Native to St. Paul, MN, Berit Ahlgren gained her foundational dance training from Minnesota Dance Theater and St. Olaf College (’05), where she also studied biomedical studies. Ahlgren was a founding member of TU Dance under the artistic directorship of Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, and performed with the company between the years of 2006—2016. Receiving Metropolitan Regional Arts Council’s Next Step Grant in 2011, Ahlgren had the opportunity to study the Gaga Movement Language in Tel Aviv, and moved to Israel to pursue a teacher certification between 2011-2012. Upon return to the U.S., she began offering Gaga/dancer and Gaga/people classes regularly in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as guest teaching nationally and abroad. Ahlgren moved to New York City in 2014 and obtained her MFA in Dance from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts in 2016, continuing her work in Gaga at both Gibney and Mark Morris Dance Centers. Returning to Minnesota late 2016, Ahlgren has been teaching independently and collegiately, choreographing for stage and camera, and performing between Minneapolis and New York City as a freelance artist.
Through the medium of dance, my work aims to highlight people in the purest ways possible. People embracing their awkwardness. People laughing at themselves. People falling in love, or grappling with heartbreak. People authentically moving through daily gesture to fully realize the dance inherent in everyday tasks. It feels raw and exposed, honest, and beautiful in its commitment to expression. I make work for both performers and viewers to feel their heart lift, drop, or jump out of their body. My art continues to stay with you long after you’ve finished watching it unfold, maintaining a sense of curiosity, wonder and delight.
My work is built on human gesture and everyday habitual patterns that performer and audience share in common, lending to a connectivity and understanding that welcomes the viewer into the performer’s experience through a recognizable world. I believe in unity, justice, and impartiality; politically, ethically, and socially. As a natural problem solver, I employ creative means to find solutions to unique scenarios that arrive through the creative process. My inspiration comes from elements that are universally impactful, and above all, look to the power of music to enhance my work— music that moves myself and fellow artists in accordance with the expression we aim to share.