Help ARENA continue to be a force in this dance community, providing strong instruction to new and veteran moving bodies, a voice for local dance artists to share their work, and an experience-creator for those who want to be moved, inspired and motivated by live performance.
Let’s take a look at this amazing 28th year we are embarking on in the 2023/2024 season –
Premiere of Erased Steps at the Saint Paul Union Depot – August 24-25, 2023
Erased Steps is an abstract dance theater work, taking place at Union Depot in Saint Paul, MN, August 24-25, 2023. The work features an original score by local composer Zack Baltich and 15 dancers whose relationships are gradually revealed through the works’ deft abstraction, incorporating dance, visual symbolism and imaginative staging. Shining a light on both personal and societal expectations, Erased Steps exposes themes of the past and the present; what things seem like on the surface versus what they might actually be. Learn more about Erased Steps.
Performance at Franconia Sculpture Park’s 27th Annual Art and Artists Celebration – September 23, 2023
As part of the festivities, ARENA DANCES will perform an excerpt of Erased Steps at 4:30pm – an abstract dance theater work featuring an original score by local composer Zack Baltich. The trio of Dustin Haug, Leslie O’Neill, and Laura Selle Virtucio exposes themes of the past and the present. Learn more about the 27th Annual Art and Artists Celebration.
snowBIRD Creative Residency in Palm Springs, CA – January 2024
In early 2024, ARENA will be heading to sunny Palm Springs, California to participate in a creative residency with snowBIRD, focusing time to create with Twin Cities dancers Dustin Haug, Javan Mngrezzo, and Leslie O’Neill while we also offer classes to the community. Learn more about the Palm Springs Dance Project.
Mathew Janczewski and Taja Will’s collaboration of MERGE in March at The Cowles – March 23-24, 2024
Mathew Janczewski and Taja Will join choreographic and creative forces in their commissioned collaboration through The Cowles Center for MERGE in March, premiering March 23-24, 2024 on the Cowles Center’s Goodale Theater mainstage. This year’s MERGE pairs Mathew Janczewski’s high-intensity, super-charged movements with Taja Will’s nuanced, emotive, and improvisational boldness. Their collaboration will culminate in an evening of performance, which includes ARENA repertory favorite, Judged House, and the premiere of a haunting new solo by Will. Described as a “club-like atmosphere of daring ecstasy, collective revolt, and personal reclamations.” Learn more about MERGE in March.
The 8th Annual CANDY BOX Dance Festival – April 22-27, 2024
The CANDY BOX Dance Festival is a week-long dynamic sampling of featured performances, masterclasses, and in-progress showings, hosted by ARENA DANCES and presented April 22-27, 2024 at The Southern Theater. The CANDY BOX Dance Festival features both emerging and established choreographers, Happy Hour work-in-progress performances, and master class offerings, with full program announcement coming November 2023. Learn more about CANDY BOX.
DanceON is an in-school dance residency program run by ARENA DANCES for teaching and learning in dance, working from Minnesota National Dance Educators standards. DanceON aims to show how learning dance isn’t just a physical activity but also one that engages the brain, our emotions, and creates opportunities for students to learn and relate to one another. Structured through various residency options each semester, DanceON helps students build their technical and expressive skills, along with understanding how to view, interpret & discuss dance. By exploring, creating, replicating & observing movement, students will build their technical & expressive skills, and develop their artistry & personal voice in dance. Through DanceON, students have the opportunity to practice dance making, develop dance literacy, make connections within their academic work, work with communal & cultural resources, explore future career possibilities, and find passion for lifelong learning.
ARENA looks forward to the continuation and expansion of the DanceON educational outreach program in 2023/2024, focused on incorporating dance into K-12 Twin Cities Public Schools, along with the development of workshops for professional performing artists to acquire skills of dance pedagogy to teach in these K-12 academic settings. Last season, DanceON held residencies at Hall STEM Academy, Loring Elementary, Lucy Laney Community School, Whittier International Elementary, and North Community High School in Mpls and Creative Secondary Arts in St. Paul. Learn more about DanceON.
MOVING PRACTICE: Making Space for a New Cast of Teachers, Performers, and Choreographers
Formed in response to the dance community’s desire for a more diverse offering of techniques taught in the Twin Cities, Moving Practice gives each of its professional dancers the chance to teach, regardless of their age or experience. Aiming to give rise to new teachers and choreographers, this cohort-led class series prioritizes rigor, diversity of aesthetics and commitment. So far in the 2023/2024 season, Moving Practice has been led by local Twin Cities artists Nieya Amezquita, Taja Will, and Alexandra Bodnarchuk. Learn more about Moving Practice.
Floorwork Round Table Discussions + Potluck
Floorwork is a monthly series of discussions on all things dance. Open to all as a space for conversation and sharing of ideas, knowledge and resources, each Floorwork focuses on a different topic relevant to life as an artist – from taxes as a freelancer to creative tools for choreographic processes. This series often invites experts on the topic to assist in facilitating conversation and offer their wealth of knowledge on the topic. So far in the 2023/2024 season, Floorwork conversation has been led by Twin Cities’ greats like Leslie O’Neill, Erin Thompson, and Marciano Silva dos Santos of Contempo Physical Dance, hosted at communal arts spaces like The Arena and Red Eye Theater. Learn more about Floorwork.
Studio Stories: Reminiscing on Twin Cities Dance History
This unique podcast series aims to collect and share the stories of Twin Cities artists who have made an impact on the legacy of this big dance town. Host Mathew Janczewski sits down with a different artist each week to learn about their past, present, and future. Studio Stories airs weekly at noon on Thursdays – hear the full archive and listen to new episodes each week on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about Studio Stories.
As you can see, ARENA is making an effort to increase accessibility and engagement with dance, but there are many costs to funding a season. Here is what your contribution will support:
Composer & Music Rights
Lighting & Set Design
On-going Operational Support
ARENA DANCES is a non-profit organization with tax-exempt, 501(c)3 status and as such, all contributions are tax-deductible.
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS
Based on Calendar Year. Updated Quarterly – Last Updated August 23, 2023
Mark Addicks & Tom Hoch, Jake & Hope Armour, Leigh Dillard, Susan Leaf, Heather & Kent Pilakowski, Milo Pinkerton & Virgil Taus, Rick Schaefer
Kathleen & Paul Campbell, Leah Drury, Paola Sanchez, Holly Schramm, RD Zimmerman
Bill & Connie Cameron, Beth Fisher and Caroline Glawe, Jan Gonder, Kerry Keen & Nina Ebbighausen, Emily Maltz – Dale Schatzlein and Emily Maltz Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Don Ofstedal & Jerry Lee, Ron Lotz
Gail Asher, Alex & Natalia Berglund, Daniel Capetz, David & Erin Cragg, Neal Cuthbert & Louise Robinson, Catherine & Jason Malmberg Dannenbring, Mary Hansmeyer, Roger & Claryce Haug, Rebecca Heist, Wendy Holmes, Jerome & Judith Ingber, Ben Johnson, Heather Klopchin, Betsy Maloney Leaf, Steve & Jenni Norlin Weaver, Frank Rhame & Beverly Anne Christie, Sandy Simmons & Kevin Kunz, Julia Timm, Erin Thompson & Byron Richards, Tyler & Amy Thomson, Dennis Yelkin
CORPORATE + GRANT SPONSORS
ARENA DANCES would like to thank our corporate sponsors and the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.