Young Dance Company Spring Concert at the Lab Theater
Sights and Sound Bites
Friday and Saturday May 5 & 6, 2017
$15/Adult, $8 Student & Senior, 5yrs and Under Free
Sights and Sound Bites features highlights of our year exploring the intersection of dance and social justice. Dancers portray their passions, concerns and visions for a more just future in choreography by professional and youth choreographers.
Each year the Young Dance Company frames its season around a selected theme that engages dancers in artistic inquiry and produces high quality, innovative performances. Sites and Sound Bites, arose from a discussion that artistic directors Gretchen Pick and Justin Jones had with a group of company members who were questioning dance and it's place in community.
2016- 17 Guest Artists
Brian Evans' Process: He will lead dancers in investigations of their roles as leaders and followers, in identifying current issues about which they feel passionate, and creating choreography to advocate for those issues. Dancers will express in both words and movement what they would accomplish given the chance to be a leader in society and what they need as a follower in support of another’s leadership. Identifying specific issues dancers wish to address, Evans will facilitate improvisation tasks and composition assignments for dancers to organize and depict action relative to these issues. Drawing upon what these experiences produce, Evans will collaborate with dancers to craft spoken word, music, and movement in choreography that articulates their visions for the future.
About Brian Evans: He is a Professional Performing Human. Beginning his 7th year as a Young Dance Instructor, creator & accompanist, Evans has had the privilege and pleasure of engaging in a vast array of fields. Teaching in public and private institutions, working with healthcare providers in the US and abroad, performing as singer, actor, dancer in churches, theaters, basements, outdoor stages, any space provided that encourages the arts to thrive. An artist striving for social justice, Evans places high value in process and product, having had most of his training out in the 'Arts field' of the Twin Cities, working with over 50 artistic directors on more than 200 projects from solo endeavors to collaborating as a self-employed professional performer & teaching artist. Brian J. Evans is a recipient of a 2015 McKnight Dance Fellowship, administrated by The Cowles Center and funded by The McKnight Foundation.Primarily as a principle dancer and musical director for Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, Evans has continued to investigate the idea that connections exist between us all and it's the responsibility of the Arts to rediscover those connections, highlight them and allow us to feel holistically human.
Dr. Ananya Chatterjea's Process: She will teach dancers classical Indian dance techniques and related yoga and martial art forms and will provide the context for ways that women in South Asian cultures have historically used performance as a mode of resistance and consciousness raising against violations of human rights. Chatterjea will create a dance that explores the relationship between environmental violence and human oppression, integrating narrative with physical expressions of emotion, using percussive footwork, spirals of the spine and limbs, hand gestures and facial expressions. Incorporated into Chatterjea’s creative process is the act of performing choreography with an audience who takes part in the dance. This process provides performers with an empathetic connection to witnesses of the dance and empowers audience with physical experiences that endure in their muscle memories. We have identified 3 organizations with which we may gather to teach sections of the choreography and rehearse the dance. The specific organizations, Center for Victims of Torture, the Centre for Asians and Pacific Islanders and the International Institute of Minnesota, will be confirmed and dates determined in the summer of 2016. Through this process, Young Dance company members will expand their dance skills, gain insight into this global issue, and be part of a larger tradition of artistic advocacy.
About Ananya Chatterjea: She is a dancer, choreographer, dance scholar, and dance educator, envisions her work in the field of dance as a “call to action” with a particular focus on women artists of color. She is Associate Professor in the Dept. of Theater Arts and Dance in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is also the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre, a dance company of women artists of color who believe in the powerful intersection of artistic excellence and social justice. Trained initially in Indian classical and folk dance traditions, she became a well-known exponent of the Odissi style of classical dance at a young age. However, disillusioned with the commercialization that had become attendant upon Indian classical dance forms, and vitally interested in the creation of a contemporary Indian dance mode, Ananya began her explorations of form and theme in dance in the 1980’s. But, it is through her study of street theater and feminist praxis across the world that she arrived at her fierce commitment to the immediate relationship between bodily artistic practices and social justice movements. Ananya believes in the integral interconnectedness of her creative and scholarly research. Her book, Butting out! Reading cultural politics in the work of Chandralekha and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2004. At the University of MN, she teaches courses on the cultural politics of dance, the bodily production of knowledge, dance historiographies, and the choreographies of social justice art projects. Ananya is the proud recipient of grants from organizations such as the Asian Arts Initiative, McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, as well as an artist fellowship from the Bush Foundation. She was featured as an “Artist of the Year“ in the City Pages in 2001, and was named a “Changemaker“ by the Women’s Press in Minnesota in 2005. She is also the proud recipient of awards from the BIHA (Black Indian Hispanic Asian) Women In Action organization and from the MN Women’s Political Caucus, and the 21 leaders for the 21st Century Award from Women’s E-News, a national women-centered news organization, for her work weaving together community-building and artistic excellence and creating a space for women’s voices through artistic practices