Dance Maestro Dianne McIntyre to Unveil Pioneering Performance at the Walker Art Center This Autumn

Above: Dianne McIntyre Group performance of “In The Same Tongue”. Photo by Paula Lobo.

In an eagerly anticipated cultural event, dance luminary Dianne McIntyre is set to dazzle audiences with a groundbreaking premiere at the illustrious Walker Art Center October 5th through the 7th, 2023. Her latest masterpiece, aptly named “In The Same Tongue,” promises to delve into the intricate relationship between language and expression through the medium of dance, music, and spoken word. This performance is poised to be a poignant celebration of Black creativity, interweaving narratives from the annals of history, the vividness of the present, and the promise of the future.

McIntyre’s profound connection to these artistic forms, honed meticulously over her five-decade-long career, imbues “In The Same Tongue” with unprecedented depth. Her innovative work spans the realms of Modern, Concert, Avant-Garde, and Black Arts movements, establishing her as a trailblazer in the industry. This opus boasts an evening-length score, painstakingly composed by the celebrated maestro Diedre Murray, and features poetic verses by the Obie-winning playwright, Ntozake Shange.

The performance promises to cast a mesmerizing spell, highlighting the intrinsic value of language in both personal experiences and moments of disconnection and connection, misunderstanding, and understanding. As a testament to its grandeur, the DIANNE McINTYRE Group, comprising accomplished dancers and jazz virtuosos, will share the stage with talents from the Twin Cities-based CULTIVATE program of TU Dance.

“In The Same Tongue” is the result of a collaborative effort between the Walker Art Center and Northrop at the University of Minnesota, representing a pivotal moment in contemporary dance. The show is scheduled to grace the Walker stage from October 5 through 7, with performances commencing at 8:00 p.m. on each of these evenings. For tickets and additional information, interested patrons can visit the Walker website.

Reflecting on McIntyre’s awe-inspiring contributions to the world of art, Philip Bither, the Walker’s McGuire Director and Senior Curator of Performing Arts, remarked, “I’ve admired the way Dianne McIntyre’s groundbreaking work seamlessly fuses vanguard jazz with contemporary dance for decades. She is a true pioneer, combining creative Black movement, sound, and word to create something entirely new and always compelling.”

Bither continued, “It is encouraging to see her finally receive the national awards and attention she deserves, and to have the opportunity to support her work once again by co-commissioning ‘In The Same Tongue’—a truly must-see experience this fall.”

Kristen Brogdon, Director of Programming at Northrop, also expressed her enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Ms. McIntyre has a legacy of collaborative and brilliant movement, with decades of influence on dance and improvisatory music. I’m thrilled to co-present the premiere and to continue our work with TU Dance for ‘In The Same Tongue.'”

The DIANNE McINTYRE Group, comprising five dancers and four jazz musicians, promises a mesmerizing spectacle with “In The Same Tongue.” The performance consists of sixteen distinct yet interconnected vignettes, each probing the myriad languages that humans create and their potential to evoke beauty, alienation, harmony, tension, or peace. This enthralling work brings together music, dance, and poetry as diverse forms of expression, showcasing their intricate interplay and their capacity to convey profound meaning.

These vignettes artfully transition from one to another, seamlessly weaving stories from McIntyre’s encounters with a spectrum of creative Black American music and the poetic eloquence of Ntozake Shange. Diedre Murray’s composition lends voice to the rich tapestry of American music history, encompassing lyricism, rhythm, freedom, and a myriad of uncategorizable moods.

“In The Same Tongue” promises an engaging spectacle wherever it goes. The tour will feature local artists performing alongside the DIANNE McINTYRE Group at every stop, forging unique connections between national and local communities of performers and creators on stage. For its world premiere in Minneapolis, McIntyre is thrilled to collaborate with dancers from the CULTIVATE program of TU Dance, under the direction of Toni Pierce-Sands.

As the countdown to the premiere of “In The Same Tongue” begins, anticipation and excitement are building, promising audiences an unforgettable experience that fuses art, culture, and the rich tapestry of human expression.

For more details and ticket information, please visit the Walker website.

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