making opportunities to experience the connective and reflective power of groove
Photo by Pat Berrett
It’s been a rough winter, amiright Midwesterners?! I’m looking forward to Spring springing. I’m springing along with it, into many a dance adventure that I’m excited to share with you! Here’s what I’ve got coming up this Spring:
Rehearsing for Rhythmically Speaking presents The Cohort (Feb-Aug)
Staging work on University of Wisconsin – River Falls (Apr)
Performing with Contempo Physical Dance at the Cowles Center (Apr)
“Nerdette-ing” at Saints Baseball (May-Sept)
Attending the International Swing Dance Championships (May)
Creating work with students through the Cowles Center Creations Residency (Apr)
Teaching Friday Morning Jazz Class at Zenon (through May)
Publishing and Presenting on Jazz Improv through NDEO (June-July)
For details on these projects, read on and follow myErinn Liebhard: Dance ArtistFacebook page. To connect with me about my performance and education-based services, drop me a line: I specialize in groove-centered jazz and teach a wide array of technique and lecture courses and am available for regular and guest teaching, as well as choreographic residencies. Thank you for keeping connected with me.
Rehearsing for Rhythmically Speaking presents . . . The Cohort Master Class with Julie Warder: 9:30-11am Friday April 26
Public Showing of Julie Warder’s new work: 5-5:30pm Friday April 26
Where: Zenon Dance Co. & School More Info
With my early February through mid-March period of rehearsals as a choreographer through, things are on a roll with Rhythmically Speaking’s new program, The Cohort! My new work is set to the music of Snarky Puppy and based off my movement research during my time at Keshet Dance in Albuquerque in January. With that complete, I’m currently enjoying having my performer hat on learning local artist Julie Warder’s (pictured L) material. Her quirky, musical-detail-driven movement is going to bring an excellent additional perspective on rhythm in motion to the August show! To try out her movement yourself and see what we’ve been working on, join us for a master class with Julie and a showing of her new work on April 26: the class will be held during Zenon’s Friday Morning Jazz slot from 9:30-11am, and the showing will happen at 5pm, also at the Zenon space. To learn more about The Cohort and our other artists for the year (out-of-towners Pat Taylor and Rohan Bhargava), visit our website.
Staging Work on the University of Wisconsin – River Falls
Photo from uwrfdancetheatre.org
This year has already carried a flurry of exciting work with college dancers, from Winona State to the University of Idaho to the North-Central region American College Dance Association conference. Next up is the University of Wisconsin – River Falls! In my second year working with UWRF, I restaged my 2018 work Juncture, set to the music of mandolin player Chris Thile and jazz pianist Bra Mehldau. A group of their most spirited dancers will perform the work April 10-13 on their annual Dance Theatre concert. It’s been a true joy to help these dancers find more of themselves through groove!
Performing SenZalma with Contempo Physical Dance When: April 12-13 @ 7:30pm
Where: The Cowles Center, Minneapolis MN Tickets & Info
Photo by Bill Cameron
I’m honored to be performing company repertoire SenZalma next weekend, my third home season with Contempo Physical Dance. Of this work, Star Tribune (MN) reviewer Caroline Palmer notes “wrongs cannot be undone, but survival is about transcendence, and this work achieves it.”SenZalmais inspired by the poem O Navio Negreiro (“The Slave Ship”) by 19th Century Brazilian abolitionist and poet Antonio de Castro Alves, and brought to life by Marciano Silva Dos Santos’ dynamic fusion of Afro-Brazilian traditional and contemporary movement ideas. This work is a challenge for the body, mind and soul – I hope you can join us for the journey.
“Nerdette-ing” with Saints Baseball When: May through August, baby!
Where: CHS Field Tickets & Info
Photo by Stephanie Szeremeta
It’s that time again, folks! Time to pause what you are doing and come spend a glorious summer evening with the Saints, enjoying the view, the ballpark nosh, and . . . getting coaxed into victory dances by this creature right here. Nerdette and her companion The Nerd (my real-life sweetie Kris Olson!) will ride again come mid-May, and we can’t wait to pitch facepalm-inducing jokes and our sweet dance moves your way! In all seriousness, developing and performing the Nerdette has really stretch my capacity as a playful improvisation artist. I’m looking forward to strappin’ those suspenders back on and continuing to develop my craft 🙂
Attending the International Swing Dance Championships
It’s been nearly a year since I was notified I’d been awarded a competitive Next Step Grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and things are finally starting to come to fruition for the project I’m creating with the funds. Phase one is attending the International Swing Dance Championships in Houston, Texas May 23-26 to continue my study of how social dance forms (like swing!) are related to and inform staged dance. Phase 2 is bringing back from this trip insights for the creation of a new production tentatively titled Social Animals. The show will highlight social, music-driven movement as a poignant way to celebrate similarity and difference through dance. Keep your eye out for more about Social Animals, which will hit the Icehouse stage this November!
Cowles Center Creations Residency When: March – April and event on April 29
Where: Highland Park Senior High School and the Cowles Center
Photo from thecowlescenter.orgCreations was a highlight among all my teaching last year, so I’m excited for our culminating event.. I’ve been working with a group of students from Highland Park Senior High School since early March to collaboratively make a dance ‘creation’ (i.e. choreographic work). On April 29, they’ll come to the Cowles Center, along with groups from six other MN high schools, to take classes and perform. I really enjoy being on the Cowles Center Teaching Artist Roster: I love and am experienced in teaching and choreographing in K-12, higher education, older adult, private education and professional company settings, and welcome contact regarding guest teaching and choreographic residency ideas!
Publishing and Presenting on Teaching Jazz Improvisation
After some time away from it, it’s been a great joy to return to scholarly writing this past several months, working with the editors of the Dance Education in Practice journal to move forward into publication of my article “Thinking on Our Feet: Improvisation for Individual and Community Expression in Jazz Dance Class.” The article is likely to be published in the June issue, which would be perfect timing, as I’ll also be presenting on the topic at NDEO’s Jazz Dance: Hybrids, Fusions, Connections, Community special topics conference. I’ll also be on a panel at the conference discussing jazz dance in higher education on jazz. I’m very excited to be with my jazz fam, brainstorming ideas surrounding jazz dance teaching, performance and advocacy.
Photo from facebook.com/groups/fridaymorningjazzclass/
#GetYourAsstoClass for Friday Morning Jazz Class at Zenon Dance Company and School, Twin Cities dancers! Karla Grotting and I are proud to carry on the long-standing tradition in our community of an open jazz class at the end of the week. Join us for this multi-level, multi-generational dance class that prioritizes groove, musicality and community: we can’t wait to dance with you!
With proverbial “Spring Cleaning” upon us and a decluttering craze in the rear-view mirror a la Marie Kondo, I share Project 333. Created by blogger Courtney Carver, Project 333 is meant to inspire people to thrive with less and while understanding their personal style more by dressing with just 33 items total for three months. This idea appealed to me when I came across it several years ago now, as I’ve long-enjoyed keeping around only what truly serves me and expressing myself through clothing. While I don’t necessarily believe you must choose a number of items to stick to, this concept inspired me to really pair down what I own, allowing me to figure out what I really like to wear (short skirts and dresses, reds and yellows, funky earrings!). I now wear my favorites every day, because that’s all I’ve got! In addition, building a mindset of satisfaction with less leads to less consumption of goods, which has several positive impacts including a reduced toll on the environment. I believe the better we understand our own style, the better self we put forward, bettering our chances to make our own unique and positive impacts in the world. Happy styling, friends!