Momentum: New Dance Works

MOMENTUM: NEW DANCE WORKS | July 8-10 & 15-17, 2021

Performed at Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater, co-presented by Walker Art Center and The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

Momentum New Dance Works

The 2020-21 Momentum artists, clockwise from top left: Gabrielle Abram photographed by Bill Cameron; Arneshia Williams photographed by Portrait Innovations; Yoni Light photographed by Afrikan Sniper; and Leanna Browne photographed by Nyantee Asherman.

Momentum: New Dance Works is a hugely respected platform for commissioning and presenting original contemporary dance of all genres, featuring works created by four emerging/early career choreographers/choreographic collaborations based in Minnesota.

Motivated by love and the belief that all dances create deep and sincere human connections, Momentum is committed to working together towards mutually beneficial relationships rooted in respect, while generously holding one another accountable in the process. Our aim is to provide an exchange free of oppressive biases including racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, ageism, bullying, and classism.

In addition to financially supporting and presenting the new creations, the 14-month process combines career development and creative process exchanges to strengthen the artistic and professional futures of the awarded dance makers. The program culminates in a two-week performance festival on July 8-10 & 15-17, 2021.

For the 20th Anniversary festival, Momentum: New Dance Works 2021 commissioned projects will be performed at Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater, co-presented by Walker Art Center and The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts. The program will be supported by Incoming Program Director DejaJoelle and Outgoing Program Director Michèle Steinwald over a 9-month transition process.

Momentum: New Dance Works Festival 

Week 1: July 8 - 10, 2021
Leanna Brown and Gabrielle Abram

Leanna Browne’s new solo work will explore her connection to Montserrat, a Caribbean island where her family is from, and the aftermath of the volcanic crisis in the 1990s, which destroyed two-thirds of the island. The piece will delve into questions around home, loss, displacement, freedom, healing, and joy. 

Gabrielle Abram’s new group piece, Juke Box: Stories of Love, is an unfolding narrative of immersive stories exploring the powerful force called love. This work will feature eleven stories expressing the emotion, feeling, and actions we as humans give, reciprocate, and/or run from, as well as the love that we receive and emote, and how that influences who we are and how we act.

Week 2: July 15 - 17, 2021
Yoni Light and Arneshia Williams

In Yoni Light’s new group piece, Sacred Ties storyline follows the beauty, nature, and diligence of Black and Brown women. Highlighting a society that does not honor their true nature, she will explore how Black and Brown women must come together to protect, love, and hold each other accountable to thrive. This work will embody three themes: sisterhood, self-discovery, and collective evolution.

Through the intersections of moving bodies, sound, and media, Arneshia Williams’ new group piece, s/we/et, explores the concept of Black care, and examines what care means while embodying different methods of enacting care.

Email to be in touch directly with Momentum Program Director DejaJoelle.

Find our July 17, 2020 Press Release here


Since its inception in 2001, Momentum’s commissioning and presenting program has been funded by the Jerome Foundation. Thanks to the vision of its founding partners (Walker Art Center 2001-present, the Southern Theater 2001-2017, the now-defunct Dance Today/formerly Minnesota Dance Alliance 2001), and additional partners (The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts 2014-present, Movement Research (NYC) 2014-2019, Springboard for the Arts 2010-2019, The O’Shaughnessy 2018-2019), Momentum: New Dance Works has become one of the most important platforms for emerging dance artists in Minnesota today.

Momentum: New Dance Works is supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation.

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