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BEST DANCER Minneapolis 2001 - Laura Selle

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the work ethic, but the Twin Cities are rife with gifted dancers who make competent choreography look good, and good dances look even better. A highlight among highlights is 23-year-old Laura Selle, who currently dances for several of the best choreographers in town. As a dancer, she has the equivalent of perfect pitch. Movement pours out of her as if she were making it up on the spot: Whether jazzing it up or catapulting through space like a force of nature, the athletic Selle makes whatever she dances look totally unaffected. Her robust performing is rock solid but also reveals a vulnerability: She's equally compelling hoisting a man to her chest in a nurturing embrace or devouring the stage like an avenging Fury. Or standing still, an emotional barometer registering the surrounding tumult. When she talks (which she does frequently in the movement-theater works of Matt Jenson and Stuart Pimsler), she speaks the way she dances--directly, without a hint of artifice. An Apollonian dancer in a Dionysian world of increasingly frenzied choreography, Selle embodies the calm at the center of even the most ferocious action.

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