Minnesota Dance Theatre's entire board of directors steps down


The news was unexpected. Last night, Minnesota Dance Theatre's board of directors announced that they would resign as a whole. The dance company and school, however, remains successful and intact.

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The note was short and sweet:
After thoughtful deliberation, the Minnesota Dance Theatre and Dance Institute Board of Directors has decided to resign.  It is no longer able to serve the needs of the organization going forward.  The organization remains solvent and critically successful.  We hope that the company and school will continue to succeed in the hands of a new board and the artistic director.We request that any further inquiries be directed to the offices of Minnesota Dance Theatre and the Dance Institute. Thank you. The MDT/DI Board of Directors.

Later in the evening, Minnesota Dance Theatre's artistic director, Lise Houlton, daughter of company founder Loyce Houlton, issued a statement in response to the earlier announcement. "I continue to be excited and motivated by the artistic integrity and energy of the company dancers, our teachers dedicated to high quality dance training, and the young aspiring dancers journeying on a 'path of excellence.' Many of us have sustained long, fulfilling careers in this organization," she states. In the note, she goes on to point that MDT has plenty of projects and performances coming up, including shows at the Lab Theater in collaboration with Dominique Serrand (which opened last weekend and continues through January), as well as spring shows at the Cowles Center for Performing Arts and the annual student showcase.

Minnesota Dance Theatre is one of the bigger dance troupes in town. The company was founded in 1962 by Loyce Houlton, a Minnesota native who had spent years in New York City training with dance heavyweights such as George Balanchine and Martha Graham. Over the years, the troupe's Nutcracker has become a holiday tradition, and it's fall and spring concerts have also proved popular. Famous alumni include Back to the Future's Lea Thompson, who performed in the controversial Carmina Burana in Minnesota before making it in Hollywood, and Prince, who took classes with the school and even performed for a benefit for the organization.