Author: Leslie Parker
Leslie Parker was born on occupied land with deep roots in the territory also known as St. Paul, MN, Rondo community. She is a dance artist with home art bases in Brooklyn, NY and in Twin Cities, MN. As a dance artist/maker, improviser, performer, director, collaborator, and educator, she emphasizes an organic aesthetic in experimental movement derivative from the Black and African diaspora. Growing up in the Rondo community rooted her in socially engaged art and led her to hold a BFA in Choreography and Modern dance technique from Esther Boyer College of Music & Dance (Temple University) and an MFA in dance from Hollins University in partnership with the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and The Dresden Frankfurt Company in Frankfurt, Germany. As a guest Assistant Professor and full-time faculty at University of Minnesota Theatre Arts and Dance program, Parker set works on Carleton College Dance Program, Sunken, and on University Dance Theatre, In Search of Colors. Parker’s original works have been presented by New York Live Arts, HarlemStages EMoves13, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, Tribeca Performing Art Center, Southern Theater, Pillsbury House Theatre, Pangea World Theater, Walker Art Center, and Painted Bride Arts Center. Parker co-directed the annual 44th (IHOB Puppet Theatre) MayDay Tree of Life Ceremony 2018. She was choreographer for Jimmy & Lorraine: A Musing by Talvin Wilkes and Collidescope 4.0 adventures in Pre and Post Racial America by Ping Chong and Talvin Wilkes; Penumbra Theatre’s 45th production of Black Nativity; and Parks, a portrait of a young artist. More recently, her original work was awarded by The McKnight Foundation as a Choreographer Fellow (2022), National Dance Project (2021), National Performance Network Development fund (2021), and National Performance Network Creation Fund (2020). She is an Outstanding Performance Bessie Award recipient and was an inaugural Jerome Hill Foundation Artist Fellow (2019-2021). Parker premieres, Divination Tools: imagine home at Walker Art Center, May 11-13, 2023 with generous residency support from Danspace Project, NY, Pangea World Theatre, Pillsbury House Theatre and Maggie Allessee National Center for Choreography.