This past summer, Rhythmically Speaking celebrated 10 years of presenting excellent staged work inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas and created by primarily Minnesota-based artists as a means of building community and encouraging consciousness of the sociocutural histories of and innovations in these forms. Now entering our second decade, we are excited to stretch ourselves and fulfill our mission in innovative new ways by reimagining our annual summer production under the title Rhythmically Speaking presents . . . The Cohort.

For this inaugural year of the program, we have selected from an open call for choreographers one “Local” (Minnesota-based) choreographer to make a new work alongside RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, and two “Visiting” choreographers (based outside Minnesota) to revisit a piece of their repertoire. All four works will be learned by a group of auditioned local dancers and performed in a fully produced show August 15-17, 2019 at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis (show times and ticket purchase information coming soon!). The choreographers for this inaugural year of The Cohort, in addition to RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, are local artist Julie Warder and visiting artists Rohan Bhargava and Pat Taylor.

Local: Julie Warder

Julie - Headshot

Illustrious local choreographer Julie’s dance career began with Myron Johnson at Children’s Theater and Uchawi African Dancers under Richard D. Thompson. From there a BFA in dance at U of Arts in Philly, training with Philadance and performed with LEJA Dance Theater as a company member. She also was a company member of Ballet of the Dolls. Choreographically, upon returning to the Twin Cities, her works have been seen in Laurie Carlos’ Late Night, Kinetic Kitchen, Rhythmically Speaking and several Renovate and 16 Feet choreographers evenings. Julie is so honored to be a part of this wonderful expansion in the Rhythmically Speaking world. Her new work What’d You Say will be exploration of communication accentuated in rhythm.

Visiting: Rohan Bhargava/ Rovaco Dance Company (New York, NY)

Rohan - Headshot.png

Touring choreographer we are excited to welcome to the Twin Cities for the first time, Rohan Bhargava, is an acclaimed artist from New Delhi, India. He holds a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is the Founder of New York based Rovaco Dance Company. Currently, Rohan is completing a two-year residency through CUNY Dance Initiative at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Learn more at The piece Rohan will be revisiting for The Cohort, Kool Kids 2.0, is a comical beat-box and dance collaboration, satirizing the elusive state of “coolness” as a deceptively innocuous byproduct of capitalistic power struggle.

Visiting: Pat Taylor, MFA/ JazzAntiqua (Los Angeles, CA)

Pat - Headshot

Touring choreographer Pat Taylor, returning to the Twin Cities after a smashing success of a visit to Rhythmically Speaking in 2016, is founding artistic director/choreographer of Los Angeles-based JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble. She is the recipient of a Brody Arts Fund Choreography Fellowship; grants from Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Doolittle Foundation, California Arts Council and the Center for Cultural Innovation; and was a finalist in the Leo’s Choreography Competition (Jazz Dance World Congress). Pat teaches, choreographs, lectures and tours with JazzAntiqua across the United States and internationally, including University of California – Irvine, International Association of Blacks in Dance Conferences (Washington, DC and Denver, CO), Dance USA, and Congresso Internacional de Jazz Dance (Brazil). Learn more at The work Pat will be revisiting for The Cohort, A Love Supreme, is set to and named for the seminal jazz masterpiece by legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, and is a story of redemption that embodies choreographer Pat Taylor’s signature approach to jazz dance as a
reflection of the movement in the music.

This new vision for our annual production will continue our support of new work by local choreographers while providing touring opportunities for choreographers from outside Minnesota. It will also create regular professional performance opportunities for local dancers interested in staged work inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas. The cast of this inaugural year of The Cohort includes Nora Anderson, Doug Hooker, Erik Hunder, Sara Karimi, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Kelli Miles, Kathleen Pender, Betsey Schaefer-Roob and Cheng Xiong.

We are looking to deepen the engagement of and improve compensation for involved artists and to offer audiences fewer but more substantial works to experience while building community among all of them. Don’t want to wait until August to see the works? We’re doing previews of each piece and master classes with each choreographer at Zenon Dance School!

  • Erinn’s Piece: Wednesday, March 13 from 5-5:30pm
  • Erinn’s Class: Friday, March 15 from 9:30-11am
  • Julie’s Class: Friday, April 26 from 9:30-11am
  • Julie’s Piece: Friday, April 26 from 5-5:30pm
  • Rohan’s Class: Friday, June 7 from 9:30-11am
  • Rohan’s Piece: Friday, June 7 from 5-5:30pm
  • Pat’s Class: Friday, July 12 from 9:30-11am
  • Pat’s Piece: Friday, July 12 from 5-5:30pm

Thank you for supporting our past efforts and foray into new programming territory, and a big thank you to our panels:

Choreographer Selection Panel:

  • Brian Evans: Citizen Artist & Rhythmically Speaking Board Member
  • Erinn Liebhard: Dance Artist & Rhythmically Speaking Artistic Director
  • Zoe Sealy: Professor Emeritus – U of M Dance Program & RS Board Member

Dancer Selection Panel:

  • Ozzy Dris: House Dancer & Lead, Twin Cities MN House Dance
  • Judith James Ries: Former JAZZDANCE company member & master jazz teacher
  • Julie Warder: Choreographer, The Cohort 2019



Rhythmically Speaking 10/2018

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 16-18, 2018
Featured work by Gabriel Anderson & Laura Selle-Virtucio, Leila Awadallah, Melissa Clark, Brandi Coleman (Dallas, TX), Karla Grotting, Jolene Konkel, Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director) and Emma Marlar
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2017

Illusion Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 17-19, 2017
Featured work by Karla Grotting, O’Calla Joslyn, Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director), Kaleena Miller, Laura Osterhaus, Jeffrey Peterson (PA) and Abigail Whitmore
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2016

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 18-20, 2016
Featured work by Rush Benson, Rae Charles, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner (OR), Karla Grotting, Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director), Laura Selle-Virtucio and Pat Taylor/ JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble (CA)
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2015

Bedlam Lowertown, St. Paul MN
August 20-22, 2015
Featured work by Rush Benson and Brian Evans, Jennifer Glaws, Sarah Jabar, Keane Sense of Rhythm, Erinn Liebhard, Emily Oleson and Kwame Opare (West Virginia/ D.C.) and Clarence Teeters Jr. (reconstructed by Karla Grotting)
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2014

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 14-16, 2014
Featured work by Michele Dunleavy, Karla Grotting, B-Boy J-Sun, Erinn Liebhard, Christine Maginnis, Joanne Spencer and Voice of Culture
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2013

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 15-17, 2013
Featured work by Yung-Tsi Bolon & Laura Horn, Emily Broeker, Maura Garcia, Karla Grotting, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Christine Maginnis and Darrius Strong
Press Log

2012: Rhythmically Speaking presents . . .

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 16-18, 2012
Featured work by Deborah Elias, Karla Grotting, Cythnia Gutierrez-Garner, Carrie Lande, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Jennifer Mack, Whitney McClusky, J-Sun and Dancin’ Dave and Joanne Spencer
Press Log
KFAI Fresh Air Radio Feature

2011: Rhythmically Speaking presents Groovers & Makers

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 25-27, 2011
Featured work by Emily Broeker, Jennifer Glaws, Karla Grotting, Jolene Konkel, Carrie Lande, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Jeffrey Peterson, Julie Warder and Cathy Wind
Press Log

2010: Rhythmically Speaking presents Principles of Pulse

Bedlam Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 19-21, 2010
Featured work by Jennifer Glaws, Karla Grotting, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Sarah Jabar, Ellen Keane, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Jeffrey Peterson, Kenna Sarge and Karis Sloss
Press Log

2009: Rhythmically Speaking

Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis MN
August 20-22, 2009
Featured work by Karla Grotting, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Jolene Konkel, RS Co-Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Kaleena Miller, Karis Sloss, and RS Co-Artistic Director Heather P. Westerlund