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.
(Indonesian/Javanese)—World Dance class, Jan. 24
Tri Sutrisno has danced and taught in Indonesia, New Zealand and Minnesota. Born in Surakarta, Java, she began learning dance at the age of seven. A specialist in the dances of Indonesia, she has led classes, school residencies and workshops for adults and children. Currently, Tri serves as the Dance Director for Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota. She has developed a strong foundation of dance performance that is based on the aesthetic and philosophical ideas of classical and traditional dance.
(Native American)—World Dance class Feb. 5
Born on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in central Iowa, Larry Yazzie began dancing at age 7. He was taught the traditions of the Meskwaki people, including the flamboyant and energetic fancy dance and the Northern Plains style of singing. A renowned fancy dancer who consistently takes top honors at American Indian powwows through the U.S. and Canada, he won the World Championship for the Northern Style Fancy Dance in 1995 and 2007. He also serves as an Arena Director, Singing Judge and Head Man Dancer.
Fight director for Hamlet, in residence Feb. 4-8
Richard Raether is one of only 10 Fight Masters certified by the Society of American Fight Directors, and has taught and choreographed stage combat professionally for the past 20 years, staging fights for ABC, CBS and numerous theatres across the U.S. These theatres include the Guthrie Theater, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare, American Players Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre and the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
(East Indian)—World Dance class Feb. 26
Ranee has been teaching and performing Bharatanatyam in the Twin Cities since 1978. She has had the good fortune to train under Alarmel Valli, a leading exponent of the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam, which requires grace and subtlety of expression. Ranee has received many grants and fellowships in recognition of her choreography, performance and tireless work with Bharatanatyam in the Minnesota area, including numerous McKnight Artist Fellowships and a Bush Fellowship for Choreography.
(West African/Ghanaian)—World Dance class March 25
Renowned drummer and dancer Francis Kofi descended from a long line of West African drum and dance heritage. He has performed and taught in North America, Europe, Asia and throughout Africa. Initially trained by his grandfather, master drummer and composer of Gbenordu Habrbor Troupe, Francis began his career as a performer at the age of six. He has been touring professionally since age fifteen as a master drummer, dancer and choreographer.
Kofi is an Ewe, of the Wotsi ("Waachi") sub-division in Togo. He has studied and performed extensively in various parts in Ghana, as well as in Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. His is accomplished in a vast repertoire of traditional drumming pieces and accompanying dances. Kofi has taught in the United States at several universities and in 1996-97 was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship/Artist-In-Residence at the State University of New York College at Fredonia.
(United States/Gullah)—World Dance class April 3
Karla Nweje began studying dance because of her experiences as a young child on the streets of New York City, where she says African American culture, dance and music were integral parts of her life. She has learned and worked with innovative modern dance choreographers and African griots, including Doris Chaverra, Ladji Camara, Ronald K. Brown, Djoniba Mouflet, Jean-Leon Destine, Daniel Maloney and Wavery Lucas. She writes: "Dance has always been a major form of communication, and exploring the historical and cultural significance of dance forms gives us treasured insight into the many facets of the human experience."
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(Cuban)—World Dance class April 22; her influences will be visible in the Spring Collection concert
René D. Thompson has been a professional Latin dancer for 27 years, 20 of those years as an instructor and choreographer. Born and raised in Cuba, René brings a wealth of knowledge of music and dance, as well as their cultural context to his audience. He teaches the uniquely Cuban steps of Salsa, Chachacha, Rumba and Mambo and other traditional Cuban rhythms. He always includes the "heart" of the Cuban style, which has its foundation in Africa and Spain, as well as his homeland of Cuba.