April Sellers (MN) McKnight Artist Fellow | February 25 – March 9, 2013
McKnight Fellow in Choreography April Sellers is known for her exploration of the female form, gender roles, and expectations, often through the use of nudity. Less interested in the abstraction that has shaped her earlier work, Sellers will continue her work of telling human stories, particularly those of women of her generation, through text and movement.
At MANCC, Sellers will use her time to further examine the constructs of identity as she looks at race in the domain of friendship, professional relationships, and creative partnering. She will begin development of a new duet with collaborator, Kenna Cottman. Through this duet, the women will explore whether or why there is a racial divide between Generation X artists of different races. The jumping off inspiration for this project is the iconic Dan Wynn photograph of Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes holding up the power fist symbol together. Compelled by the image of Gloria and Dorothy, Sellers hopes to engage in a conversation about women and race, continuing the dialogue through dance.
This residency was supported in part by The McKnight Foundation in partnership with Springboard for the Arts.
Entrypoints are unique opportunities for visiting artists to conduct research and collaborate with the FSU and Tallahassee communities as well as the national dance field.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
5:30pm Black Box Studio
For reservations: mancc.org/artists/april-sellers
Sellers will have a public Informal Showing on March 7th at 5:30pm in the Black Box Theatre. Seating is limited.
To make a reservation, please visit April Sellers’s MANCC webpage.
Location: Thursday, March 7th, 2013 at 5:30 pm
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[tabtext]April Sellers Biography[/tabtext]
April Sellers has developed a unique, emotive approach to modern dance as dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of The April Sellers Dance Collective, a Minneapolis-based company which she 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 such diverse topics as women’s sexual identity (In Her Place, 2000), the cultural and personal rituals of loss (Unveiling Grace, 2003), and the vulnerability of the material body (The V Project, 2007). Her work has been performed at the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Red Eye Theater, and Bryant Lake Bowl. 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 Outstandin Performance in 2006. She has also collaborated with poets, painters, filmmakers, and chefs to present groundbreaking works in such spaces as 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. Sellers is a 2011 recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in Choreography.
Sellers is a 2013 MANCC resident and will use her time to develop a duet with Kenna Cottman. This collaboration will explore whether a racial divide exists between artists of her generation. Her future works will continue to tell stories of humanist expression through movement and text, but will focus more intimately on the subjectivity of the dancers and their alternate points of view. In particular, her use of hyperbolic emotions will aid in the exploration of the female image in popular culture. She is looking forward to being the 2013 Djerassi Resident Artist. Minneapolis-based since 1997, Sellers moved to Minnesota after graduating with a BFA in Dance from Ohio State University.