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U of M’s ‘Dance Revolutions’: New talent, classic work

Every year, The University of Minnesota Dance Program presents an annual concert, titled Dance Revolutions, which provides an excellent opportunity for dance aficionados to scout out upcoming performance talent. The show challenges students with a wide range of choreography by renowned choreographers (local and national), many of whom were brought to the U over the past year as Cowles Visiting Artists. Without fail, the students perform these often challenging works of classic modern dance and/or contemporary dance-theater with artistic sensibility and technical prowess.

On this weekend’s program is the late Louis Falco’s “Escargot,” an exuberant, energetic piece with disco flash. Falco was perhaps best known as the choreographer of the 1980 film “Fame.” But he was also a dancer with the José Limón Dance Company, and had his own troupe, Louis Falco Dance Company, for many years.

Theatre artist Laurie Carlos’ “Fallen” is also on the program. An OBIE Award-winning actress and a Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Carlos also is an artistic fellow for Penumbra Theater in St. Paul and the program director for The Naked Stages Performance Art Series at Intermedia Arts. Her work for the students, commissioned by the U, blends gesture and jazz improvisation techniques in the telling of choreographed stories.

Colleen Thomas may be best known in the Twin Cities for her dark, evocative work for Zenon Dance Company, “Catching Her Tears (44°N, 93°W).” For this reason alone, it’s worth checking out the concert to see what Thomas has created for the U dancers. Also on the program is Carl Flink’s “A Fractured Narrative for a Sad Ending,” a work often performed by his company, Black Label Movement.

For excerpts and photos of the works in rehearsal, go here.

“Dance Revolutions,” 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Rarig Center, West Bank, University of Minnesota. Tickets $10 to $17. 612-624-2345.

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