The University of Minnesota's dance department continues to hone a stellar national rep through its outstanding faculty as well as the Cowles Land Grant Guest Artist Program. This year's program, directed by TU Dance's Toni Pierce-Sands with rehearsal director Erin Thompson, is filled with offerings from dance legends and rising stars. Though the performers are still developing their craft, the concerts are always professional-quality and offer a glimpse into the dance community's promising future. Among the highlights is postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown's "Set and Reset," which originally premiered in 1983 as a collaboration with Laurie Anderson and Robert Rauschenberg. The piece was restaged here by veteran Brown Company members Katrina Thompson Warren and Wil Swanson, who encouraged the students to introduce their own improvisation into Brown's silky, seamless framework. Bebe Miller, who, like Brown, is a key figure in contemporary dance, brings her "Resistance Lessened or Increased and Taken," a playful romp performed in socks to Bach's "Chaconne." A newer choreographic voice, Nathan Trice, introduces an experiment of sorts with "Impetus," a work that employs a cast with a wide range of abilities, each tasked with interpreting the artist's vision in his or her own way. Finally, local dance makers Karen Sherman and Morgan Thorson collaborate for the first time in "Double Rainbow," an exploration of different permutations of partnerships, with a dash of inspiration from Yoko Ono and John Lennon.
Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 10, 2 p.m., 2008