Maple Grove dancer to perform in theatre ‘Fall Repertory’

by Danielle Dullinger

Murphy News Service

 

Maple Grove’s Katie Johnson will be dancing in Minnesota Dance Theatre’s upcoming “Fall Repertory” in Minneapolis for the next two weekends.

Johnson, 29, grew up in Maple Grove and graduated from Maple Grove Senior High in 2002. She danced at Butterfield School of Dance from the age of 4 until she graduated from MGSH. She practiced tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and everything in between, Johnson said.

“I was very focused on ballet,” Johnson said.

After graduating from MGSH, Johnson attended the University of Iowa where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. There, she practiced dance, choreography, theater, music and more.

“The reason why I went there is their program covers everything,” she said.

Maple Grove’s Katie Johnson will be dancing in Minnesota Dance Theatre’s upcoming “Fall Repertory” in Minneapolis for the next two weekends. (Photo by Erik Saulitis)

Maple Grove’s Katie Johnson will be dancing in Minnesota Dance Theatre’s upcoming “Fall Repertory” in Minneapolis for the next two weekends. (Photo by Erik Saulitis)

During Johnson’s senior year of college, she had the opportunity to travel to China for a number of weeks and dance for The Beijing Dance Academy in China. Johnson has lived and danced professionally in New York for two years and Mexico City for two months before coming back to Minnesota in 2008, she said.

“I really like being back here in Minnesota doing what I love to do while being around my family and fiancé (Sam),” Johnson said.

Johnson is now in her sixth season with Minnesota Dance Theatre (MDT), which has been creating dance performances and teaching classes in Minnesota for over 50 years, the company’s website said. MDT will be performing their Fall Repertory show for the next two weekends at the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis. The show consists of four pieces, including two world premiere performances. Johnson appears in three of the pieces, each of which she approximates to be 20 minutes long.

“It’s kind of a hard show,” she said.

The cast has been rehearsing for this show just under two months. Audience members can be ensured this is not a typical dance show.

“You won’t see tutus and tiaras,” Johnson said. “We are a little edgy. We’re very athletic as well.”

One of the pieces, “A Stair Dance,” is just what it sounds like, she said. Performers are dancing up, down and across five staircases for the entire hip-hop feeling piece, she said. Johnson insists audience members will want to try it at home, she said. The show also covers neo classical ballet and contemporary ballet, she said.

“Every single piece has nothing to do with the others,” she said. “It’s a display of all the genres we can do. It’s a little taste of everything. I think people who come see shows like these can appreciate the fact that we cover a wide range of styles,” she said, ranging from athleticism to classical beauty.

Once this show is done, Johnson has a week off. The company members then start rehearsing for “Nutcracker Fantasy,” which begins in December, she said.

For more information on “Fall Repertory” and Minnesota Dance Theatre, visit mndance.org. Show times are Friday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $20, $26 and $32. To purchase tickets, call 612-206-3600 or visit thecowlescenter.org.

 

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