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TU Dance performance Saturday

MORRIS -- The University of Minnesota, Morris 2010-11 Performing Arts Series warms up the winter Saturday night with Minnesota-based TU Dance. The 12-member company performs at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center's Edson Auditorium.

Also at 1 p.m. Saturday 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."

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 for the performance are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and youth under 18, and $5 for UMM students. For ticket availability contact the UMM Office of Student Activities at or call 320-589-6080.