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Press Releases Walker Art Center Presents choreographer David Zambrano’s Soul Project, featuring dancers from Mozambique, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, the U.S., and Venezuela, performing to soul music classics

“A not-to-be-missed highlight of New York’s spring dance season” – New York Times, 4/20/12

Minneapolis, April 27, 2012— Before the performances of Soul Project begin, the audience gathers on the William and Nadine McGuire stage. Performers begin to emerge, setting in motion an extraordinary experience of virtuosic solos danced to classic “vintage” soul recordings by the likes of Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Bettye LaVette. Soul Project will be performed Friday-Saturday, May 11-12, at 8 pm. Conceived and directed by Venezuelan-born choreographer David Zambrano, Soul Project is a collaboration with seven remarkable dancers from Mozambique, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, the United States, and Venezuela. Witness the high-energy show from any angle in this club-like atmosphere, with spontaneous and unpredictable performances happening right next to you.

Zambrano has been making dance for over 20 years. In his pursuits as both a creator and educator, Zambrano has visited 40 countries, worked with more than 25,000 students, and has performed at hundreds of venues across the world. His pieces range from set choreography and structured improvisation to pure improvisation. Born in Venezuela, Zambrano spent 15 years in New York and now lives in Amsterdam continuing to perform and teach worldwide. His improvisation is committed to art as a cultural exchange developing the creative process in a world without borders. Zambrano sees improvisation as an art and choreography as a vehicle to further develop his work in improvisation.

Zambrano’s pursuits as an improviser, choreographer, and performer have been presented all over the world. The most notable examples of his original projects of both solo and group work include Twelve Flies Went Out at Noon (2005), Barcelona in 48 Hours (2004), The Rabbit Project/Proyecto Conejo (2003), Mandraking (2002), David Zambrano Invites…(2000), Acme (1999), Ballroom (1996), Proyecto: Z (1994), Red Blink (1994), Agua Fuerte (1993), Cancion de Diente (1993), Sabana (1990), Fetiche (1987), and Para Carmen (1984). He also founded the Festival de Danza Postmoderna in Venezuela in 1989 and was its director until 1993.

Zambrano’s methods in improvisation are influenced by the training he teaches around the globe. The most notable method is his Flying-Low technique which examines the dancer’s relationship to the floor, earth, and ground. These techniques are very sought after by festivals, dance companies, and schools including: Movement Research (New York), American Dance Festival (USA and Japan), PARTS (Belgium), La Caldera (Spain), Impulstanz Festival (Austria), Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez (Belgium), Sasha Waltz and Guests (Germany), New York Dance Intensive (USA), AREA (Spain), The School for New Dance, Development (Holland), Dansens Hus (Denmark), Rosas (Belgium), La Anonima Imperial (Spain), Danza Abierta (Cuba), Danza Combinatoria (Cuba), Retazos (Cuba), Espacio Alterno (Venezuela), Neodanza (Venezuela), Taller de Danza Contemporanea de Caracas (Venezuela).

His performance work has been presented at or by Movement Research Presenting Series (USA), Dance Theater Workshop (USA), The Kitchen (USA), Festival Aix-en-Provence (France), Tanzwerkstatt Berlin (Germany), Tamperen International Theater Festival (Finland), Improvisation Festival/New York (USA), Primer Taller Internacional de Danza (Cuba), Periferics (Spain), P.S. 122 (USA), CODA (Norway), Impulstanz Festival (Austria), Konfrontance (Czech Republic), Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church (USA), the Whitney Museum (USA), Theater Frascati (Netherlands), and many others.

Zambrano has been the recipient of many grants, awards, and fellowships, and has served on various panels and juries including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Suitcase Fund administered by Dance Theater Workshop with funds by the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Council for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Zambrano has also been a panelist for the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Certamen Coreografico de Madrid, and the PARTS school for Contemporary Dance in Brussels. As a recognized artist of merit, he was granted special residency status by the Dutch government.

Related Events

Passing Through

Thursday, May 10, 6:30 & 7:30 pm

Walker Art Center Public Spaces

Zambrano and a cast of dancers from around the globe infiltrate the Walker’s public spaces with unbridled movement and energy in Passing Through, a short spontaneous dance work performed with local drummer J.T. Bates.

Flying-Low Dance Technique

Wednesday, May 9, 9:30am-11:3-am

Zenon Dance Company, 528 Hennepin Avenue

Saturday, May 12, 11am-1pm

McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center

While in Minneapolis, Zambrano will offer two Flying-Low workshops, showcasing his signature innovative technique. Focusing mainly on the dancer’s relationship with the floor, this very physical class utilizes simple movement patterns of breathing, speed, and the release of energy to activate the relationship between the center and the joints and maintain a centered state. The class includes partnering work and movement phrases, exploring the primary laws of physics: cohesion and expansion. Appropriate for dancers of all levels with high levels of physical endurance. Space is limited; registration is required by calling 612.375.7600. $13 ($10 Walker members.)

Support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Producers’ Council members Leni and David Moore, Jr./The Moore Family Fund for the Arts of The Minneapolis Foundation, and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

David Zambrano, Soul Project

Horacio Macuacua

Photo: Anja Hitzenberger