» Catalyst Series
Featuring April Sellers Dance Collective

Co-presented by April Sellers Dance Collective and Intermedia Arts
Thursday - Saturday, October 9 - 11, 2014 | 7:30PM
Tickets: $12 advance, student, senior | $15 door


April Sellers Dance Collective brings two dances, BIG BABY and Jousting, to Intermedia Arts this Fall. Set among ruffles and tinsel, BIG BABY, explores female archetypes and queer performance’s influence on them. Jousting, a collaborative duet with Mary Ann Wall first seen in Brooklyn, NY, examines the spectrum of gender and how feminism has become the new “F-word.” Choreographed by April Sellers with Guest Artist Mary Ann Wall. Featuring performances by Emily Gastineau, Tim Rehborg, Kimberly Rhyme, Susan Scalf and Heather Spear

Also featuring works by choreographers Laurie Van Wieren and Kenna Cottman. Cottman's excerpt from crowd control will address the question "why do we put on stage what's been born in the dark?" crowd control will feature the live music of Gospel Machine, and local dancers Deja Stowers, Emily Broeker,  Kenna Cottman and an ASL interpreter. Choreographer and dancer Laurie Van Wieren's piece will be showing 1 dancer and a dj with Christopher Holman. Van Wieren’s work considers the dancer as archivist, the stage as a visual and social landscape, and choreography as a lens to experience and distort art.


EMILY BROEKER is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with her B.A. in dance. In addition to performing with local companies such as Eclectic Edge Ensemble and Buckets and Tap Shoes, Emily has had the privilege of dancing in works by Karla Grotting, Erinn Liebhard, Kaleena Miller, Judith James Ries, and Kenna-Camara Cottman. She has choreographed work that appeared in Rhythmically Speaking and Rooted: A Hip-Hop Choreographer's Evening. Currently, she enjoys teaching students of all ages at various venues around the Twin Cities.

KENNA-CAMARA COTTMAN has worked in the field of dance for over 20 years, and has been a full-time artist since 2005. Kenna is a Black American Griot, following in the oral tradition of storytelling through art.  She has studied traditional and contemporary drum and dance forms, and she is a dance educator who teaches about the history of African peoples through art, culture, movement and song.  Managing her own company: Voice of Culture Drum and Dance, has given Kenna the opportunity to train with world class artists and develop her traditional skills.  Combining these forms with her experiences, Kenna creates contemporary Black dance that deals with interesting topics, confusing cultural ideas, and movement-based puzzles.  Kenna is a recipient of a 2014 McKnight Fellowship for Dancers, and a 2013 Sage Award for Performance.  Kenna is also Cultural Movement and Literacy teacher at Hall Elementary in North Minneapolis, and a member of the S.W.A.G. team of radical educators. Kenna-Camara Cottman is based in Minneapolis, MN and supported by her artistic family, William and Beverly Cottman, Yonci Jameson and Ebrima Sarge.  www.kennacottman.com

EMILY GASTINEAU is an independent artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, working at the disciplinary boundaries of dance, performance, and criticism.  Her choreography and research-based projects have been presented at the Soap Factory, Studio 206, the Tek Box, and Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater.  She collaborates with Billy Mullaney under the name Fire Drill, conducting experiments around the notion of contemporary and the mechanics of how art is watched.  Their work has been seen at the Red Eye Theater, Bryant-Lake Bowl, the Ritz Theater, Skewed Visions, and the White Page in Minneapolis, along the Central Corridor in St. Paul, and has been curated in Brooklyn, Oakland, San Francisco, and Portland.  Emily works for mnartists.org and co-facilitates the dance writing initiative Criticism Exchange.  www.emilygastineau.com  www.fire-drill.org

GOSPEL MACHINE is garage gospel band out of Northeast Minneapolis resurrecting the soul and R&B styles of the 1960’s. The band features Jayanthi Kyle (Romantica, Black Audience) on vocals and members of Twin Cities rock band The Small Cities - Wes Burdine (guitar, backing vox), Jimmy Osterholt (Bass), Scott Munson (keys), and David Osborn (drums). Gospel Machine formed in 2011 when Burdine wrote a soul/gospel liturgy for a Lutheran church in Northeast Minneapolis called Mercy Seat Lutheran Church. He asked Kyle and his bandmates from The Small Cities to back him for the occasion. They had such a good time that Wes started writing more material in the vein of his heroes Nina Simone, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. In 2012, they took their music to the clubs and in 2013 started recording their debut record, Your Holy Ghost. Your Holy Ghost will be released in the winter of 2015.

BRYON GUNSCH is the technical director of the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, and has lit up stages all around the Twin Cities and beyond. He has directed plays for Theater Limina, Dakota Stage Ltd., Shade Tree Players and Prairie Dog Productions. He acts, designs and builds sets, sews costumes, mixes sound for musicians and bands, and has written dozens of bios for theater programs.

CHRIS HOLMAN's body of performance work is somewhat skinny. A few years ago, he did a piece for the Choreographer's Evening, "The Pine Kings", which mournfully observed the role that T.B. Walker and other Minnesota tycoons played in rapaciously clear-cutting Minnesota's white pine forests. More recently, he was the most ridiculous of all one-hundred choreographers in Van Wieren's, "4x4 = 100 Dancing Outside." In his spare time, he's an executive business coach, and rides his bike.

JAYANTHI KYLE (Gospel Machine) is a midwestern lady, having been raised in both Ford Heights, IL, and Minneapolis, MN. Her father is from India and gave her a name in his language that means Victorious One. She has been singing ever since she can remember. Jayanthi grew up singing with family and was always in a choir or two. She toured for a year and a half with a volunteer organization that sought to uplift people in schools, churches, juvenile detention centers, nursing homes, jails, and hospitals with music, skits, puppetry and improv comedy. She now is the lead singer in a band called Black Audience , as well as five additional bands. She received a grant from the State Arts Board of Minnesota and successfully created and performed family variety shows in Minneapolis that reached more than 2000 people. She believes music, storytelling, and music theory are great tools that children and adults alike can use to empower themselves. Jayanthi will be presenting at the Pillsbury House Late Nite Series on Nov 8, 2014.

JIMMY OSTERHOLT is a bassist in the Twin Cities. Jimmy currently plays for Minneapolis R&B/soul band Gospel Machine, and Twin Cities rock bands the small cities and Big Lake. He has also played with Twin Cities bands Black Audience; Brian DeRemer; Jacob Martin; various liturgical works, backing composer including Ben Kyle (Romantica), Holly Hansen (Zoo Animal), Chris Koza (Rogue Valley), Scott Munson, and Wes Burdine; and a number of other projects. There are rumors that a new heavy metal band is in the works as well. By day, Jimmy works as a Technical Editor, helping to write medical device manuals. He lives in St. Paul where he has just finished building a spanking new hobby studio in his basement.

Hailing from San Diego, TIM REHBORG has been moving and shaking in Minneapolis for the past five years. He has had the pleasure of dancing for April Sellers, Taja Will, Rosy Simas, Catherine Wright, George Stamos and Timmy Wagner, among others. He teaches yoga and enjoys contact improv, as well as bicycling and a decent dose of EDM. He has two big babies of his own, a large orange cat and a small tortie. They are almost as naughty as he is ;) BIG BABY has been an amazing process - big thank you to everyone who made this possible!

KIMBERLY RHYME graduated with a BFA in dance and a BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and recently moved to Minneapolis to work with the April Sellers Dance Collective. She has had the privilege of studying with artists such as Luc Vanier, Janet Lilly, Christina Briggs Winslow and David Dorfman. She has performed at Patrick’s Cabaret, Links Hall in Chicago and Monday Live Arts and in works by Stephen Koplowitz, Maria Gillespie and Gerald Casel. Rhyme has also been a musician since she was four, studying piano and voice throughout her life.

APRIL SELLERS has developed a unique, emotive approach to modern dance as dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of The April Sellers Dance Collective, founded in 2002. Her dance transforms life’s mundane moments into physical expressions of the struggle to be human. Layering modern-dance technique within everyday gestures, and text-based narratives, Sellers creates dance that holds up a magnifying glass to raw and rarified emotions.
Sellers’s past works have explored diverse topics such as women’s sexual identity (In Her Place, 2000), the rituals of loss (Unveiling Grace, 2003) and the vulnerability of the material body (The V Project, 2007). Her work has been performed locally at the Walker Art Center, The Southern Theater, Intermedia Arts, the Red Eye Theater, and Bryant Lake Bowl.  In addition, tours have brought her to New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee, Toronto, and other international destinations.
In 2005, The April Sellers Dance Collective was awarded an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her work with choreographer Judith Howard on House of Big Love won a Sage Award for Outstanding Performance in 2006. She has also collaborated with poets, painters, filmmakers and chefs to present groundbreaking works in galleries, rooftops, bowling alleys, gardens and parks. Notably, Sellers has been featured as a dancer in original works by many artists including Laurie Van Wieren and John Munger.
Southern Theater commissioned two works by Sellers in 2011 for the Tandem series of independent choreographers (Instructions to a Fancy Pack and Acceptable Doses, 2011). Her curated evenings of dance and performance have been seen in many cities, including Chicago, where she developed Generation Bitch: Gender Identity and Expectations of 21st Century American Women for Links Hall as well as in Minneapolis at Patrick’s Cabaret with Poonies at Patrick’s. Sellers is a 2011 recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in Choreography.
Sellers has been developing her latest works BIG BABY and Jousting while in residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program Santa Cruz CA, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) Tallahassee FL, and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee MFA Thesis/Residency Program.
Sellers has a BFA in Dance from Ohio State University and a MFA in Choreography from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

From a life long performance history of dance, theater, and music, HEATHER SPEAR has spent the last 15 years carving out space in the performance world for short form performance art pieces that entertain while they challenge notions of gender performance, masculinity/femininity, sexuality, and the place for queer performance and identity in a heteronormative culture (or perhaps a space for all in a queer-normative culture). She does this both in her own work as a performer as well as as a producer, creating and fostering performance venues for similar minded artists. Heather Spear is an innovative performer whose aim is to create and participate in a world where gender, sexuality, thoughtfulness, creativity and fun can co-exist in an open spectrum.

DEJA STOWERS began dancing at the age of four in the drill team African Perfection. She continued to dance throughout her junior high years and began to take interest in West African dance. Deja has studied with the masters of West African dance. She now is a dancer in the West African company Voice of Culture Drum and Dance. Deja’s personal works look through a specific African American lens to create art for social change. Last year, she finished and performed the final chapter to her one woman show called Orange. Deja has graduated from Penumbra Theatre’s Summer Institute program and continues to create and perform work in the Twin Cities for social change and equality. Deja will present her work Embolus at the Late Nite Series Nov. 15 at Pillsbury House. Embolus is a new work in progress based on the effect that the death of men has had on her life.

Dance Maker and performer LAURIE VAN WIEREN's choreography has been seen in Dancespace, DTW, Links Hall, Walker Art Center, Fabrik, Potsdam, Germany and Art of Movement Festival- Yaroslavl, Russia. She is the recipient of fellowships from McKnight, Jerome, Bush and NEA and Rockefeller Foundations for her dance-making.She has collaborated with a number of music, video and performance artists including her long time work with  Michelle Kinney. Van Wieren was the Performing Arts Curator at the Ritz Theater for the 2013 season, which included the creation of the Monday Live Arts Series. She was the dance curator at the Southern theater where she became and continues to be the director of the Twin Cities SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance. She is the host and curator of a monthly dance/discussion series: 9x22 Dance/Lab at The Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater, which is now in its 10thyear. She is a co-founder of and is now on the steering committee of dancemn.orgVan Wieren received a Sage Award for Dance Special Citation for her ongoing work in the dance community and Sage Award for Dance Outstanding Performance for her retrospective: Who Made These Video Tapes? Her recent work includes: 4x4= 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside for Walker Art Center’s Open Field,The Sean Smuda Trio with Kristin Van Loon and Sally Rousse and a duet with Christopher Holman- a dancer and a dj. She is more then happy to be working with Michelle Kinney again. Tandem is just the beginning of an evening length collaborative multimedia evening.

MARY ANN WALL is originally from central Florida, but Brooklyn has been her home for the past thirteen years. She is a choreographer, performer, educator, and burlesque dabbler.  She has performed with Monica Bill Barnes, Sylvain Emards, Cid Pearlman, Cynthia Anne Stanley/Bardos, and the stellar April Sellers.  Mary Ann is a dance history buff, production director, and paper pusher at LIU Brooklyn’s Dance Department.  She earned a BFA in Dance and a BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a MFA in Performing Arts-Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this past May.  Mary Ann is also inching her way toward a MFA in Media Arts in Brooklyn, NY and looks forward to a good whiskey.

In 2002, she found RedWall Dance Theatre to “save the world one dance at a time.”  RedWall strives to move beyond the mundane of the everyday with an arsenal of cartooned-frenzied dances, over-the-top cheap design, a dash of sexy cynicism, and a mannequin named Shelly.  RedWall has shown work at PS 122, DanceNow at Joe’s Pub & Joyce SoHo, Triskelion, DNA, Dixon Place, Highways (CA), Bryant Lake Bowl (MN), Mount Holyoke (MA), and received space grants from Spoke-the-Hub, the FAR space/The Field and LIU Brooklyn.   Sending love and admiration to April for inviting me into our collaboration and thanks to Susan for shimmying into the joust. HaZaa!

This project is made possible in part by support from Patricks Cabaret, Links Hall, Peck School of the Arts UWM and the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. April Sellers is the recipient of a 2011 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers, administered by Northrop and funded by The McKnight Foundation. GIRLYWOOD is a part of Intermedia Arts’ Catalyst Series.