The Dance Program is pleased to announce our guest artists for the 2017–18 academic year:

Karla Grotting

Karla Grotting began dancing in her mother's basement studio as soon as she could walk. Her mother, Kay Larson, taught tap, jazz, acrobatics, ballroom and baton, instilling an early love of movement and music. By 1974, Karla found her way to the Zoe Sealy Dance Center where she fell in love with jazz dance and eventually began working with the Minnesota Jazz Dance Company (MJDC) in 1979. During her time at MJDC, she performed in works by Zoe Sealy, Maria Cheng, David Voss, Clarence Teeters, William Harren, Paulette Cousins, Kerry Casserly, Lea Darwin and others. In 1987, Karla moved to NYC to join JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski and danced in both his New York and Minneapolis companies, which deepened her love for jazz dance, jazz music and its history.

Karla is a founding member, principal dancer and associate director with Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum, with whom she's been dancing, touring and creating since 1990. Karla graduated from the U of MN-Twin Cities with a BA in Theater and a BFA in Dance, where she continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member. Her awards include a U of MN Student's Choice Award for Outstanding Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts, a 2007 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers, and a 2010 Sage Nomination for Outstanding Educator. Karla creates her own dance works which blend the unique styles of her tap, jazz, modern and percussive dance experiences, and has created original works for the FFF, St. Olaf College, The Eclectic Edge Ensemble, SPCPA, Gustavus Adolphus College, and others.

At Carleton, Karla will be working with Semaphore Repertory Dance Company during fall term 2017. 

Morgan Thorson

Morgan Thorson is a dance-maker based in Minneapolis. She creates original dance works that combine movement, light, sound, and objects while taking into consideration the site of the work, representation of the body, and history of the field. Her work has been described as "an explosive physicality tempered by sinuous lines and subtle drama" (Minneapolis Star Tribune). Thorson is the recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2016), a United States Artist (2012), Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow, and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008, 2007). Her work has received support from The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residency and Fellowship Program (2015, 2011 and 2009) and she was the resident artist at the Centre Choreographique National De Franche-Comte in Belfort, France, as well as a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow in 2012. Thorson's work has toured to theaters and festivals worldwide, and has been commissioned and and presented by Walker Art Center, On The Boards in Seattle, Red Cat in Los Angeles, PS122 in New York City and Alverno Presents in Milwaukee, among others. She has created works for Zenon Dance Company, James Sewell Ballet, Barnard College and several national universities.

A certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor, Thorson is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University, where she engages students and professors in interdisciplinary practices and develops pedagogy in Dance, Drawing, Archaeology, and Religious Studies. She is a member of the Minneapolis Tuning Club and the founder of ORG, Ongoing Research Group. 

Morgan will be working with Carleton's Semaphore Repertory Dance Company in summer 2017.