TU Dance Set for April 29 Dance at Anderson Theatre

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by

TU Dance, Toni Pierce-Sands & Uri Sands, directors

TU Dance, Toni Pierce-Sands & Uri Sands, directors

The Gustavus Artist Series and the Department of Theatre/Dance are pleased to bring TU Dance, the Saint Paul, Minnesota-based dance company, to the campus for a public performance on Friday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. at Anderson Theatre. Funded through the Gustavus Artist Series, this visit by TU Dance includes a three-day residency by the famed dance troupe. Tickets for the Friday evening performance are available online at gustavustickets.com and by phone at 507-933-7590.

Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, TU Dance is a leading voice for contemporary dance and provides opportunities for everyone to experience the connective power of dance. The 10-member, professional company is acclaimed for its diverse and versatile artists and work that draws together modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular movements. The TU Dance repertory features original work by Uri Sands, as well as other renowned choreographers including Gioconda Barbuto, Dwight Rhoden, Ron Brown, Katrin Hall, Gregory Dolbashian and Camille Brown.

Founders Toni Pierce Sands and Uri Sands are veterans of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. They have won numerous awards and recognition including the Minnesota State Arts Board and McKnight fellowships, the Princess Grace Award, the Joyce Award and most recently the 2015 United State Artists Fellowship. TU Dance has credits including the Sage Cowles Best Performance Awards (2005, 2007 and 2010). They consistently receive outstanding reviews, and engage new and diverse audiences. They have performed in auditoriums from the 200-seat Southern Theater to the 1900-seat Ordway Center and are known for bringing a multi-cultural awareness of modern dance with style and grace to audiences of all ages.

While the program for the Anderson Theatre performance is much larger, three works — Veneers, High Heel Blues and Vibrations, Sightless San Francisco — offer an overview. Veneers was choreographed by Uri Sands in 2006 to the music of Arvo Part and the Kronos Quartet. In a 2009 review Camille LeFevre wrote “Veneers is my favorite dance work by a local choreographer. That it still has the rigor, intelligence, ferocity and nuance to thrill — even after five or so viewings — is a testament to its choreographer, Uri Sands…”

Another work on the program by Uri Sands is High Heel Blues, premiered in 2005 to music by Tuck and Patti. Erin Caryle’s 2008 review in City Pages described High Heel Blues as “… the sung longings of a woman lusting after high-heeled shoes, though she knows that they are not good for her feet; Sands was the salesman who helped her along the path to buying them.”

With music by Charles Mingus and choreography by Uri Sands, Vibrations, Sightglass San Francisco includes sections titled “Morning Coffee,” “Power Lunch,” and “Happy Hour.” It is, as Caroline Palmer of the Star Tribune wrote, “an ode to city living……with a distinct 21st-century twist to this suite set to sparkling Charles Mingus jazz compositions. TU dancers are constantly in motion, their heads bobbing and twitching, their bodies unsettled and yearning for the digital pulse as they search for rhythmic connections. Of note is a trio for Darwin Black, Randall Riley and Alexis Staley, all buttoned up and ready to conquer the financial district. They stomp to the flamenco-inspired beats, agitated as bulls locked up in a pen. All three are stylish and cool yet itching to seal a deal. But Sands directs the talents of these exquisite dancers away from the obvious power play, directing them into soaring leaps and long-limbed looseness. They have a higher purpose.”

Tickets for the TU Dance performance on the Anderson Theatre stage at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29 are available online at gustavustickets.com and by phone at 507-933-7590. Any tickets remaining unsold will be available in the lobby of Anderson Theatre one hour prior to showtime. Tickets are $9 adults, $6 senior citizens and students. Gustavus students and staff are entitled to one complimentary tickets in advance.

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