Laurie Van Wieren is a dance maker, curator and teacher, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has been creating dance and performance since 1980. She grew up on the west side of Chicago, and attended the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied performance art and film history. Laurie has studied ballet with Gary Roberts and modern dance with Nancy Hauser. Laurie was very much influenced by the post modern dance artists that she met while working at the Walker Art Center as well as her colleagues in the Twin Cities.

Laurie formed her own company in 1985. As a solo performer and with her company the B-Specifics, she has performed in many venues, including: the Walker Art Center, The Southern Theater, Dancespace, DTW, Links Hall, Lake of the Isles skating rink and the Fabrik in Potsdam, Germany. Her dance work has also been seen at the Art of Movement Festival, in Yaroslavl, Russia. She is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight, Jerome, Bush and Rockefeller Foundations. Active in the Minneapolis/St Paul arts community for the past 20+ years, Van Wieren has collaborated with many video, theater, and music artists.

Some of Van Wieren's recent work includes a TRIO with Kristin Van Loon and Sally Rousse, a duet with Megan Mayer. Her work "Who made these videotapes", a retrospective performance/installation was seen December, 2010 at Studio 206 in Minneapolis. The 2nd installment, also at Studio 206 was performed in August 2011. "Who made these videotapes" won a Minnesota SAGE Award for Dance in the category of Out Standing Performance, 2011.

From Spring 2013 to Spring 2014, Laurie was Curator and Director of programming at the Ritz Theater. At the Ritz she created Monday Live Arts, a monthly series where artists of all forms could come and experiment within a 15 x 15 square, surrounded by an engaged audience. She also developed a performance model called BIG NIGHT- a one night stand for dance artists. She is the partner for Twin Cities SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance. Laurie is the founder, producer and host of 9x22 Dance/Lab at the Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater and helps steer DanceMn- the Twin Cities dance Newsletter and website.

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Laurie Van Wieren's dance work is noted for its attention to the visual, it's wry humor, and idiosyncratic vocabulary. Her work considers the dancer as archivist, the stage as a visual and social landscape, and choreography as a lens to experience and distort art.

Her work has been seen in Dancespace, DTW, Links Hall, Walker Art Center, The Southern Theater, The Ritz Theater, The Fabrik in Potsdam and Art of Movement Festival- Yaroslavl, Russia. She is the recipient of fellowships from McKnight, Jerome, Bush and NEA and Rockefeller Foundations. In 2011 she received a Sage Award for Dance, Outstanding Performance for her retrospective: Who Made These Video Tapes?

"I entered choreography through a side door. I had been a visual artist who studied at the Chicago Art Institute, and was teaching my first performance art/dance class in Minneapolis. On a whim, my students and I auditioned a piece I had developed with them for the Choreographer's Evening at the Walker Art Center. This piece was a grid pattern of characters that repeated gestures over-and-over. I added a film loop. People have been calling me a choreographer ever since--and I still prefer entering through the side doorwhen ever I can. I have created group work for the stage, solo character work for small cabarets, site-specific works, including a large piece with fireworks, ice skaters, and hockey players on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. I have collaborated with a number of artists, musicians, videographers, and performance artists. My work has always been about inquiry. I am interested in making an atmosphere for unexpected things to happen."


2011 Minnesota SAGE Award for Dance Outstanding Performance
2008 Minnesota SAGE Awards for Dance, Special Citation Recipient
2008 McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow
2004 Southern Theater Best Feet Forward Peer Fellow
1998 Minnesota Dance Alliance / McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow
1993 Diverse Visions / Intermedia Arts
1991 Jerome Foundation, Project Grant
1991 Minnesota Dance Alliance / McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow
1990 Minnesota Dance Alliance / Sponsor Pool, Dancespace Project at St Marks, NYC
1988 Minnesota Dance Alliance / McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow
1987 NEA / Rockefeller Foundation Inter-Arts Grant
1986 Minnesota Dance Alliance / McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow
1985 Bush Foundation Choreography Fellow
1984 Jerome Foundation, Solo Video Project with James Byrne
1984 UCV / Northwest Area Foundation Translations Grant
1984 Minnesota Dance Alliance / McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow