The Ritz's 'Renovate...' offers eclectic dance this weekend

Photo by Jim Smith 
Photo by Jim Smith 

This weekend, Renovate... A Choreographer's Evening returns for its sixth year at the Ritz. The performances are an opportunity to see an eclectic mix of well-known and up-and-coming choreographers based in the Twin Cities. This year's show has a particularly wide range, with everything from ballet to ballroom to modern dance to hip-hop, says curator Lisa Conlin, who also is a Ballet of the Dolls company member.

Over the past five years Renovate has grown, attracting well-established choreographers while still incorporating emerging voices. The auditions in January boasted the biggest turnout yet with over 35 submissions, Conlin says.

The selection process is very open and casual. Some years have involved panelists visiting a rehearsal for a work in progress, and coaching performers. This year's panelists were Off-Leash Area's Jennifer Ilse, and Mariusz Olszewski, who has worked with numerous dance companies around town including Zenon and Beyond Ballroom. 

"We're getting a lot more choreographers wanting to show their work here," Conlin says. Because artists get up to 12 minutes, which is more than other showcase formats, its attractive to choreographers who want to have their work seen and experiment with new things. 

"We're trying to nurture emerging choreographers, and let other choreographers that are more established have a venue to show their work, and then get them feedback," Conlin says. 

Although she doesn't always take the stage each year, this weekend Conlin will be performing a piece called "Roots" in collaboration with composer Mike Hallenbeck. She plans to expand the work into a full evening sometime next year. 

This weekend's wide range of performances include a dance about the war in Afghanistan by Danielle Ricci, a dark comedic piece with four women by Christine Maginnis, a hip-hop work by Kenna Cottman and David Marcotte, and performances by former McKnight winner Vanessa Voskuil, SAGE nominee Taja Will, ballroom champion Lisa Vogel, and Eclectic Edge Ensemble's Karis Sloss. Other performers include BODY TALK, Zoe Henrot, Hiponymous, Amanda Leaveck, and Julie Warder. 


Renovate... A Choreographer's Evening
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
The Ritz
$18 adults; $15 student/seniors/Northeast residents
For tickets, call 612.436.1129 or get tickets online

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The Ritz Theater

345 13th Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413


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