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Dance Program Receives 'Best Of' Awards

April 21, 2016

Portraits of Toni Sands-Pierce and partner Uri Sands, Ananya Chatterjea, and Erin Thompson

Portraits of Toni Sands-Pierce and partner Uri Sands, Ananya Chatterjea, and Erin Thompson
(from left) Toni Sands-Pierce with partner Uri Sands, Ananya Chatterjea, and Erin Thompson

Members of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance faculty have been recognized as being among the best artists of the Twin Cities and of Minnesota in City Pages and the Star Tribune.

Professor Ananya Chatterjea received recognition as best choreographer in the Star Tribune's Best of MN: Arts category. "As a choreographer," the reviewer writes, "Chatterjea’s distinctive vocabulary draws on the classical Indian dance form Odissi with yoga technique and the martial art form Chhau. It’s an intricate style that she employs to stir raw fury, anguish and hope as a call to action."

Teaching specialist Toni Sands-Pierce received recognition by the Star Tribune for TU Dance, the company she co-founded, which "boasts some of the best dancers in the Twin Cities, who display both athletic prowess and a clarity of form." TU Dance was called the best dance company in the Best of MN: Arts category.

Teaching specialist Erin Thompson was named best dancer in the City Pages annual Best of the Twin Cities issue. She was recognized for her work in Joanie Smith's Tableaux Vivant, a tribute to suffragettes and female icons of the early 20th century. She performed with "heroic vigor and sly sensuality... [and] captured the eternal feminine in subtly detailed motion."