TU Dance Co. performs at MSUM

by Carrie Thayer


A voice repeats, “the detail is in the pattern.” Bare feet slide across the stage. Draped in various shades of green, the bodies’ movements are like punctuation marks against the black backdrop —angular and perfect.

On Saturday, Saint Paul’s TU Dance company performed at the Hansen Theatre, bringing their blend of traditional and contemporary dance styles to the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The production started off the spring semester’s performance art calendar.

“I think it’s great you can get this type of experience in Moorhead,” audience member, Rachel Pederson said.

The troupe was founded in 2004 by former Alvin Ailey dancers, Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands. The company offers a mixture of classical ballet and modern dance.

From the lamenting of wanting something that isn’t good for you in “High-Heel Blues” to “One,” a dance inspired by Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cells, the group’s repertoire covers an array of influences.

The TU Dance company’s visit to Moorhead wasn’t only to show off their craft. They were here to teach.

Over the weekend, the company offered three classes to MSUM and community dance students.

“Any time you can watch or study with somebody new, it expands your horizons,”  sophomore musical theater, Caleb Reich said.

While Reich feels he has been able to build on a strong dance foundation at MSUM, there is still a benefit to learning from other sources.

“As people start developing their own styles, they create their own sort of vocabularies,” Reich said.

By working with TU Dance, MSUM is broadening the influences available to the students.

“MSUM is kind of smaller, but bringing in other people to help teach is a really exciting opportunity,” Reich said.

Still, the production wasn’t just for those in the performance arts.

“I like watching dance, and I thought I would try new experiences,” anthropology junior, Carra Strader said.

While Strader has only attended a few shows at MSUM in the past, she appreciates the student  ticket prices and would like to attend more shows in the future.

The remainder of the spring semester includes an exciting adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, the mixing of many types of performance arts in the production of THE [scream], as well as various concerts.

Performance dates and tickets are available to MSUM students at a discounted price through mnstate.edu/perform.

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