Reservations contact Zoe Wilson ( wils1303@umn.edu )
No Admission charge, reservations REQUIRED
Questions? contact Zoe Wilson.
You're invited, if you dare...." valk, this vay"

April 18, 2012

"See Spring Awakening while you can" TC Critics Rave

The reviews are in! Critics and audiences jump to their feet applauding. Score a smash hit as Theater Latte Da presents in partnership with U of M Theatre Arts and Dance SPRING AWAKENING now on stage through May 6 at the Rarig Center's Stoll Thrust.

Graydon Royce of StarTribune
"Spring Awakening beautifully reminds us that every generation needs its voice."
"Denise Prosek finds the thrumming heartbeat of Sheik's music with a perfect ear."
"All this effervescence lifts the ensemble's energy, and it creates contrast for the poignant, quiet moments."

Morgan Halaska of Metro Magazine
"Peter Rothstein's ability to harness the energy of his cast and showcase their sheer talent is astounding."
"The cast . . is in a word, phenomenal."
"See Spring Awakening while you can."

Chris Hewitt of Pioneer Press
"You could light a bonfire with the energy coming off the stage at Theater Latte Da's "Spring Awakening."
"Immediate and urgent...the kind of thrill you get only from live theater."
"...I wouldn't want to miss any of it."
"A raw and vital evening of musical theater."

Ed Huyck of City Pages
"...bursts with energy at every turn... you want to jump out of your seat and join in by the end of the show."
"...Director Peter Rothstein and choreographer Carl Flink present a piece that is overwhelming in its constant movement and energy.. "

John Olive of HowWasTheShow.com "A sexy and deservedly popular theatrical tour-de-force"
"[Director] Peter Rothstein's work on Spring Awakening is perfect!"
"Call the box office ASAP and make reservations. I don't want you to miss this one."

Special pricing for students and faculty.
Tickets for SPRING AWAKENING are NOW available 612- 624 -2345 or LatteDa.org

April 11, 2012

Spring Awakening Previews April 12 Opens April 14

Theater Latte Da presents in partnership with the U of M Theatre Arts and Dance department Spring Awakening beginning April 12 at the Rarig Center, West Bank campus for a four week run. "Students will perform this rock musical about teenagers discovering sexuality" reports Nickalas Tabbert of MN Daily. Spring Awakening is a dynamic rock adaptation of Frank Wedekind's expressionistic play about a group of teenagers coming of age in an uncomprehending world. Quickly banned when the play first appeared in 1891, the contemporary musical is still provocative in its uncompromising gaze at the trials, tears and exhilaration of the teen years. Winner of eight Tony Awards and hailed as Best Musical of the year by the New York Times and a host of other media. Time Out hailed it as "A vital leap forward for the American musical," Spring Awakening is a celebration of the rebellious imperatives of youth.

The first musical in four years at Rarig, the cast of 20 includes 14 U of M students who are working with a team of professional players, under the guidance of Theater Latte Da's artistic director Peter Rothstein and choreographer Carl Flink of Black Label Movement, and U of M Theatre Arts and Dance chair. According to Rothstein, there was no better place for the musical than on campus because the topic is relatable to the audience. For complete article click here. For ticket information (612)624-2345 OR LatteDa.org

Minnesota Daily: Spring Awakening Opens as First Main Stage Musical in Four Years

April 9, 2012

U of M Dance earns Kudos at regional American Dance Festival; Invited to Kennedy Center

U of M's Dance program scored major recognition at the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) North Central Regional Conference at the U of W-Madison earlier this month. Department Chair Carl Flink's dance "Lost Lullabies" with its eight cast members: Timothy Herian, Eben Kowler, Germaine Lindsey, Uriah Mendoza, Alex Pham, Justin Reiter, Jeff Robinson, Elander Rosser was selected to go to the National College Dance Festival in Washington, D.C. "Lost Lullabies "will be performed at the John F.
Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Thursday, May 24, - Sunday, May 27; schedule yet to be announced.

Also garnering honors, Twin Cities' Orlando Hunter, U of M student choreographer and dance major performed his own work "Mutiny" and was selected for the Regional Conference Gala concert presented on April 1, 2012. Chairman Carl Flink reported proudly, "Our students also presented papers the ACDFA as well. It was big weekend for the program and the University of Minnesota!"