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Minnesota-based TU Dance to perform at UMM Feb. 5

TU Dance

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) 2010-11 Performing Arts Series warms up the winter with Minnesota-based TU Dance. The 12-member company performs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in the Student Center's Edson Auditorium. Also on Saturday, at 1 p.m., the company will hold a master class, open to the public, with area dancers in the Humanities Fine Arts Theatre/Dance Rehearsal Room 125.

Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, the company repertoire reaches across dance styles, aiming to reveal the connective power of dance. Dance Magazine described their drawing on elements of contemporary, traditional, ballet, hip-hop, West African, and jazz as blending these elements with "visionary zeal," culminating in a "performance of generosity, grace, and primal power."

Speaking of Uri Sands' "Veneers," the Minneapolis Star Tribune raves, "Every now and then, a dance comes along that rocks your world. [TU] does this with a blend of intelligence and beauty...," attributes that have garnered the company abundant honors in both choreography and dance. The troupe has been recognized as the Minneapolis Star Tribune Artists of the Year, one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," and honored with the inaugural Grace Kelly Award in Choreography.

Prior to co-founding TU Dance, Minnesota native Toni Pierce-Sands performed with local and national companies, including the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre where she was a featured soloist in several of the group's signature pieces. Now teaching dance at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the director of University Dance Theatre, she remains a sought after teacher throughout the United States and Europe.

Choreographer Uri Sands, also a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre for five years, performed with and choreographed for numerous other dance companies. Recent choreographic commissions include Minnesota's VocalEssence, the North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Alvin Ailey. In addition to several film and television credits, he has taught dance throughout the United States and Europe, amassing several awards.

Tickets may be ordered by mail or in person at the UMM Student Activities Office. Credit card orders may also be placed by phone. For more information please contact the UMM Office of Student Activities at or call 320-589-6080.

Primary funding for this series is provided by the University of Minnesota, Morris students. The University of Minnesota Morris Performing Arts Series is a fiscal year 2010 recipient of an Arts Tour Minnesota grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.