BEST DANCER - 2008
Anna Marie Shogren
Every dance community needs a trickster or two—artists who possess a unique ability to make us laugh while at the same time displaying savvy stage presence, crisp technique, and an ability to share—or steal—the limelight when appropriate. University of Minnesota grad Anna Marie Shogren has demonstrated all of that in works by Morgan Thorson, Karen Sherman, Justin Jones, and Chris Schlicting, as well as in her own choreography (she'll be premiering a new piece in July for the Walker Art Center's Momentum Series). In last summer's the SCREEN/the THING by Jones, for example, Shogren excelled in demanding and repetitive unison dancing, as well as in her own light-as-air moments, in which she punctuated her almost laid-back personality with juicy kinetic surprises. Shogren is constantly working out the movement puzzles before her, but she is also looking for ways to subvert the expected outcome, delivering the choreographer's vision while staying true to herself. She's a riveting and often revolutionary performer as a result, always a few steps ahead of the audience but never beyond reach.