“What I offer to the audience is an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves. And engage in the humanity that drives artists to create work.” —Pramilia Vasudevan
True to its past 45 years, Choreographers’ Evening offers a bold array of works by artists who are shaping Minnesota dance with intensive and expansive possibilities. Treat yourself and a friend to this must-see showcase of works by early to established movement-makers from our long-standing dance community—several of whom come to the Walker stage for the first time. Their pieces range from playful to visceral, intimate to urgent, solo to group works, contemporary to experimental and interdisciplinary turns in dance. Curator Pramila Vasudevan promises a lineup that brings audiences the joy of the unexpected.
Choreographers’ Evening 2018 features: Zoe Cinel, Chris Garza, Khary Jackson, Valerie Oliveiro, Leslie Parker, Jäc Pau, Anat Shinar and Amal Rogers, Al Taw’am, Yuki Tokuda, Chitra Vairavan, and Katie Ka Vang. Pramila Vasudevan is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and the founder of Aniccha Arts, which creates site-specific and community rooted/routed work.
Choreographers’ Evening takes places in the McGuire Theater on Saturday, November 24 at 7pm and 9:30pm. Tickets are $25 ($20 Walker members).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Pramila Vasudevan is a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist with 30+ years of experience in Bharatanatyam and contemporary Indian dance. She also holds a B.F.A. in Interactive Media and a B.A. in Political Science, which informs her socially conscious performance practice. Vasudevan is the founding Artistic Director of Aniccha Arts, an experimental arts group producing site-specific performances that examine agency, voice, and group dynamics within community histories, institutions, and systems. Vasudevan is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 McKnight Fellow for choreography
Zoe Cinel grew up in Florence, Italy. She moved to Minneapolis in 2015. Zoe sees art as a platform for cross-cultural dialogue: space is privilege that needs to be shared. Through art and social engagement, she found her community in the Twin Cities: she is a member of the Carry On Homes Family, The Mirror Lab and an MFA alumnus at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her practice is distributed across disciplines. She has exhibited, choreographed and performed locally and internationally in venues such the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, the Rochester Art Center and the Festival della Creatività (Florence, Italy).
San Antonio, TX native Chris Garza is a freelance director, performer and an arts administrator. He’s worked with The Guthrie as assistant director, Frank Theatre as assistant to the artistic director, Bedlam Theatre as an artist/maker, Red Eye Theater as a performer, and Mixed Blood Theater as a stage manager among others.
Khary Jackson is a multi-genre writer, dancer and musician. Khary has been a recipient of several grants, including the 2016 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Writing, the Minnesota State Arts Board’s 2012 Cultural Community Partnership Grant and 2010 Artist Initiative Grant.
Valerie Oliveiro is born in Singapore and based in Minneapolis. She was a full time photographer for many years and still deeply investigates the principles and the edges of the medium. As a lighting designer, she has designed for Pramila Vasudevan (Parking Ramp Project) and Deke Weaver (Unreliable Bestiary Project) and Rosy Simas (Skin(s)). She has also recently managed projects with Bebe Miller and Cynthia Oliver and will soon collaborate with Ni’Ja Whitson. Valerie will perform in Morgan Thorson’s work Public Love as well as in Weave by Rosy Simas at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in January 2019. This excerpt (currently titled THE STANDARD) is from a larger work-in-progress and it is her Choreographer’s Evening Debut
St. Paul, Rondo native Leslie Parker is a dancer, performer and educator based in the Twin Cities and New York. Parker’s African Diaspora aesthetic is an “organic physical fusion of influences from street styles, funk, blues, jazz, and African and contemporary modern dance,”. Parker is a 2017 Bessie award winner for Outstanding Performer in Danspace Project’s Platform 2016 and is currently faculty at University of Minnesota Theater Arts and Dance. She is the creator of the initiative “Moving Dialogue for Non Violence”, a platform that uses dance practice as a catalyst for social change in partnership with CAMBA at Broadway House Women Shelter in Brooklyn, NY.
Jäc Pau (Jacob Miller) is a burlesque dancer, theatre maker, director, collaborator, and teacher. They work closely with the traveling theatre company Mixed Precipitation; directed the 2017 Barebones Halloween show CROAK; Producers Choice for the 2016 FIERCE Queer Burlesque festival in Pittsburgh PA, and was a Featured Performer for FIERCE 2018 in Toronto, Ontario. They’ve performed extensively with Ballentine’s Burlesque, GLAM Gods at the Gay 90s, Transcendence at LUSH, and Babelight Productions.
Anat Shinar is a Minneapolis-based contemporary performance artist, curator, writer, educator, and member of Fresh Oysters Performance Research collective. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Visual Arts, and completed her Master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership, also at the UMN. Her choreography has been commissioned by and presented at The Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M), Pillsbury House Theater, Red Eye Theater, Southern Theater, The Soap Factory, SooVAC, and the Bryant-Lake Bowl. She is the Director of Development at Young Dance, a dance education non-profit, as well as a teacher for Young Dance and the Cowles Center, working with students of all ages and abilities. Anat is a 2018 Naked Stages Fellow at Pillsbury House Theater
Amal Rogers grew up in the swampy suburbs of south Florida where the juxtaposition of the Disney-like built environment and the ever-advancing natural environment instilled in her a recurring sense of chaos and absurdity. She earned degrees from Mills College in Oakland, California and the New College of Florida. In Minneapolis, Rogers experiments with dance performance. She also teaches dance in public spaces with the Cowles Center, works as part time rehearsal director with the Somali Museum Dance Troupe, and provides bodywork with the People’s Movement Center. She has presented performance in Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Helsinki, and Sarasota.
Dance duo Iman and Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin are Muslim identical twin sisters from Minneapolis. Al Taw’am (Arabic for The Twins), have performed with artists such as Brother Ali, Mona Haydar and Black Violin and at a range of events and venues such as The Nobel Peace Prize Forum, WE Day Minnesota, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Harvard Graduate School of Education and were season one contestants on World of Dance, NBC.
Yuki Tokuda is originally from Japan and she moved to the United States to continue her dance training and to pursue a professional dance career. Tokuda has danced professionally with USA Ballet, Peoria Ballet, the Metropolitan Ballet, and Cities’ Classical Dance Ensemble and was the principal dancer at Continental Ballet for the past 7 years. Tokuda trained at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York and Steps on Broadway as one of the first International Visa Program students. She has performed many principal roles such as Swan Lake, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. She is also the designer and owner of Yukitard, a custom leotard company for ballet dancers and students.
Chitra Vairavan is a contemporary Indian dancer and choreographer of Tamil/South Indian-American descent. She dances to heal and creates dance to help heal others. Her embodied practice and experimental process is rooted in freedoms, poetry, vulnerability and ancestral memory. She is a 2016 McKnight Dancer Fellow, and was named Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2017.
Katie Ka Vang
Katie Ka Vang is a playwright, performance artist and theatre maker. She envisions her work to activate individual truth(s). She holds an MFA from Brown University. She has performed for Pangea World Theater, Theatre Mu, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Center for Hmong Arts and Talent among others.