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Get to know EEE's "First JazzView" Guest Choreographers

Eclectic Edge Ensemble

Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner is a teaching specialist and creative practitioner in the areas of both contemporary modern dance and American concert jazz technique.  Gutierrez-Garner received her B.F.A. Summa Cum Laude at the University of Minnesota, and her M.F.A. as an Advanced Opportunity Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. She has served as the Choreographer in Residence for the Minnesota Dance Theater, under the direction of Lise Houlton, and is a four- time winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition’s Professional Division.  Original works by Gutierrez-Garner have been commissioned by numerous colleges and universities across the U.S. including Kent State University, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, Gustavus Adolphus College, University of Oregon, University of Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee State University, as well as by professional companies including the Minnesota Dance Theater, Zenon Dance Company and JazzAntiqua. She has twice been invited to present work at the American College Dance Association’s National Conference. Her work has been produced across the U.S in Minneapolis, MN (including the Southern Theater, the Fitzgerald Theater, the Walker Art Center, the O'Shaugnessey Theater, the Guthrie Lab), several Arizona venues (including the Herberger Theater, the Orpheum Theater, Tempe Center for the Arts and the Scottsdale Center for the Arts), New York City's Miller Theater, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Gutierrez-Garner’s work has seen support from organizations such as the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Walker Art Center, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She has taught on the dance faculties of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and Gustavus Adolphus College, among others, as well as the prestigious Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine.  She currently serves on the faculty of Western Oregon University.

Work Description:
"All Together Now" is a jazz group work set to the sounds of French jazz music maker St. Germain. Inspired by past and present-day demonstrations of solidarity against oppression and violence world wide, "All Together Now" explores and celebrates the structures that bind us together and ignite power for change.

Experience with EEE:
Last year I decided I wanted to to submit my work "All Together Now"  for the 2016 Rhythmically Speaking series. I have presented in this series before, and always find it so rewarding and inspiring to be in the company of other rhythm based artists. Having spent much of my early years as a choreographer in the Twin Cities, it is such a gift to return to this rich community of dance artists.  The challenge, however, is that I am now based in Oregon, a long way from MN.  I decided to reach out to Karis, who I had known since our college days at the University of Minnesota, to see if this might be a collaborative project she might be interested in for EEE.  Thankfully she was.  This resulted in a deeply rewarding experience of setting "All Together Now" on several members of Eclectic Edge Ensemble, as well as other prominent members of the Twin Cities Dance Community.  Time was of the essence, and the fact that I was able to remount the work so quickly, in three rehearsals, is a testament to the incredible talent and artistry of Karis and EEE.  The dancers absorbed the structural complexities of the choreography and dove deep into the powerful themes of the work.  When they performed it a few weeks later, it was like they had been dancing this piece for much longer, embedding the steps with their personal nuance and artistry.  They did such an incredible job in fact, that I was invited to set the work on JazzAntiqua, the L.A. based company that was also a part of Rhythmically Speaking.  I know this was a direct result of how the Eclectic Edge artists brought the work to a new level of powerful expression.  I made "All Together Now"  a few years ago, having been inspired by the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma, the uprising of Black Lives Matter, and the powerful protests against violence world wide.  But even today, this piece continues to hold space for victims of oppression and gives voice to those who oppose it.  I am so pleased to be sharing "All Together Now" once again in the Twin Cities and grateful that EEE will be the couriers of my work.

"All Together Now" by Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, produced on the RS 2016 show. Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

"All Together Now" by Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, produced on the RS 2016 show. Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

EEE's First JazzView at The TEK BOX; The Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts

528 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN55403

Show dates & times:  

Fri • 7:30pm | March 17
Sat • 2pm & 7:30pm | March 18
Sun • 2pm | March 19