The performance includes “Hikari,” an Ordway-commissioned world premiere by choreographer Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist, Hiroki Morinoue.
Inspired by Morinoue’s abstract vision, Uri Sands joined Morinoue at his studio – a former Kona coffee plantation in Hawaii – developing movement as a dialogue with Morinoue’s forms. The dialogue continues on stage, with a large, original scenic work by Morinoue created for the performance.
The program will also feature Alvin Ailey’s duet “Twin Cities” from his legendary “The River” (1970), performed by Uri Sands and special guest Laurel Keen. Keen, a St. Paul native, trained at Minnesota Dance Theatre and went on to an internationally acclaimed career with Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco, where she won the Princess Grace Award in dance.
The program also includes the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ “One,” recently commissioned by Dance St. Louis to honor the legacy of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell. Lacks, an African-American tobacco farmer, unknowingly sparked a new era of modern medicine when her cells, taken without permission during cancer treatment in 1951, became the foundation of advancements such as the polio vaccine and in-vitro fertilization.
Reflecting on their first decade of TU Dance, Pierce-Sands and Sands, veterans of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will join their company in a performance of “Lady” – a signature, celebratory early work by Sands inspired by the couple’s travels in South Africa.
TU Dance has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and dynamic performance that combine modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular.
“Toni and Uri are powerhouses. Their knowledge and passion has propelled TU Dance into the forefront of the national dance scene,” said James A. Rocco, vice president of programming and producing artistic director for the Ordway.
“The Ordway is helping to celebrate TU Dance’s 10th anniversary by commissioning this new piece, created by Uri especially for this occasion,” said Ordway Artistic Director of World Music and Dance Dayna Martinez. “We are proud to continue to support and present on our stage wonderfully talented artists that live right here in the Twin Cities. Saint Paul is lucky to have TU Dance, a world class contemporary dance company.”
TU Dance is hosting an open rehearsals with Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands and company members on Thursday, April 24 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts – Drake Room, 345 Washington Street, downtown Saint Paul. The open rehearsal is free and open to all ages. Pre-registration is required. To register, call (651) 282-3115.
On Tuesday, May 6 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Toni Pierce-Sands will offer a Master Class at the Ordway where participants will be guided through a Horton-based warm-up that will prepare them to learn phrases from the company repertory commissioned by the Ordway to premiere on May 10. Class is open to ages 14 and up, with intermediate to advanced/professional level of dance experience. The class costs $10, or $5 with a ticket to the May 10 TU Dance performance.
Saturday, May 10
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington St., St. Paul
$23.00 – $48.00 (subject to change)
Ticket Office: (651) 224-4222
Groups: (651) 282-3111