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Designated Movement Company and Minnesota Dance Theatre present A Nutcracker: choreographic workshop

A NUTCRACKER choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin returns to her home state of Minnesota, and to the building where she first began her life in the ballet, to choreograph on famed Minnesota dance family Lise Houlton, Kaitlyn Gilliland and Raina Gilliland in a reimagining of the classic ballet Nutcracker. Depicting the life-story of a woman (and dancer) named Clara, this workshop is a crucial step in a development process that will evolve into an immersive, dance-theatre event that brings an audience close to the art of ballet as never before.

A NUTCRACKER is a singular ballet event and a radical departure from any of its predecessors that will evoke a sweet and intense nostalgia in everyone who grew up watching, listening or dancing to this holiday classic. We witness overlapping and sometimes simultaneous stagings of Clara’s life; at seven with everything to learn, at twenty-seven with nothing to lose, at fifty-seven searching for a reason to keep going and at eighty-seven simply looking to hold on. A dynamic & world-famous cast performs original choreography accompanied by a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score in an open & immersive environment that allows the audience the opportunity to watch the ballet close enough to

reach out and touch it.

Workshop Showing: August 14 at 7:30pm & August 15 at 2pm

Showing location: Minnesota Dance Theatre, 528 Hennepin Ave # 6A, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Featuring performances by Kaitlyn Gilliland, Lise Houlton, Raina Gilliland and Barton Cowperthwaite

About the Artists

Katie Rose McLaughlin (choreographer, co-creator) grew up in Minneapolis, MN and studied ballet under the direction of Bonnie Mathis at Ballet Arts Minnesota. She then attended the Joffrey/New School BFA program on full scholarship before falling in love with contemporary dance and theater. Her choreography has been presented by the theaters all over the world including Chocolate Factory, Catch, the Invisible Dog, Dixon Place, Little Theater, AUNTS, Movement Research at Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Dance New Amsterdam, Triskelion, 9x22 DanceLab, Links Hall, Red Eye Theater, newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the International Festival of Art & Ideas. She was a 2013 artist-in-residence through LMCC's SPARC program and is an artistic associate of JV Squad the artistic director of Designated Movement Company.

Kaitlyn Gilliland (dancer) studied with Loyce and Lise Houlton at the Minnesota Dance Theatre before moving to New York at age 16 to train with the School of American Ballet. She attended full-time for one year and in 2004 received the school’s Mae L. Wien Award for outstanding promise. From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Gilliland danced with the New York City Ballet, performing corps, soloist, and principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Eliot Feld, Douglas Lee, Peter Martins, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. She was the New York City Ballet’s Janice Levin Dancer Honoree in 2010. Since leaving the New York City Ballet, Ms. Gilliland has appeared on stage and on film with BalletNext, BalletCollective, Ballet Tech, Designated Movement Company, Emery LeCrone Dance, Intermezzo Dance Company, Minnesota Dance Theatre, New Chamber Ballet, Pontus Lidberg Dance, Trainor Dance, and Twyla Tharp Dance, performing work by Charles Askegard, Constantine Baecher, Mauro Bigonzetti, Gemma Bond, Marcelo Gomes, Adam Hendrickson, Gabrielle Lamb, Pontus Lidberg, Brian Reeder, Jillian Pena, Troy Schumacher, Twyla Tharp, and Michele Wiles, among others. She originated the role of “Clara” in “A Nutcracker: Part 1 (The Workshop)” produced in collaboration with Designated Movement Company and JV Squad. In February, she presented #loveyoumeanit, an original work created in conversation with Will Rawls for Danspace’s 2015 Platform Series “Dancers, Buildings, and People in the Streets.”

Lise Houlton (dancer) became Artistic Director of Minnesota Dance Theatre in 1995, succeeding her mother Loyce Houlton, who founded the company in 1962. A native of Minneapolis, best known for her effortless, fluid style and dramatic sensibility, she began her dance career with Minnesota Dance Threatre, then moved at the age of 19 to the renowned Stuttgart Ballet under the leadership of Glen Tetley. After two years in Germany, she joined American Ballet Theatre where she danced principal roles for many of the great choreographers of the last half century, among them Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Glen Tetley, Antony Tudor, Paul Taylor and Jerome Robbins. She has choreographed several works for the MDT repertory including Sidetracks, House on Fire, Bred in the Bone, Alchemical Wedding, A Piece A Chord, Rumblingsand The Enchantment: Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Raina Gilliland (dancer) is a graduate of the School of American Ballet and Professional Children’s School in New York City. She began her training with the School of Minnesota Dance Theatre and also studied with American Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre schools. She has performed works by Loyce and Lise Houlton, Ashton, Balanchine, Boykin, Feld, Kylián, LeCrone, Monte, Petipa, Rhoden and Rink. Internationally acclaimed dance critic Tobi Tobias describes her as “tall, elegantly built and beautiful … with goddess-like power.”

Barton Cowperthwaite (dancer) is a proud native of Denver, Colorado. He began his formal training at The Academy of Colorado Ballet and went to high school as a dance major at Denver School of the Arts. He graduated cum laude with a BFA in dance from The University of Arizona in 2013. In school he performed the principal roles of George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and Rubies. Since his graduation he has traveled and developed a strong foundation as a freelancing dancer and model. Barton’s company credits include The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Pontus Lidberg Dance, Bad Boys of Dance, and Schoen Movement Company. Barton has worked with other artists such as Alessandra Ferri, Fang Yi Sheu, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Gary Chryst, The Kuperman Brothers, Matthew Powell, Rasta Thomas, Matthew Brookhoff, Donna Salgado, Christopher Williams, and more. He currently resides in New York City as a freelance artist.

Contact for questions or more information: Katie Rose McLaughlin: 612.819.3696,

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