Recent Gustavus graduate, Brian Evans becomes distinguished performer in the Twin Cities Dance Community

Posted on October 14th, 2010 by

Saint Peter, MN— This September, Brian Evans, a 2007 Gustavus Adolphus College graduate, received the renowned Sage Award for “Outstanding Performer.” The Sage Awards are designed to recognize outstanding dance achievement in Minnesota. Evans has been a member of the Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater Company since he graduated from Gustavus four years ago.

Evans looks back to his time on Gustavus with gratitude and enthusiasm. Traveling around the world with The Gustavus Choir, performing multiple times on Anderson Stage, being pulled into dance by former professor and choreographer, Maria Teirney, and studying abroad in Australia are just some of the fantastic experiences he describes about Gustavus. He played football all four years at Gustavus and also was part of “I Am We Are,” the Social Justice Theater group on campus. These experiences at Gustavus seemed to have shaped him into the fantastic performer, social justice advocate, and, as he describes, a “compassionate and knowledgeable citizen of humanity”.

In early September, Evans performed with the Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater at Gustavus on the same Anderson stage that he had performed on while he was a student. He danced in the piece, “Total Surrender” as well as the 2008 Sage Award winning piece “Ways to Be Hold.” Evans describes the experience of “Ways to Be Hold” as the “most impacting piece” he has ever experienced and it was the first piece that he was professionally involved with from start to finish. “Ways to Be Hold” was a stunning piece that brings together spoken word, phenomenal dancing, music, strong emotionality, as well as a community outreach and social justice statement.

Laura Selle-Virtucio, adjunct dance professor while Evans was at Gustavus, connected Evans to the Stuart Pimsler Dance Theater. He became an apprentice with the company the fall after he graduated. The Gustavus professors were fantastic mentors to Evans and he seems to owe his dancing career to these passionate and extremely talented teachers. Evans described that he believes his Sage Award is “truly a testament to the Twin Cities Dance Community!” The diverse opportunity, the growing interest in dance for social justice, and the amazing network of dancers, choreographers, and supporters in the area has transformed Evans from a “non-dancing social justice college football player” into a winner of a Sage Award.

Long term, Evans hopes to receive a post-graduate degree focusing on social justice and the arts. He believes that art is underutilized in this country and he hopes to help spread the power of art and performance with those who may not have access. Evans will be back at Gustavus this January with Stuart Pimsler and others from the company to host a January Term Residency and create an original work on Gustavus dance and theater students. A Casting Workshop for students who want to be involved in the residency will be held this Saturday October 16 in Kresge Dance Studio at 10 a.m.

Written by Renee Guittar


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