McKnight Fellowships for Dancers and Choreographers is thrilled toannounce the schedule of events and public engagements as part of the 2024 McKnight International Choreographer Residency. The residency will host Thessaloniki-based choreographer Meryl Zaytoun Murman in partnership with Winona-based dance/interdisciplinary artist Sharon Mansur and her creative platform, The Cedar Tree Project. The choreography residency runs June 1-29, 2024, in Winona and the Twin Cities.

Selected earlier this year, Meryl Zaytoun Murman was named the 2024 McKnight International Choreographer for her work as a multi-disciplinary artist whose art juxtaposes choreographic, cinematic, and live art practices to create movement pieces that emphasize interactivity and intimacy. She has taught and worked deeply in several international communities including Thessaloniki, Greece, and Ukraine. Her queer films and choreographies derived from experiments at the intersection of cinema and dance disrupt popular notions of spectacle, the body, virtuosity, and gender. There will be a variety of events during this residency that allow Murman to share her multiple artistic practices.

For this much-anticipated residency, the program will partner with Sharon Mansur and The Cedar Tree Project, both based in Winona. Mansur is an Arab/SWANA American experimental dance and interdisciplinary artist and a 2018 McKnight Dancer Fellow. The Cedar Tree Project, facilitated by Mansur, presents, supports, and amplifies contemporary art and artists of the Arab/SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) heritage and regions, inviting deeper understanding, empathy, and engagement through artistic exchange.

On June 1 and 2, Murman will begin her residency with a pair of workshops in the Twin Cities titled “SoundBody” and “Embody Palestine.” For more information, visit www.mcknightdancechoreo.org/international-artist.

The residency will then move to Winona for a series of events: 

  • June 12, from 6-7 p.m. — Murman will lead a guided nature walkat Prairie Island Campground. This event connects to a series of walks, “Strolling with the Seasons along Crooked Slough,”facilitated by PIC Director of Operations and Programming Anne Conway. Murman will be guest facilitating a somatic-informed walk. Shifting between inner and outer sensing to connect and attune with the processes of the natural world and our inner nature, she will guide participants through simple, mindful, embodied practices. The event is free and open to the public. Register at strolling-with-the-seasons-along-crooked-slough.cheddarup.com
  • June 18, 7-8:30 p.m. — “Wayfinding” will be a creative conversation and informal dance film sharing featuring short films by Murman, Sharon Mansur and Leila Awadallah. The films will explore their shared Arab/SWANA heritage, gender and sexuality, and diasporic bodies, and a guided discussion with Professor Mary Jo Klinker will center these themes. This free event will be co-sponsored by Art of the Rural and will take place at the Winona Arts Center. Reservations are strongly encouraged via tinyurl.com/5pnmyh7e. 
  • June 25 and 26 at sunset — The Winona residency culminates in the premiere of a new, site-specific, outdoor performancesat Prairie Island Campground. The performance includes six Winona-based dance and interdisciplinary artists and will embrace the beautiful natural setting along the Mississippi River banks at sunset. For more information about these free performances, visit cedartreeproject.com
  • Finally, Meryl Zaytoun Murman will lead an invited group in “becoming-FLUID,” a ritual bath experience at Watershed Spa and Baths in Minneapolis, Minn. For more information, visit www.mcknightdancechoreo.org/international-artist.

For more information about Meryl Zaytoun Murman, visit her webpage.

For more about Sharon Mansur and The Cedar Tree Project, visit mansurdance.com.



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