Brian Brooks to Bring Inventive, High-Octane Repertory to Northrop

Hailed as the "it" boy of contemporary dance (Dallas Morning News), choreographer Brian Brooks brings his company of dancers to Northrop on Apr 22 at 8:00 pm presenting an inventive, high-octane mixed repertory, a special appearance by former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan, and a residency with the University of Minnesota Dance Program.

Northrop Presents
Brian Brooks
Sat, Apr 22, 8:00 pm
Carlson Family Stage

I'm Going to Explode
First Fall with special guest Wendy Whelan
Torrent with U of M students

Brian Brooks and his New York-based ensemble make their Northrop debut on April 22 in five pieces that embody Brooks' niche in minimalistic, unique contemporary dance. Choreographer Brian Brooks has recently been appointed as the inaugural Choreographer in Residence at Chicago's Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

This innovative three-year fellowship supports several commissions for Brooks each season, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Miami City Ballet, and his own group. Since its infancy in 2002, Brian Brooks' company has travelled through the United States, South Korea, Canada, and Germany presenting exquisite, rigorous pieces for various audiences. Brian Brooks actively pushes the boundaries of human strength through exploring the limits of emotional space.

Division, an ensemble piece, is set to a score by Jerome Begin. Throughout the piece, the dancers carry balsa wood panels that become fences, arches, roofs, and bridges. Through collaboration, cooperation, and articulate movement, the dancers work to embody the stiff nature of the wooden panels.

In a rare solo, Brian Brooks will perform I'm Going to Explode, a piece that contrasts the existing, devious inner demons with his straight-laced business life. The piece stands to expose the personal struggle of "losing your edge" through repetition and changes between quick and exaggerated slow movements.

The repertory also includes Descent, a delicate piece dedicated to exploring flight. Throughout the piece, the dancers utilize graceful opaque scarves that highlight the whimsicality of falling and floating.

Wendy Whelan, former New York City Ballet principal dancer, and Brian Brooks will perform the duet First Fall, as it harmonizes classical, elegant ballet and sharp, physical contemporary dance. Anchored yet active, the piece emphasizes that sometimes the hardest falls are slow and some of the most difficult endings are quiet and unseen.

As the finale, Torrent will close the evening with the rigorous, athletic piece featuring University of Minnesota student dancers. Originally commissioned by The Juilliard School and created for 24 dancers, the piece is set to Max Richter's rendition of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," and includes the dancers playing with various lines and shifting between solo, partner, trio, and company dancing.

In September of 2016, U of M Dance Majors auditioned for Fall University Dance Theater, an annual performance in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance where students get to work with visiting artists through a series of residencies - taking class and training intensively with the guest artist, learning a dance work choreographed by the artist, and ultimately performing that work in December.

Brian Brooks selected his initial cast of 24 University of Minnesota students for his work, Torrent during his two-week residency in fall 2016. From this group, 15 students were selected by the artist to join his professional company on the Northrop stage for the April 22 performance. Rehearsal director Toni Pierce-Sands has been maintaining the piece since the fall until Brooks' return.

Northrop is proud to present and honor the hard work of the pre-professionals training on our campus, and to work in collaboration with the entire University of Minnesota Dance Program.

A sneak peek of the evening's performance can be found here.

TICKETS: Single tickets - $50, $40, $30.

New discounts this year:

$30 Under 30: Guests aged 18-30 can purchase up to two $30 tickets to any 2016//17 Northrop Season performance 30 days prior to the show date. Each ticket comes with a drink ticket redeemable at Surdyk's Café or concessions and is good for any beverage up to $8 in value.

Tickets can be purchased in person, by phone, or online, and can be picked up at Will Call the night of the show. Bring a guest of any age, but the person buying the tickets must be 30 or under.

Group sales: Groups of 10+ save 15% off original ticket prices or 25% off for schools and educational groups. To purchase group sales tickets, email or call Bridget Reddan at 612-625-1578.

Discounted Rush Tickets
$10 for U of M Students; $20 Students/educators from any school and U of M staff and faculty

Rush tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or in-person at the Northrop box offices beginning at 10:00 am the morning of the performance. Receive two discounted tickets per qualifying person with appropriate I.D. Rush tickets are based on availability.

Related Events:

Northrop Presents
2016//17 Northrop Film Series
Tue, Apr 11, 6:30 pm
Best Buy Theater
FREE and open to the public

Echoing many of the same themes found in Brian Brooks' work such as the tension between chaos and order, and nature versus technology, Koyaanisqatsi surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere in an astonishing collage created by director Godfrey Reggio, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass.

Northrop Presents
Brian Brooks Performance Preview
Sat, Apr 22, 6:45 pm
Best Buy Theater
FREE and open to the public

Gain insight into the performance at an in-depth conversation about the company and the evening's program.

Northrop is a center of discovery and transformation that connects the University of Minnesota and communities beyond by celebrating innovation in the arts, performance, and academics.

Artists and programs subject to change.

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