Shawn McConneloug: Choreographer
published on September 13, 1994
in Skyway News
Five young women in schoolgirl plaid worked themselves into a raucous athletic frenzy against Catholic education. Thus began the lightly publicized but highly touted premiere of "Corporal Mortification," part of a four-day dance and dance-film showcase of work by choreographer Shawn McConneloug, one of the Twin Cities' most promising choreographers.
Movers and shakers in the dance community called it one of the best dance events of the season. "She does seem to have a fresh voice on the scene," said Louise Robinson, former director of the Minnesota Dance Alliance.
But McConneloug didn't play the Ordway or the O'Shaughnessy. Instead, she opened at SpaceSpace, an alternative performance venue in downtown Minneapolis that she, Georgia Stevens, and Paula Mann founded in the early '90s.
McConneloug, an original member of Zenon Dance Company, left Minneapolis for Italy in 1987 and returned a transformed dance maker, one who was more focused and directed. Her choreography is known for its athleticism, humor, cynicism and sarcasm. And her film works with director Greg Cummins— idiosyncratic explorations into the choreographed filming of movement— have screened at prominent festivals, including Robert Redford's "Sundance Firm Festival."
"It's terrifically kinetic movement, hard-driven," said John Killacky, curator of performing arts at Walker Art Center. "She's quirky and wonderful, there's no question about it."