All about DaNCEBUMS
DaNCEBUMS is a group of five making dance collaboratively and non-hierarchically in Minneapolis. Dubbed “the best dance party in town”, their work straddles the arty and the party as they knowingly move between precise technique and casual pop sensibility. In a search for radical joy, they embrace the awkward, conjure nostalgia, and contemplate bright futures. Their crowd-pleasing performance is imbued with humor, groove, exertion, and extreme bliss.
Margaret Johnson, Kara Motta, Eben Kowler, Maggie Zepp, and Karen McMenamy met as students in the University of Minnesota’s dance department, and have collaborated in various configurations since 2011. Tightly bonded by friendship, they lived together at 601 Broadway St NE. During their two-year residency in this home, they produced a trio of original dance-rock-operas in their single-car garage. Since 2013, DaNCEBUMS has been performing thoughtful and provocative dance work in the Twin Cities. Their collaboration is based on mutual love and respect for each other, systems of support, and togetherness. They have presented work at the Walker Art Center (One-Move-Dance), Red Eye Theater (New Works 4 Weeks 2014, 2015), The Southern Theater, and the Bryant Lake Bowl (WOW, in collaboration with 6ix Families). Their webseries, moves4u2do, allows fans to take their choreography off the stage and into their lives with simple instructional videos.
Currently, DaNCEBUMS is realizing their dream of becoming a dance band - taking their work out of the theater and into bars, music venues, and parties. Joined by keyboardist/vocalist Eric Mayson, and percussionist Toby Ramaswamy, they have performed at 7th St Entry, ICEHOUSE, Kitty Cat Klub, Eagles Club #34, Public Functionary,The Swedish Institute, and on live television as part of TPT’s Takeover Series.
Margaret Johnson is from Jefferson City, Missouri. She came to dance at the age of 8, inspired by watching Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, and Ginger Rogers movies with her dad. She received a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota where she also studied creative writing and nonprofit management. She was a company member with Carl Flink’s Black Label Movement (2012-2016) and has performed work by Deborah Jinza Thayer, Angharad Davies, Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum, BodyCartography Project, Morgan Thorson, and Fire Drill. She sings with Eric Mayson’s Detail and performs original music sometimes. She is living alone for the first time ever, taking so many baths (which she refers to as human soup), working at a children’s mental health organization, dreaming of using her fireplace in the winter months, and writing poetry in her head. But also in her bed.
Kara Motta is a Minneapolis based dance artist, who grew up dancing in Pell Lake, Wisconsin. She got her BFA in Dance at UMN-TC and stayed in Minneapolis to collaborate with best friends in dance, music and theater backgrounds. She has performed works by Time Track Productions, Threads Dance Project, Angharad Davies, BodyCartography Project, Morgan Thorson, Anat Shinar, Aeysha Kinnunen and John Mark Creative. Besides making work with DaNCEBUMS she’s currently dancing for April Sellers Dance Company, singing/dancing in Eric Mayson’s Detail band and does reception and coordination work at The Wellness Center in the Morris neighborhood. She has minor scoliosis and goes to the chiropractor once a month, dreams of having a dog someday while currently loving three cats at home, drinks whiskey and beer, likes going on short vacations, and loves getting paid to dance!
Eben Kowler lives in South Minneapolis with his S/O and small dog Yoko. By day, he works in communications and marketing – by night he is a DaNCEBUM.
While studying art and dance at the University of Minnesota, he worked at In The Heart of the Beast Puppet at Mask Theater creating performances in collaboration with youth and the Phillips community.
Since graduating summa cum laude with a degree in Studio Arts he has been an active artist in Minneapolis, performing in works by: George Stamos, Paula Mann, Chris Schlichting, Morgan Thorson, Body Cartography Project, and Bart Buch. Eben is a founding member of DaNCEBUMS; and has created original works for: Forecast Public Art, In the Heart of the Beast, Red Eye Theater, and Young Dance.
In the future he is sleeping in, reading books, petting pets, and making moves.
Maggie Zepp grew up in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and received formal dance training at Milwaukee Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, and The Ailey School before moving to Minneapolis to pursue a BA in Dance from the UMN-TC. After graduating, she began collaborating with a group of friends who would later be known as DaNCEBUMS. She has performed works by Morgan Thorson, Body Cartography Project, and ARENA DANCES; and has performed as a backup dancer for recording artists Tickle Torture and Har Mar Superstar. In addition to being a DaNCEBUM, she currently dances for Chris Schlichting, teaches at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and Young Dance, and nannies for very adorable art babies. She enjoys going to bar music concerts, cooking, and going to the gym to use the WiFi.