Summer Show: The Cohort 2022 – Stage & Screen

We are excited to share with audiences The Cohort 2022, the fourteenth installment of our beloved annual Summer multi-choreographer program. This time around, it includes both a live stage production and dance film screenings 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. A reimagining of RS’ annual August production, The Cohort is built to support and share different perspectives via the vibrancy of jazz and American social dance ideas, now through both staged and screened works.

Stage Details:

  • WHAT: The Cohort 2022: Stage
  • WHEN: Thursday, August 11th – Saturday, August 13th @ 7:30pm and Saturday, August 13th @ 2pm
  • WHERE: The Southern Theater in Minneapolis, MN
  • TICKETS: Will be on sale here soon!
  • COVID PROTOCOLS: Will be announced closer to show dates

Screen Details:

  • WHAT: The Cohort 2022: Screen
  • WHEN: TBA date in late October
  • WHERE: TBA location – we’ll be announcing our exciting local partner for this screening soon!
  • TICKETS: Will be on sale here soon!
  • COVID PROTOCOLS: Will be announced closer to show dates


The Cohort_ 2022 - Stage and Screen

These activities are made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

More on The Cohort 2022: Stage

Following ten years of annually presenting dance works by eight to nine mostly-local artists and their varied casts of performers, in 2019 we shifted to provide more in-depth support to fewer artists creating longer works, and a company of dancers to perform them. This new vision of the RS annual summer production continues support of new work by local choreographers while providing opportunities for artists based outside of Minnesota to show their work here. While The Cohort 2020 becoming The Cohort 20/21 and being performed outdoors in May 2021 was exciting and innovative, we are looking forward to returning to our home of many Summers, The Southern Theater.

The Cohort 2022 will feature new works by local dance artists Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director) and Rae Charles (RS Company Member), and remounted works by visitors Kathleen Doherty (Halifax, NS Canada) and Laura Ann Smyth (Los Angeles, CA). Liebhard’s new work An Opening is a musing on the synergy of keeping it together and breaking apart, and Charles’ new piece Learning to Understand uses the metaphor of falling in love to explore how we come to understand ourselves and one another. Visitor Kathleen Doherty is remounting her work BASS-line, which takes inspiration from how prominent basslines within music influence movement choices, rhythmic timing and shapes in the dancers’ bodies, and visitor Laura Ann Smyth is setting her work Character A/Musings, using the jazz idiom to consider the way in which we invent and reinvent ourselves throughout our lifetime. For more on these artists, continue reading!

More on The Cohort 2022: Screen

For many choreographers, with the pandemic came learning how to build dance for film, or to lean into an existent screendance practice. Given this shift, we wished to respond to the need for jazz and American social dance-inspired choreographers to have a place to show this work! We are lucky to be partnering with the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in this call for works for the screen, which will be shown at an event at the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop in Boulder, CO in July, and at an event in the Twin Cities in late October. We are working with another exciting partner organization for this event, which we are excited to hopefully announce soon! Once artists and works for the 2022 installment of the screen portion of The Cohort program have been selected, we will share more about them here!

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Rae Charles Harge (Stage | 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 (Stage | 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 (Stage | 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!