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Dancer, Betsy Shaefer Roob Photo Courtesy of Armour Photography

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Dancer, TImmy Wagner Photo Courtesy of Armour Photography

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Dancer, Blake Nellis Photo Courtesy of Armour Photography

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Dancer, Sarah Baumert Photo Courtesy of Armour Photography

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Dancer, Dustin Haug Photo Courtesy of Armour Photography

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Founder / Executive Artistic Director, Mathew Janczewski. Photo courtesy of Armour Photography

Help support ARENA DANCES as we enter our 20th Anniversary Season!

WOW! I am amazed and bewildered to be writing you that ARENA DANCES will be kicking off its 20th Anniversary Season celebration in just a few months.

When I started ARENA in 1995, I was nothing short of a dance workhorse in town – creating relationships with wonderful mentors whom I admired and learned from. Dancing for others illuminated the importance of taking care of those who share your vision and passion – and as a highly collaborative artist, The Dancer has remained of paramount importance to ARENA. The wealth of positive influence from the Twin Cities community is impossible to measure, and in an act of retrospection, The 20th Anniversary Season pays homage to the theaters, dancers, collaborators, and communities that have elevated ARENA’s artistic and professional excellence over its 20-year history.

The ARENA DANCES 20th Anniversary Season is an 20-month endeavor of five concerts at four different venues across the Twin Cities – extending from January 2015 – October 2016. I will revisit milestone works from ARENA's repertory and remount them – some in theaters where they originally premiered, others in comparable venues. These works include (but are not limited to) Les Petites Choses (2012), TWITCH: The Story Of A Life Unlived (1997), I Hate Myself, Will You Please Love Me? (2011), and a solo work danced by myself, Forward Reminiscence (2012). The season will also debut a duet between myself and 15-year ARENA dancer, Amy Behm Thompson, and a new quartet, Picturing That Day, commissioned by The Kevin Mossier Foundation.

Venues for the 20th Anniversary Season include the Cowles Center (both kick-off and closing concerts), the Southern Theater, The Bedlam Theater in St. Paul, and the Lab Theater in Minneapolis. The season will commence with a 20th Anniversary Gala at The Cowles Center for the opening night of Plastic Language (2005).

The summer and autumn seasons have been busy at ARENA, filled with enriching workshops, performances and residencies in The Twin Cities and beyond. These projects include:

  • ARENA's instinct Dance Intensive, where students learned technique and repertory of POP / Ugly (2013)
  • Continuation of ARENA’s Intergenerational Residency Program – bringing elementary and middle school students together with elderly communities to facilitate dialogue about topics such as relationships, community, and connection.
  • ARENA's annual Summer Uncorked, hosted by Kelley Lindquist, Tom Nordyke and Tom Hines on beautiful Cedar Lake.
  • Performances of The Main Street Project at The College of St. Benedict & St. Johns University (St. Cloud), The Southern Theater (Minneapolis), Everwood Farmstead (Glenwood City, WI), and South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee, WI).
  • The Main Street Photography Project – projecting the images of Jake Armour, Wing Young Huie, and Keri Pickett across the Twin Cities via Minneapolis Art on Wheels. These images detailed themes relevant to The Main Street Project, in an attempt to create social consciousness and begin community-related dialogue.

We know there are plenty of organizations reaching out this end-of-year season. For that reason, we have decided to combine our end-of-year ask with ARENA’s Give To The Max Day campaign for MN Give on November 13. One ask – one donation. Your end-of-year contribution will help the operational support necessary for our 20th Anniversary Season - providing pay for dancers, continued outreach, and artistic collaborators; allowing ARENA to fulfill its mission to create and perform original modern dance choreography promoting community gathering, dialogue and impact.

Mathew Janczewski's ARTIST STATEMENT

My responsibility as an artist is to ask questions and incite awakening, both in myself and my collaborators, through the making of work, and in my audience, through their experience of performance. Innovation and experimentation have been central concerns in my work. I seek to balance this need for personal discovery and growth with a responsibility I have to my audience. I am deeply concerned with making my work relevant to the public that I am addressing.

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Organization Information

528 Hennepin Ave #508


Help support ARENA DANCES as we enter our 20th Anniversary Season!

EIN: 020541438

Reports: Guidestar


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