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The Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center and Minnesota Dance Theatre Present “Universal Language: Cultures Connected Through Dance”

An interactive journey of Wynn Fricke’s Close to Silence.

Minneapolis, MN, April 12, 2007 --( The Minnesota Shubert Center and Minnesota Dance Theatre today announced the establishment of an interactive online program, which will allow students, teachers, and audience members to watch, learn and give feedback on the production of Wynn Fricke’s Close to Silence production The interactive program will begin on April 16, continuing for four weeks.

During these four engaging weeks the Minnesota Shubert Center’s Follow the Creative Process Program “Universal Language: Cultures Connected through Dance” will allow students of all ages to visit the Minnesota Shubert Center’s Web site to receive daily updates about choreography, inspiration, cast, and design. There will be photo galleries, videos and interviews with dancers, choreographers and production staff for students to view as well. Through the use of the Shubert’s groundbreaking technology teachers can sign up to have their classes participate in two-way, interactive education sessions, creating unique classroom settings and exposing students to an otherwise unavailable experience into the fascinating realm of stage production.

Additionally, participants can further their involvement in the program, unleashing their own creative juices by participating in the “My Expedition” initiative. This initiative allows students to chat with the artists through web conversational tools and suggest additions and changes to the production. Participants will create individual projects with the guidance of the artists and production team, each of which will be displayed during the opening performance.

“For students and teachers to have the ability to go behind the scenes and interact via online technology with such established choreographers is unprecedented in Minnesota,” said Kim Motes, director of The Minnesota Shubert Center. “The input from the student’s will help Wynn Fricke make key decisions that could ultimately affect the final production. The thrill of collaborating in the making of this production will only help deepen these students passion for the arts.”

Throughout the program, students will also learn about the Sufi-Islamic culture through the artistic traditions of Arabic calligraphy, poetry by Muhammad Jalaluddin Rumi and the traditional dance of the Whirling Dervishes. Choreographer Wynn Fricke and Fawzia Reda have created learning materials for students and audience members on these topics, discussing their inspiration for this production.

Interested parties can sign up now at This program is available free of cost to anyone who wants to participate. The Web site will be active April 16 through May 11, 2007.

About the Minnesota Shubert Center, The Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center is a home for dance and music that honors tradition, nurtures innovation, encourages exploration and presents programs that delight and inspire. It is a new flagship center for dance in Downtown Minneapolis dedicated to providing a performance, rehearsal and administrative home to more than 15 Minnesota arts organizations and educational resources statewide. Integral to the Center’s mission is providing high-quality arts education to students throughout the State of Minnesota. The Minnesota Shubert Center is committed to linking students and artists in Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities with Minnesota Shubert Center artists and arts organizations using Internet-based technology.

About Minnesota Dance Theatre’s Close to Silence, Choreographer Wynn Fricke’s new work, Close to Silence, conceptualized by Fawzia Reda, is a contemporary dance inspired by the gestures of Arabic letters and the poems of Muhammad Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century mystic. Combining an abstract ritualistic component with the spirit of the traditional Islamic whirling ritual, this piece proves that in a world filled with conflict, the beauty of dance continues to cross boundaries as a universal language.

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Melissa Bohlig

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