Carleton Kicks off the New Year with a Weekend of Contemporary Dance

31 December 2011

Carleton College will kick off its 2012 arts calendar with two not-to-be-missed dance performances. On Friday, Jan. 6, the acclaimed Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater Company will appear, and on Saturday, Jan. 7, renowned Twin Cities choreographer and dancer Paula Mann will present “O The Humanity,” a collaboration with dancer Robert Haarman and videographer and animator Steve Paul, and featuring dancers from the Northfield community. Both events take place at 7:30 p.m. nightly in the Weitz Center for Creativity Theater and are free and open to the public. Limited seating is available; reservations for the Stuart Pimsler Company performance can be made online at

The Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT) is a nationally recognized performance company that has been presented by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), Jacob’s Pillow, The American Dance Festival, and internationally in Canada, Europe, Israel, Taiwan and Russia. 

As part of its Carleton College appearance, the company will perform repertory works including “Ways To Be Hold.” Honored with a 2008 Minnesota SAGE Award for Outstanding Choreography, “Ways to Be Hold” explores the dynamic of holding and being held filtered through a series of personal and global inquiries. The entire dance company is caught between moments of tenderness and assault as they decide how to respond in dangerous times. Spoken word artist Tiyo Siyolo narrates this compelling work with courage, grace and a ferocious spirit.

The company will also present “The Men From the Boys” and “Word Game.” Choreographed by the legendary modern dance soloist, Daniel Nagrin, this 1968 work is a wry commentary on public figures. The New York Times called the Stuart Pimsler Company’s performance of “Word Game,” a “tour de force.”

Founded in 1978 and based in Minneapolis, Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater Company’s work stands apart in the field of contemporary performance for its vast emotional range, intellectual provocations, and stunning visual environments. Dramatically powerful and insightfully witty, this company’s unique vision has been hailed as theater for the heart and mind.

This performance is supported by funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Legacy Amendment. For more information, visit their website at

The following night, on Saturday, Jan. 7, Carleton College will present a Dance Showcase with Paula Mann, featuring a performance of “O The Humanity,” a collaboration between artistic directors Mann and Steve Paul. The 30 minute duet, performed by choreographer Mann and dancer Robert Haarman, with video and animation by Paul, explores the often awkward and contradictory elements that arise when two people just try to get along. As the couple tries to make sense of world events and create a shared reaction to memories through different perspectives, their continual negotiation is expressed in loops and layers of emotions translated into movement and movement translated into emotion. This premiere performance also includes local dancers who act as the “humanity,” video, animation, and onstage action merge to expose the inner life of external relationships. The piece is sometimes raw, sometimes funny, always engaging and illuminating. “O The Humanity” assembles the puzzle pieces of our experience and fits them together into a quirky groove. 

The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at 320 Third Street East in Northfield. For more information, including disability accommodations, call Carleton College Director of the Arts Steve Richardson at (507) 222-4389 or visit

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