Minneapolis, MN -- UDT / Dance Revolutions presents the premiere of "Neel, a blutopia of interrupted dreams" and a collection of innovative work by choreographers Ananya Chatterjea, Director of Dance, founder of the Ananya Dance Theatre, Carl Flink, Department Theatre Arts & Dance Chair, founder of Black Label Movement, Uri Sands, co-artistic director of TU Dance, and Nora Chipaumire and Scott Rink, both world renowned choreographers and visiting Cowles Artists. UDT/ Dance Revolutions takes center stage October 18 through 20 under the direction of Toni Pierce-Sands, faculty member and co-artistic director of TU Dance. This season's concert unfolds in the intimate setting of Studio 100 in the Barbara Barker Center for Dance.
Ananya Chatterjea premieres a new work titled "Neel, a blutopia for interrupted dreams" exploring dreams and their effect on our lives. According to Chatterjea, "the dreams we weave sustain us with hope while facing the harshness of life, sometimes that harshness interrupts the dream with the reality of life's troubling march." Shaped by the blues, dreams can swing to the indigo depths of pain or be tinged with the azure of hope, explained the artist.
Ms. Chatterjea is dancer, choreographer, dance scholar, and dance educator, who envisions herwork in the field of dance as a "call to action" with a particular focus on women artists of color. She is the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre, a company of women artists of color committed to the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice (www.ananyadancetheatre.org). She is also Director of the Dance Program and Professor in the Department of Theater Arts & Dance in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is the proud recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Artist Fellowship for Choreography. She was named "Best Choreographer" by City Pages in 2007 and has received awards from the BIHA (Black Indian Hispanic Asian) Women In Action organization, the MN Women's Political Caucus, and the 21 leaders for the 21st Century Award from Women's E-News (http://www.womensenews.org/21leaders2007.cfm), for her work weaving together artistic excellence, social justice, and community-building. She was honored by the Josie Johnson Social Justice and Human Rights Award at the University of Minnesota (2008).
Nora Chipaumire, who restaged her signature solo "Dark Swan" with nine male U of M students in 2010 for the "Continuously Rich" symposium and performances, now has re-cast this controversial work for with 21 women for UDT/Dance Revolutions. Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, Nora Chipaumire has been challenging stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art, and aesthetic for the past decade. "Dark Swan" takes expectations of African dance performance (specifically, drums and fierce movements, according to the artist), and turns them on their heads. The choreographer started with a classic European ballet, Black Swan, "And I sort of had my way with it," Chipaumire said. "Being fed up with labels being put on who I am and the expectations of what my work should be, I wanted to use this very classic dance and classic music to sort of try and put cold water on people's assumptions."
Ms. Chipaumire is a 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts recipient and 2011 United States Artist Ford Fellow. She is also a two-time New York Dance and Performance (aka "Bessie") Awardee: in 2008 for her dance-theater work, Chimurenga, and in 2007 for her body of work with Urban Bush Women, where she was a featured performer for six years (2003-2008) and served as Associate Artistic Director (2007-2008). She has studied dance in many parts of the world including Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa), Cuba, Jamaica and the U.S. A graduate of the University of Zimbabwe's School of Law, Chipaumire holds an M.A. in Dance and M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance from Mills College (CA). She is the recipient of the 2009 AFROPOP Real Life Award for her choreography in the film, Nora. She has also been awarded the 2007 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award from Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, and a MANCC Choreographic Fellowship in 2007-2008.
Her recent works include The Last Heifer (2012), commissioned by Danspace Project for Platform 2012, Parallels; Visible (2011), commissioned by Harlem Stage and created in collaboration with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; Kimya (2011), a work for Jokajok!, a female ensemble based in Kenya; I Ka Nye (You Look Good) (2010), created and performed with choreographer Souleymane Badolo and musician Obo Addy; Silence/Dreams (2010), created and performed with Fred Bendongue and named one of the ten best dances of 2010 by the New York Times dance critics. She is featured in several films, including "Dark Swan" (dir. Laurie Coyle, 2011); the award-winning, "Nora" (dir. Alla Kovgan & David Hinton, 2008); and the documentary "Movement (R)evolution Africa --a story of an art form in four acts" (dir. Joan Frosch & Alla Kovgan, 2006).
Carl Flink, contributes to the evening's program "A Modest Proposal." This work, originally created with his Black Label Movement company and John Bohannon for the 2011 TEDx Brussels, has subsequently become an Internet hit. Flink, the choreographer and artistic director of Black Label Movement based in the Twin Cities (www.blacklabelmovement.com), is also the Nadine Jette Sween Professor of Dance and Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
From 1992 - 1998, he was member of the New York City based Limón Dance Company, performing the works of Jose Limón, Donald McKayle, Ralph Lemon, and Daniel Nagrin among others. A short list of other dance companies and choreographers he has performed for includes Creach/Koester Men Dancing, Paul Taylor, Joanna Mendl Shaw, Paul Taylor, Janis Brenner and Shapiro & Smith Dance. His choreography is recognized and embraced for its intense athleticism, daring risk taking and humanistic themes that often address diverse social, scientific, political and working class subjects in addition to more abstract dance approaches.
Dance programs and arts institutions across the United States have presented or commissioned his choreography including the Bates Dance Festival, Minnesota Orchestra, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Stanford University, University of Iowa, Mount Holyoke College, Brigham Young University, Carleton College and Roger Williams University. His new commission "HIT" premiered at The Dance Center of Columbia College of Chicago March 10, 2011. He is currently in the third year of a creative collaboration called The Moving Cell Project with biomedical engineer David Odde which resulted in "Science + Dance = Body Storming" published in Trends in Cell Biology (November 2012) and was first presented in its dance form at Washington, D.C.'s TEDMED conference earlier this year.
Scott Rink created "Here We Are" based on a short story by Dorothy Parker, in which he links a duet and quartet with dancers and speakers. Premiered in 2003 at the University of Minnesota, the work performed by University students was selected to be presented the following spring at the 2004 American College Dance Festival national performances at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Mr. Rink is a returning Cowles Visiting Artist who first was in residence re-staging a work by Lar Lubovitch in 1996.
As a director/choreographer, Scott Rink's work has been praised as "an unusual hybrid genre in which dance is part of a larger theatrical whole" (Village Voice) using the dramatic text as a musical score where "patches of pure dance heighten dramas like light shining from beneath colored glass" (New York Times).
His Off-Broadway choreography credits include, Queen of The Mist (Transport Group, Dir. Jack Cumming III), Hello Again (Transport Group, Dir. Jack Cummings III), Being Audrey (Transport Group, Dir. Jack Cummings III), Crossing Brooklyn (Transport Group,Dir. Jack Cummings III) Songs For a New World (George St. Playhouse, Dir. Jack Cummings III), Nor'mal (Transport Group, Dir. Jack Cummings III), Minimum Wage (45 Bleeker, Dir. Guy Stroman). Commissioned works include dances for Ailey II, American Ballet Theatre II, Oakland Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Repertory Dance Theatre, The Ailey School, Harvard University, UNCSA.
Mr. Rink has created a number of works for danceRINK performed in New York City most notably at Joyce Soho, Symphony Space, American Theatre of Actors, HERE, The Kitchen and Tribeca Performing Arts Center as well as other national and international dates. He has adapted, directed and choreographed three dance films from the works of Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut.
Uri Sands presents one of his own TU Dance's signature pieces, "Earth" (2009) and explores the connection between the senses and the elements according to the Hindu Ayurveda philosophy. The belief contends everything in the universe is made up of five elements - air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are said to be represented in the mind, body and souls of humans, expressed through the five senses. Radiating with energy, "Earth" is a journey into the earth's very core, a primal ritualistic dance that fervently honors an ancient wisdom. The dance is "...awe-inspiringly athletic and simply amazing to behold," praised St. Paul's Pioneer Press and described Sand's piece as "a primal, tribal tone, conveying a daunting danger that left (one ) breathless and the audience on its feet." Uri Sands has also been a visiting artist and instructor three times prior to the licensing of this signature work. His work this fall will be re-staged by two TU dance artists.
A native of Miami, Sands performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet as a guest artist Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, and as principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre. His recent choreographic commissions include, among others, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. In addition to several film and television credits, he has taught extensively throughout America and Europe. He was awarded the McKnight Artist Fellowship (2004) and earned the Princess Grace Award in Choreography (2005). TU Dance founders Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands were named "2005 Artists of the Year" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
For tickets and information
Call U of M Arts / Events Ticket Office at 612 624-2345 or
Customer parking is available in a surface lot across from the Barker Center on 21st Ave. and on the 21st Ave. Parking Ramp, located across from the Rarig Center, on the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus.
What: UTD/ Dance Revolutions directed by Toni Pierce -Sands
Who: University of Minnesota Theatre Arts & Dance
When: October 18-20, 2013
Where: Barbara Barker Center for Dance, West Bank Arts Quarter.
500 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55454
Tickets: $6 Students; $11 U of M faculty and staff; $16 General Public.
U of M Ticket Office (612) 624-2345 or online at dance.umn.edu
Subject to availability, tickets will be sold at the door ONE hour before each the performance.
October 18 8:00 pm Opening night Performance
October 19 2:00pm Matinee, 8:00 pm Performance
October 20 2:00 Matinee 8:00pm Performance
University Theatre Arts & Dance is a laboratory for performance and practice of content taught in the Department's academic programs. In keeping with the University of Minnesota's three public purposes - research, and discovery; teaching and learning; outreach and public service - the mission of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance is to educate students and audiences about the performing arts, and about the social issues and human emotions the arts speak to so powerfully. We are committed to realizing this mission by creating, producing, and studying works of theatre and dance, and performing them publicly for diverse audiences drawn both from the University and the community at large. Patrons should expect to see performances that challenge the mind and are produced with the highest possible quality.