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Press Releases Walker Art Center Presents Diverse Range of Minnesota Dance in Annual Choreographers’ Evening Curated by Emily Johnson

For more than 30 years, the Walker Art Center’s Choreographers’ Evening has served as the major gathering for the Twin Cities’ vital independent dance community. Witness and celebrate the remarkably diverse range of Minnesota dance—from established choreographers playing with new ideas to some of the freshest talent on the scene at this year’s installment on Saturday, November 24, at 7 and 9:30 pm in the Walker’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater. This year’s mix of short works features: Olive Bieringa, Jaime Carrera, Joanna Furnans, Cara Krippner, Mad King Thomas, Kaleena Miller and Ricci Milan, Pam Plagge, Sally Rousse, Kenna Sarge, Susan Scalf and Dylan Skybrook, Chris Schlichting, Anna Marie Shogren, the Greater Twin Cities Tableau Society, and Ikwewag Waci. Curated by the “fresh and fierce, evocative and disciplined” (Dance Magazine) choreographer and former Momentum artist Emily Johnson. Note: The 9:30 pm performance contains nudity.

Emily Johnson is a director/choreographer/curator originally from Alaska and currently based in Minneapolis. Her company, Catalyst, has performed since 1998, presenting thought-provoking and entertaining works incorporating powerful movement and deliberate meaning.

Marked by fiercely intuitive, minimalist, pedestrian-bent choreography, Johnson’s repertoire includes commissions by institutions, theaters, and colleges, including Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Three Legged Race, the Red Eye Theater, Macalester College, St. Olaf College, and the Walker Art Center and Southern Theater as part of Momentum, New Dance Works. Johnson has been presented by Franconia Sculpture Park, the ODC Theater in San Francisco, Velocity in Seattle, and the Southern Theater in Minneapolis as part of Scuba, a national touring dance network and has self-presented in numerous venues, including Dance Theater Workshop in New York, the Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis, and the Que’Ana Bar in Clam Gulch, Alaska. She has embarked on performance projects in Montreal, Quebec; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Amsterdam, Netherlands and has toured her company to Alaska, California, Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, and New York. She has led movement workshops in Minneapolis, Montreal, and through the VIZIT Agency in St. Petersburg. Her repertory work has been part of the dance programs at Carleton College, Macalester College, and the University of Minnesota.

Johnson is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Bush Artist Fellowship (2004), Jerome Artist Fellowship (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship (2001), and her work is currently supported by the Puffin Foundation and the Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation.

Johnson’s longtime collaborative efforts include work with composer JG Everest, videographer and editor Randy Kramer, lighting designer Heidi Eckwall, and costumer Angie Vo. She is part of Local Strategy, a multidisciplinary art collective that investigates and animates public spaces through collaborative artistic effort. Local Strategy created “Landmark : 24 Hours at the StoneArch Bridge,” an event that won “Best Public Art Performance 2006” in City Pages.

Johnson served as administrator for the dance and music improvisation series Mulch, held at Intermedia Arts for three years. She currently co-curates capture!, a dance film series at the Bryant Lake Bowl and serves on the board of Springboard for the Arts, a nonprofit arts organization working with the business needs and career goals of artists of all disciplines.

Johnson received her BFA summa cum laude in 1998 from the University of Minnesota where she was awarded the two-year Gertrude Lippincott Scholarship for creativity and the Waller Minority Scholarship for outstanding contribution to University.

Her writing on the cultural dance traditions of the Yup’ik Eskimo people of Alaska has been published in the Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement.

Tickets to Choreographers’ Evening are $18 ($15 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.

Emily Johnson

Photo: Cameron Wittig

Choreographers’ Evening 2007 participants

(l to r): Kenna Sarge, Theresa Madeus of Mad King Thomas, Cara Krippner, Olive Bieringa, Cara Krippner dancer, Anna Marie Shogren (with back turned), Susan Scalf (in green), Dylan Skybrook, Sally Rousse, Chris Schlighting, Pam Plagge, Ikwewag Waci dancers
Not pictured: Jaime Carrera, Kaleena Miller and Ricci Milan, the Greater Twin Cities Tableau Society, Joanna Furnans

Photo: Cameron Wittig