Visiting Instructor Dance

Brian J. Evans is a Professional Performing Human. For the past eight years, Evans has had the privilege and pleasure of engaging in a vast array of fields. Teaching in public and private institutions, working with healthcare providers in the US and abroad, performing as singer, actor, dancer in churches, theaters, basements, outdoor stages, any space provided that encourages the arts to thrive. An artist striving for social justice, Evans places high value in process and product, having had most of his training out in the ‘Arts field’ of the Twin Cities, working with over 50 artistic directors on more then 200 projects from solo endeavors to collaborating as a self-employed professional performer & teaching artist. Primarily as a principle dancer and musical director for Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, Evans has continued to investigate the idea that connections exist between us all and it’s the responsibility of the Arts to rediscover those connections, highlight them and allow us to feel holistically human. 

Areas of Teaching Expertise

Interdisciplinary Performance

Survival Strategies for Performers

Honors

2009 SAGE Award for Outstanding Performer

2010 A|E Star Tribune Top Dance Event 

2015 McKnight Dance Fellowship 

EDUCATION

2007 B.A. Liberal Arts with an Emphasis in Dance

Artist Statement

Brian has been fortunate to recognize a fundamental shift in my thinking about the arts, which is simply this: the arts do not create connection, connection already exists. This subtle but important shift has alleviated the pressure of creating connections and has focussed my energy into tapping into currents of connection already flowing. He is the busiest he’s ever been in his career and normally this would manifest itself into stress but this shift has created an invigorating synchronicity in all realms of my work.

Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, my principal dance company for the past eight years, anchors this shift. The community based work that runs along side and informs the performance work has forged my career into an insatiable journey, one that demands full presence in every moment, in or out of the rehearsal studio. Their philosophy of defining the “WHY” to initiate artistic choice, has fortified my resolve as a citizen artist. I realize this citizen artistry by using the model from Deep Ecology to inform my ‘Artistic Tapestry’: being completely submersed in a practice in which every component is equally valued.

My ‘Artistic Tapestry’ is made up of many equal components. One such component has been fulfilling an ongoing goal since the beginning of my career in the arts: to gain as much experience as possible. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with over 31 choreographers, on more than 65 pieces, in over 150 performances in venues through out the state, the nation, and abroad (Düsseldorf, Germany, Mexico City & Guadalajara, Mexico). Each distinct process brings an additional depth in how I support the maker’s endeavor, while finding a pathway that taps the best performer within myself.

An additional component of the tapestry is my athleticism. I crave movement. I love eating up space and busting through costumes. Flying high into the air to land as soft as a cat. Lifting my partners with an aggressive gentleness that sends us flying through movement with deft precision and near reckless power. Igniting the audience to leap from their seats to instinctually physicalize what they are viewing and to feel the raw emotion as they squeeze closer to one another in rapt focus. 

Musicality blurs and softens the edges of the canvas, as I am in love with music. I compose, arrange, perform, mix and master music for dance in the Twin Cities community, as well as my own dance works. I dance and play in the nuances that music adds to the dance. The beat within beats is where I typically find my internal cadence. Making music for dance, accompanying dance in class as well as singing in several dance stage works gives me a phenomenological insight into how to be permeable to the work itself. Serving as the conveyance vessel between artistic thought and viewer perception folded within a musical score… there is no place I would rather be.

Social Justice is the thread used to stitch up my arts landscape. I know that I have privilege. This knowledge makes me treat every opportunity to work, as just that, an opportunity. As knowledge is one of the most effective tools in social change, I have found teaching to be an opportunity to mentor and share my experience with others. Mentoring, in the field of dance, continues the oral tradition that is needed to connect the form of the art, to a waiting world clamoring for arts based initiatives that can sooth social unrest and communicate injustice. As a teaching artist, I offer a inter-disciplined approach to dance and how the dance can be used to communicate. I help students to hone skills that integrate their personal narrative into an expanding skill base.  

Holes and tears in my tapestry are patched up by examining the cross section of my life and how it intersects with the work I help produce. I’ve learned how to complement my introverted nature by using this introspective process to help present an authentic extroverted exterior. I revel in the abstraction where ‘I don’t know’ and ‘will you teach me’ live in the same space. This curiosity, this constant pursuit of the ‘why’, deepens my involvement and provides greater insight to myself and how I am integrated into the work. Converting potential process into kinetic realization is the profession of the performer. I seek a place where the lines between myself and the art are less distinct, which I define as a necessary vulnerability that is required for any process.

My tapestry is comprised with a variety of fabrics, textures, and colors which all are associated with a distinct work or person. Although I will never have the time to impart everything this ‘Artistic Tapestry’ is made of, it makes for one holistic magic carpet. My intention is to ride this journey as it continues to evolve and illuminate my path back to connection. I have passed through this place of transcendence many times throughout my career and I plan to take up residence. Having dismantled some of my boundaries and borders, I intend to continue using my experience to work with others I teach, perform with/for, or happen upon to prolong my journey toward deeper connections. I am and will be forever drawn to uncover them through my work in the moving arts.