Summer Show: The Cohort 2022 – Stage & Screen

Rhythmically Speaking, a Twin Cities-based dance company with a 14-year history and a national reputation for excellence in jazz, is pleased to announce The Cohort 2022, our fourteenth annual multi-choreographer program. This time around, it includes both a live stage production in the Twin Cities in Summer 2022 and dance film screenings in Fall 2022 in partnership with the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema (CO), a niche film festival specializing in films that integrate the aesthetics of dance and cinema.

The Cohort_ 2022 - Stage and Screen

Submitted works must explore jazz and/ or American social dance ideas from forms including but not limited to tap and hip-hop styles, and artists 21 and older at any point in their careers were welcomed to submit. To submit a work for the screen, head to between now and May 4th, 2022 (late deadline) to submit. Note that this far-off deadline leaves plenty of time to create new works! If you have a film that has been selected by Sans Souci Festival in the past, and you think it is a good fit for screening in this category, please write to

A curatorial panel has selected three stage works for a live production in Minneapolis in August 2022 – two works of existent, revisited repertoire from visiting (based outside of Minnesota) artists – Kathleen Doherty (Halifax, Canada) and Laura Smyth (Los Angeles), and one proposal for a new work from a local (Minnesota-based) artist – one of RS’ own company members, Rae Charles Harge! RS Artistic and Executive Director Erinn Liebhard will also be creating a new piece for the The Cohort program’s live production in August 2022 at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. More about the artists and works:

Rae Charles Harge (Local)


Rae is a local choreographer, scholar, and dance educator in the Twin Cities. Currently working on a PhD in Dance Education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, she is dedicated to advocating for racial equity both on the stage and in the classroom. Charles Harge is a graduate of MSSPA/PiM, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, the University of Michigan. She locates her own choreography at the intersection of jazz and modern and is greatly influenced by her work with artists and companies in New York as well as Minnesota including  Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Maria Bauman or Urban Bush Women, MBDance, Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, Ron K. Brown, Karen L. Charles/Threads Dance Project, David Dorfman, Alonzo King, Rhythmically Speaking, Sydney Skybetter, and Kate Weare. Her new piece for The Cohort 2022Learning to Understand, uses the metaphor of falling in love to explore how we come to understand ourselves and one another. Photo credit: Chelsea Rowe.

Kathleen Doherty (Visiting – Halifax, Canada)


Kathleen Doherty (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, improviser and educator based in K’jipuktuk/Halifax. After completing her Bachelor’s of Commerce degree at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Kathleen moved to Calgary to attend Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ Professional Training Program. Upon returning to Halifax in 2012, Kathleen co-founded Votive Dance, and has worked as Artistic Director since the company’s inception. Kathleen enjoys sharing her passion for jazz dance as an instructor at The Maritime Conservatory, and Halifax Dance, and by hosting classes and workshops for the professional community. She will be creating a new full length jazz work with Votive Dance in 2022, and is so excited to work with the incredible like-minded jazz folks at Rhythmically Speaking. Kathleen is proud to be a working artist mom to her 3 year old son, Cillian. Kathleen’s revisited work for The Cohort 2022, BASS-line, is a jazz creation which takes inspiration from the prominent bassline within the music, with the sounds influencing the movement choices, rhythmic timing, and shapes in the dancers’ bodies. Photo credit: Movita Beaucoup Photography.

Laura Smyth (Visiting – Los Angeles, California)

Laura (Tiffanie Marie)

Laura Ann Smyth, originally from Canada, is a Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer and educator. Smyth holds a BA in sociology with a minor in dance from the University of Calgary, a MFA in dance from the University of California, Irvine and is currently a PhD Candidate in dance at Texas Woman’s University. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of Black jazz-informed dance practices and embodied rhetoric. Smyth is a member of Donna Sternberg and Dancers, JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble and is a full-time faculty member at Loyola Marymount University. Spirited and inclusive in her approach to the dissemination of Black dance culture and practices, Smyth is grateful and humbled by any opportunity to engage in the gift that is dance. Her piece for The Cohort 2022, Character A/Musings, is an exploration of identities. With an emphasis on rhythm, storytelling capability and sophisticated performance, this piece uses the jazz idiom to consider the way in which we invent and reinvent ourselves throughout our lifetime. Photo Credit: Tiffanie Marie.

We thank all who applied with stage works for their interest, and encourage our audiences to keep their eyes out for more about this exciting program!