Students of the University of Minnesota's excellent dance program are so good (technique, performing presence, youthful ebullience) that upon graduation dance companies snatch them up here, there, and everywhere. That's because the program boasts an excellent faculty, and its endowed Cowles chair enables students to work with some of the best choreographic minds in the country. This year's concert presents diverse works by iconic artists such as Bill T. Jones (recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors and a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography of the critically acclaimed FELA!), Donald Byrd (honored with a Kennedy Center Master of Choreography Award), and our own Shapiro & Smith Dance. A work by Jones's late partner, Arnie Zane, completes the program. Jones's 1989 "D-Man in the Water, Part 1" mines the athleticism this choreographer has delivered for decades, while Byrd's 1997 "Jazz 1" syncopates to music by Max Roach. Zane's powerful "The Gift/No God Logic" (1987) co-exists with Shapiro & Smith's romp "Family," in which a large living room chair and the family who inhabit it get a vigorous workout. Byrd will be on deck for a Q&A with program director Ananya Chatterjea after Thursday's performance. For tickets, call 612.624.2345 or visit www.theatre.umn.edu. (Photo by Brandon Stengel)
Dec. 6-8, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m., 2012
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