|Photo: BFresh Photography|
We're lucky here in the Twin Cities. We have a wealth of independent choreographers enriching the cultural life of our city at venues like Patrick's Cabaret, the Ritz, and Bryant-Lake Bowl almost every single weekend. And we have not one, not two, but three choreographers' evenings. There's the Thanksgiving weekend one at the Walker, the Ritz's Renovate
, and also Rooted: Hip Hop Choreographers' Evening
at Patrick's Cabaret. Rooted
premiered in 2009, and after taking a yearlong hiatus the event will be returning for its third show this weekend.
Maia Maiden started the evening three years ago because she felt there was a want and a need to have more hip-hop choreographers showcased in the Twin Cities. In addition, she wanted to highlight choreographers working in African and Latin American traditions; the roots of hip hop.
Maiden has been in the dance community for about 15 years. She began dancing hip hop at Apple Valley High School, where she co-created a hip-hop dance team called Infinity in 1995. She went on to pursue a career in science, earning her master's degree, but she has also continued to explore her interest in dance.
|Photo by Sean Smuda |
|Kenna Cottman-Voice of Culture|
Maiden has worked as a dancer and more recently as a choreographer. She does old school '90s hip-hop, African, and Latin dance. Her work has been featured at the Southern Theater's 2008 Momentum series, at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, and at B-Girl Be. She also has a performance coming up at Intermedia Arts next fall as part of its Catalyst Series.
Maiden hopes that the hip-hop choreographers' evening will provide a platform for artists who are under-represented. "There's been a lack of recognition of hip-hop choreographers," Maiden says. "If we are in shows, we are the only ones, or maybe there's two. We need to be recognized and also appreciated."
Some of the choreographers showcased have been working for 15 to 20 years, while others are emerging artists. "I wanted to make sure to show emerging artists and established artists -- to make it come full circle," Maiden says. Each choreographer has about five minutes in the show.
Unlike past Rooted evenings, this year will also feature musicians and spoken-word artists in the lineup, including Tish Jones, Erin Stellmach, and Gabrielle Samone.
Some of the more established choreographers include B-Boy J-Sun, who recently performed at the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts, and Dancin' Dave, a "popper" who is very established. Amy Sackett, who has also curated for B-Girl Be and the Joint Project
at Intermedia Arts, will also be performing, as well as Kenna Cottman, artistic director of Voices of Culture, and Rene Thompson, who has danced for Gloria Estefan.
Maiden herself will be MC'ing the event, getting the crowd hyped up. The show is very "crowd reciprocal," she says, where the audience not only enjoys the performers but "almost gets onstage" themselves.
IF YOU GO:
3010 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN