Laurie Van Wieren was born in Holland, Michigan, raised on the west side of the city Chicago and has been making dance in Minneapolis, Mn since 1980.

At an early age she practiced drawing and painting with her mother and sister and studied ballet with Gary Roberts (of Ruth Page and Bentley Stone lineage).

She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she was introduced to performance art and conceptual art. It was there that she married a colleague as a performance piece.

Van Wieren moved to Minneapolis, divorced and began working at The Walker Art Center. She also spent four years studying German expressionists dance technique, composition and improvisation with Nancy Hauser (of Hanya Holm linage), all the while being influenced by the work of Grand Union, Stuart Sherman, Deborah Hay, Meredith Monk and many other contemporary artists that the Walker brought in. She took their workshops and performed in the works of Dana Reitz, Deborah Hay, David Gordon, Eiko and Koma and Stuart Sherman.

She developed a cadre of close artist friends at the Walker, who were soon performing in her first performance work within a Walker Art Center Choreographer's Evening.

In 1984 she created a pick up company- The B-Specifics. The 1980's and 1990's saw Van Wieren creating many dance works. Most of her work was very different from each other. Some were strictly movement pieces, some were character driven and involved plenty of wigs, costumes and make up. There were solo pieces in cabaret's, quintets for the concert stage and 3 large outdoor site-specific works including one with hockey players, gold medal skaters and fire works. Dancing and teaching in the 1980's and 1990's- she was an active member of MICA (Mn Independent Choreographers Alliance) and The Mn Dance Alliance.

The 2000's found Van Wieren teaching movement in the theater department at the University of Minnesota, bringing her dance work to Germany and Russia and beginning to curate and produce other dance artists' work. She created the monthly dance series-9x22 Dance/Lab at the Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater and developed another series called Monday Live Arts, featuring four artists in all forms of live theater with exploratory approaches to contemporary performance.

Van Wieren looks forward to researching and developing duets with some of her favorite performers: Anna Marie Shogren, Kristin Van Loon, Megan Mayer and Chris Holman as well as creating new projects with musicians: Karen Majewicz and Andy McCormick of Dream land Faces and long time collaborator, musician Michelle Kinney.

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I consider the dancer to be an archivist, the stage a visual and social landscape and choreography a lens to experience and distort life and art.

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