Guest ArtistsPage address: https://www.mnsu.edu/dance/guestartists/
2016 Andreas World Dance Guest Artists
Sumunar dance director, performer, and choreographer Tri Sutrisno began learning dance at age seven in Surakarta, Java. She earned a degree in Indonesian Traditional Dance at the Teachers College of Surakarta and studied for years with the dance master in the Court of Surakarta. She taught and performed in Indonesia and New Zealand before coming to Minnesota, where she has taught a great variety of workshops and classes for colleges including St. Olaf, Macalester, Hamline, St. Cloud State, Winona State, and Mankato State, and done school residencies for hundreds of students from K-12.
For Sumunar she has taught dance classes for adults and youth since its founding in 2002. In the Greater Metro area she has performed for cultural and concert events with the Sumunar dancers and in collaborations with other Twin Cities dance groups. Solo performance venues include the University of Wisconsin, Madison; North Dakota University; the National Music Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota; Earlham College (Indiana), Chicago (Friends of Gamelan Ensemble), and Santiago, Chile, where she established an Indonesian Embassy dance program.
A fiber artist and poet, Gwen Westerman lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tall grass prairie, and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. Since 2005, she has been creating quilts that have won awards at the juried shows of the Northern Plains Indian Art Market in Sioux Falls, the Eiteljorg Indian Art Market in Indianapolis, and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Art Fair & Market in Phoenix.
Her work is now in the permanent collections of the Red Cloud Heritage Center Museum in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the University Art Galleries at the University of South Dakota, and the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate. The co-author of "Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota," which won a 2013 Minnesota Book Award, she also has a collection of poetry in Dakota and English, "Follow the Blackbirds," published by Michigan State University Press.
Larry Yazzie (Meskwaki/Dine) is a seasoned performer, actor and model. He founded (in 2003) Native Pride Productions, Inc., a Native American theatrical, dance, and performing arts company located in St. Paul, MN. He is a Champion Powwow Men's Fancy Dancer, a Native American Flutist, lecturer, MC, Native American Cultural Educator, Model, Actor and Singer. He has performed throughout the world sharing his culture through music and dance. He is from the Meskwaki Nation near Tama, Iowa and has been dancing since he was 7 years old. He has appeared in various films and television programs, as well as theatrical productions, including Northern Lights/Southern Cross (2009) at the Guthrie Theater with the Tutti Ensemble from Adelaide, Australia.
Giselle Mejia is a local dancer, choreographer and co-founder of Curio Dance & School, aside her brother Dario Mejia, which presents work throughout the Twin Cities. She grew up dancing on the feet of her father the “Salsa King” and miming with their mother to Raffie songs. Her parents instilled a deep love for life and peace on earth. After receiving her Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, she joined her brother to performed in National Dance Companies around the globe, including Mark Morris Dance Group of New York City and Luna Negra Dance Theater of Chicago.
Seeking more creative collaborations, the siblings took their art form to technology by fostering the original creation of iLuminate, a recognized dance sensation from NBC’s America’s Got Talent with a self-titled show running Off-Broadway. Giselle has continued to pursue her dreams among the Twin Cities vibrant and diverse community of visual and performing artists and is currently fulfilling her Masters degree in Dance and Choreography at The Peck School for the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since returning home, Giselle has been engaged in Contact Improvisation with a focus on duet practice with Blake Nellis, a world experienced mover and local dance educator whom has taken Giselle under his wings. She has also been independently studying the Afrocuban Orishas, under the direction of Yeniel Chini Perez of Matanzas, the "soul" of Cuba.
Marciano Silva Dos Santos
Marciano Silva Dos Santos is a native of Brazil and is founder, dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Contempo Physical Dance based in Minnesota. He studied theater and dance at FAFI, a professional performing arts school in Vitória, Brazil. After his dramatic performance of the moon character in Lorca’s Blood Wedding, he began to observe and study the body in order to develop his own dance vocabulary, a precise handling, authentic and technically defined movement style based on his own personal research.
In 2006 he was recognized by the American Folkloric Society as a Brazilian folk artist of unique and exceptional ability, and since that time he has been sharing his expertise with the Minnesota dance community. Through an invitation by Patrick Scully of Patrick’s Cabaret and Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, he joined TU Dance, led by Toni and Uri, where he was a company member for five years. He also danced for Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater and in Penumbra Theatre’s Black Nativity. Marciano quickly gained recognition for the high quality of his professional work. He was named “Best Dancer” by City Pages in 2009 and “one of the most graceful movers on any Twin Cities stage” by the Star Tribune in 2010.
Marciano has been featured in Dance Mogul Magazine, Minnesota Monthly Magazine, Revista da Cultura - ES- Brazil, Jornal da Dança and Revista Dança Brasil.