2008-2009Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/theatre/about/andreasguests08-09.html
Nadine B. Andreas Artists in Residence
The Department of Theatre & Dance, through the generosity of David and Lowell Andreas in honor of their wife and mother, hosted the following Artists in Residence during 2008-09.
In the role of "Kim" in the Mainstage opener, Miss Saigon.
Fiona Hui has continually found great successes with classical concerts, opera and musical theater, as well as professional Christian recordings with the company Music 2000.
Her major theater credits include: Miss Saigon as “Kim,” “Mimi” (The Richard Perry Theater, NYC, Foothills Theater, MA ), South Pacific as “Liat,” Snow White (Wohlfahrt Hau Theater, VA), Hair (Provincetown Playhouse, NYC), World Premiere God Lives in Glass as “Feature” (Provincetown Playhouse, Manhattan Theater Club, NYC), Hansel and Gretel (Fredrick Lowe Theater, NYC), Magic Flute as “Third Spirit” (Samuel J Ethel and Lefrak Hall, NYC), The Finishing School as “Ottilie” (Black Box Theater, NYC), Golden Mickeys as “Bebe” (Storybook Theater, Disney HK) and Concert of Excellence (Jazz in Lincoln Center, NYC)
Upon graduation from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor Degree in Music in 2001 and then from the New York University with a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance in 2005, she has performed as a soloist in North America, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Japan, Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Fiona is a member of Actor Equity Association in the United States and is here from New York as an Andreas Guest Artist.
Michael John LaChiusa (center) with the cast of See What I Wanna See.
Michael John LaChiusa is not your typical musical theatre composer. He chooses difficult themes, explores psychologically complex characters and creates music that challenges the best of virtuoso singers. It is my personal truth that he is heralding us into the future of American musical theatre. By creating shows like See What I Wanna See, he is insuring that theatre artists and theatergoers never grow complacent with this art, nor do they ever stop considering the big universal truths that make us beautifully human. (Taken from the Director's Notes by director Nikki Swoboda.)
Morgan Thorson conceives and creates dances and movement-based projects with dancers, theater artists and designers as core collaborators. Dodging a trademark style, her ensemble and solo works address: the state of being in general and within the context of the theater or performance site; her own personal relationship to dance; and the perception and representation of the body. Often, at the center of her inquiry is an interest in the tension between the physical limitations of the body, the expansive nature of the imagination, and the emotional current inside the movement. Theatrical timing—the visual and rhythmic dynamics in choreography and performance—are portals for entry into the work, as is embracing and breaking with “subjective” narrative. Each project—whether evening-length or a shorter piece—is developed and edited through its own physical process and formula. The audience’s gaze, and the nature and history of the performance site, are paramount considerations in its process, presentation and performance. Detail, humor, critique and formal concerns emerge, allowing the work to broadcast a social commentary beyond the work itself.
Based in Minneapolis, Thorson’s work has been presented by venues worldwide, including Jacob’s Pillow; the Walker Art Center and Southern Theater in Minneapolis; Links Hall in Chicago; PS 122 and The Kitchen in New York City; Performing Arts Group in Seoul, South Korea; LIP in London; and Link/Vostok in Yarislovl, Russia. In 2009, she will premiere a new work co-commissioned by The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, DiverseWorks in Houston, and PS 122 in New York City.
Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner began her modern dance experience at Arizona State University in her hometown of Tempe, AZ. In 1995, she transferred to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and discovered her interest in choreograohy from an outstanding faculty including Erin Thompson, Dan Shapiro, Joanie Smith, Zoe Sealy and Danny Buraczeski. In addition to this splendid faculty, she had the good fortune to be influenced by some of the great dance makers of today, including Doug Varone, Ralph Lemon, Bebe Miller, Scott Rink, Ronald K. Brown and Deborah Jowitt, through the Sage Cowles Guest Artist program. Her choreography, which researches both contemporary modern and traditional American jazz, is highly musical and borrows from all aspects of art and life to create a unique dance experience enjoyed by dancers and non-dancers alike. Her work has been produced at numerous theaters in Minneapolis, MN (including the Southern Theater, the Fitzgerald theater, the Walker Art Center, the Illusion Theater, the O'Shaugnessey Theater and the Pantages Theater), several Arizona venues (including the Herberger Theater, the Orpheum Theater and the Scottsdale center for the Arts) and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
From 1998- 2001, she served as the Choreographer in Residence for the Minnesota Dance Theater under the direction of Lise Houlton. Original works by Gutierrez-Garner have been commissioned by Macalaster College, Glendale Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Arizona State University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota State University, the St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts and the University if Minnesota, Twin Cities, . Gutierrez-Garner’s work has seen support from organizations such as the Jerome Foundation, the Mcknight Foundation, the Walker Art Center, the Maricopa Community Colleges and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She is a four- time winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition’s Professional Division. She has taught for the faculties of the Arizona State University, Glendale Community College and Scottsdale Community College. She currently teaches techniques of both modern and jazz dance at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota dance program.
Gabriel (Gabe) Masson’s career as a choreographer, performer and teacher spans 25 years. He has toured the world in the companies of Hannah Kahn, Rosalind Newman, Lucinda Childs and Doug Varone, as well as dancing in specific projects with various choreographers including Peter Pucci, Mark Morris and Michele Pogliani (Italy).
In 1997 in NYC, he formed Gabriel Masson Dance (GMD) as a vehicle for his creative output. Since then, the company has garnered rave reviews for their powerfully physical, deeply human dancing and Masson’s work has been lauded as “breathtaking” (NYTimes) possessing a “choreographic voice rich in emotional range.” (SDUnion Tribune). GMD is now based in San Diego, CA, where it had a critically acclaimed West coast premiere in October 2006. In 2002, Masson began to investigate film and has completed two projects with differently-abled dancer Hamel Bloom: "Almost Together," created with Emmy Award winning videographer Eliot Caplan, and "FAMILY: PORTRAIT," created with Mexican videographer Ana Baer.
Masson has an international reputation as a teacher and has taught and performed at festivals worldwide including the American Dance Festival, USA and Korea; The Edinburgh Festival, Scotland; and the Sao Paolo Biennial, Brazil. He is on the rotating faculty of several prestigious dance festivals here in the States including the Bates Dance Festival. After receiving an M.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts he was on faculty there from 1990-1995 and from 1997-2001 he served as artist-in-residence at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, PA.
Masson was in residency at Minnesota State Mankato Feb. 15-21, 2009. While here, dancers performed an informal presentation of the piece they had worked with him on.