Laurie Van Wieren
Laurie Van Wieren was born in Holland, Michigan, raised on the west side of the city Chicago, and has been making dance and visual art 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 spent four years studying German expressionists dance technique, composition and improvisation with Nancy Hauser (of Hanya Holm lineage), 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 the 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 works were 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 three large outdoor site-specific works including one with hockey players, gold medal skaters and fire works.
She continued dancing and teaching in the 1980’s and 1990’s. She was also an active member of MICA (MN Independent Choreographers Alliance) and The MN Dance Alliance.
The 2000’s found Van Wieren teaching movement in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance 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 performance with exploratory approaches to contemporary performance.
Van Wieren looks forward to researching and developing duets with some of her favorite artists: Anna Marie Shogren, Nick Gaudette, Sandrine Harris and Chris Holman as well as creating a new solo project examining age and memory.
Van Wieren's 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, Fabrik, Potsdam, Germany 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?”