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Universal Dance Destiny -Press Releases

Press Releases
Universal Dance Destiny makes major headlines in the local news papers!
Here are a few articles about Universal Dance Destiny.

August 20, 2007 · UNIVERSAL DANCE DESTINY performs at Afrifest 2007 · Star Tribune
Universal Dance Destiny helps kick off Minnesota's first-ever Afrifest, a festival celebrating African culture, art and dance more...
August 8, 2007 · Djembe to Krumpin' · Hennepin County Library News
Edna Stevens of Universal Dance Destiny performs at Liberian dance workshop with local children more...
August 1, 2007 · Hip-Hop with Heart · mspmag.com
Finding the gold among the dross can be tricky at the Fringe, but one show that shouldn't disappoint is Universal Dance Destiny's "Spiritual Battle." Last year, UDD thrilled full houses with "African Roads, American Streets," which went on to win a Best of the Fringe and be reprised later at the Guthrie. Edna Stevens, UDD's charismatic artistic director, based the hip-hop/African show on her own journey from her childhood home in Liberia to New York, as well as her journey through dance styles. more...
July 31, 2007 · A lot of acts will be out on the Fringe this year · Star Tribune
Edna Stevens and Universal Dance Destiny are returning to the Fringe with "The Spiritual Battle," a blend of martial arts, Afro modern, lyrical, krumping and hip-hop dance styles with drummers, dancers, singers and other performers acting out the unseen battle between good and evil. more...
June 25, 2007 · Girls Go Global · New Moon Magazine
DANCE PERFORMANCE as part of wrap-up for local summit for GIRLS GO GLOBAL on Global Girls' Day 2007 at Macalester College more...
May 1, 2007 · Art That's More than Just Pretty · Mpls/St. Paul Magazine
The Northside Arts Collective made up of businesses and organizations committed to improving North Minneapolis, including Universal Dance Destiny. more...
February 5, 2007 · Fringe Foursome · Mpls-St.Paul Magazine
Universal Dance Destiny's family-friendly fare is a celebration of multiculturalism, hip-hop, and African dance. The virtuosic performers drum, beatbox, pop-and-lock, break dance, and use spoken word to tell the somewhat autobiographical story of a Liberian princess's journey from Africa to America. more...
...A couple of decades later, long after she'd forged a successful career as an MTV backup dancer, Edna Stevens would strike upon this parallel by leading her company, Universal Dance Destiny Studios, in a review of African and African-American dances that became the hit of last year's Minneapolis/St. Paul Fringe Festival. Thirty-five performers sustain an hour of constant motion, with breakdancing, krumping, and traditional West African dance set to spoken word, hip-hop, and African drumming. more...
"Absolutely exhilarating and Incredibly uplifting and highly recommended for all ages." more...
January 25, 2007 · Fringe Encore at the Guthrie · www.guthrietheater.org
African Roads, American Streets offers an energetic, heart-felt production with powerful movements! Universal Dance Destiny presents this captivating mix of theater, street and cultural performers who unravel a true story through spoken word, hip hop, live drumming and African dance. more...
January 3, 2007 · Fringe Encore coming in February · barondave.livejournal.com
Many on my F-List went to the Fringe but didn't see everything. No one could. During February 1-4, four of the most popular shows are going to be performed at the Guthrie. I saw three of them, and can highly recommend Love In A Time of Rinderpest and African Roads, American Streets. Almost everyone liked Calculus: The Musical more than I did, and Wonderland was one of the popular ones I missed and may catch it this time. more...
December 13, 2006 · Steppers meet cloggers at cultural crossroads · Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
"In stepping, there is no music." Traditionally, drums are the main focus in African music, but in stepping, the dancer uses her body to create the rhythm without musical accompaniment. Stevens often uses live drumming with her African-dance performers. more...
December 5, 2006 · 2ND ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOWCASE · For Immediate Release
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Dec. 5, 2006 - Universal Dance Destiny's (UDD) Enfinity Dancers youth team, Optimistic Crew Beakers, and UDD students will perform Hip Hop, Breaking, Latin, and African dance set to live drumming at UDD's second annual Holiday Showcase on Dec. 16. Invited guest artists and selected students from around the Twin Cities will also perform jazz and modern dance, beat-boxing, and spoken word in the showcase. more...
Edna Stevens was born and raised in Liberia, Africa. She has loved dance since she was a child. In Minnesota, she studied and taught ballroom dance for one year before starting her own dance company, Universal Dance Destiny. Besides performances, workshops, and residencies, the company offers dance classes in a unique selection of dance styles, including hip-hop, breaking, African, Latin, and swing. more...
November 11, 2006 · Images for Choreographers' Evening · Walker Art Center
Margot Bassett, Edna Stevens, Anasooya Abraham; (background): Cathy Wright more...
August 9, 2006 · Feasting at the Fringe · PULSE of the Twin Cities
If you think you don't like dance, these shows will change your mind. Read reviews of "African Road, American Street" - Live drummers, beatboxers and African and hip-hop dancers of all ages create an absolutely exhilarating experience. This show convinced me that breakdancing should be added to the Olympics' gymnastics category. Incredibly uplifting and highly recommended for all ages. more...
August 9, 2006 · African Roads, American Streets · citypages.com
Loosely based on director Edna Stevens's personal story about her journey from Liberia to the United States, the work is less a narrative than a shimmering collage of dance styles: African dancing, break dancing, popping, locking, and krumping. It's all set to live drums and beatbox, and spoken word from local stars Truth Maze and Desdamona. Many of the dancers in this large multicultural cast are still teenagers but they move with worldly intensity, rubber-band flexibility, and infectious joy. more...
August 5, 2006 · African Roads, American Streets · fringefestival.org
This was on my top ten and I was very excited to see this show and I was not disappointed! What energy! What grace of sound and movement! This first show of their run was mostly if not totally sold out. The Southern was packed and the energy was strong. more...
August 4, 2006 · Fringe Festival Reviews, Day 1 · Star Tribune
There's lots of kinetic joy and cultural pride in this family-friendly piece, lightly based on a young Liberian princess' journey from her African homeland to urban America. Featuring a multicultural cast of various ages, the work opens with African drumming and dancing, then moves to breakdance. Some of the young men are true contortionists, and spoken-word artist Desdemona adds a poetic touch. more...
Moving Toward the Fringe - Universal Dance Destiny
July 30, 2006 · Moving Toward the Fringe · Star Tribune
Edna Stevens was anxious when she learned her Universal Dance Destiny troupe had won a spot via the Fringe Festival's lottery. The 32-year-old dancer and choreographer, who moved to the United States from Liberia at age 7, started the theater company in 2004 in an effort to bring arts to a community that may not be exposed to them. Basing her organization at the Capri Theater in north Minneapolis, Stevens began teaching dance classes in conjunction with Plymouth Christian Youth Center. In addition to the classes, she started expanding her company to different forms of dance, such as popping, locking and break-dancing. more...
July 24, 2006 · Universal Dance Destiny - African Roads American Streets · fringefestival.org
Right now UDD is by far the most viewed of the nine Fringe clips that are posted - seven being performances by Fringe artists, two being conversation about the Fringe itself. I can see why - they are an awful lot of fun to watch... The group, led by Edna Stevens - coming to us via her home country of Liberia and adopted home of New York City, now settled in the Twin Cities with her new dance company - was a jolt of electricity into the evening's festivities that powered us into intermission and back for the second half. more...
Students and dance company performs at Celebrating Librerian Culture: A PROUD HISTORY OF CULTURE AND TRADITIONS presented by MultiCultural Development Center (MCDC) and the Minnesota Private Colleges Council more...
African Dance Awakens Local Libraries During Black History Month - Universal Dance Destiny
Eden Prairie, MINN - It's common knowledge that hip-hop dancing is a veiled attempt to sexualize the movements of African dance. Isn't it? According to G. Craige Lewis who preaches nationally as well as at his website, "The roots of Hip Hop are demonic. Oppression, anguish, poverty, violence, and other negative influences created this culture." However Edna Stevens takes a very different view of hip-hop dancing. And she should know. more...
The Eden Prairie Library becomes a dance floor - Universal Dance Destiny
February 22, 2006 · Hip-hop's history · MN Sun
The Eden Prairie Library becomes a dance floor Feb. 18, as members of Universal Dance Destiny demonstrated the connection between West African indigenous dance and hip-hop movement. more...
February 11, 2006 · The Language of Movement · Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Universal Dance Destiny performs at Ridgedale Library. more...
February 4, 2006 · Universal Dance Destiny · Hennepin County Library
You're destined to experience the excitement of native West African dance's evolution into modern American hip hop.more...
August 31, 2005 · The 4th Annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop · Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages
... And Enfinity Dance Group did some krumping during what was essentially a paid performance for their $200 prize money when nobody else showed to compete.
But everyone is here for "the Ruler."
"I'm going to play two records, one old-school, one new-school," says Slick Rick once he's taken the stage, cueing his DJ. "And you tell me which one moves you in your soul."
He plays a series of new tracks and old ones, setting Mike Jones against House of Pain, the Ying Yang Twins against the Mary Jane Girls. He introduces his wife, who suits him up in '80s-style gold chains before he raps "Children's Story." ("This was how we dressed when I was your age," he says.) Trim and animated, he nonetheless has the ironic glint of a man who knows he's an oldies act. "Try to stay within your Ten Commandments," he says by way of goodnight. "And let's try to keep this racial melting pot going." more...