Paula Mann’s journey took her from Appalachian roots to Detroit teenage runaway, through Kent State in the 1970's, to NYU and the downtown dance scene of the 1980's. She studied Humphrey/Limon technique with Ruth Currier and members of the Limon company, Hawkins technique with Eric Hawkins and Cunningham with Merce Cunningham. Her first concert of choreography was produced at the Merce Cunningham Studio in 1980 and later that year she co-founded Dudek/Mann + Dancers with partner Tina Dudek. Mann moved to the Twin Cities in 1987, armed with a BA and MFA in Dance from NYU, and following seven years as co-director of Dudek/Mann + Dancers.
Since her arrival in the Twin Cities, Mann has created 50 new works and is co-artistic director of TIME TRACK PRODUCTIONS with visual artist Steve Paul. She has been a driving force in Contemporary Dance and Performance based out of Minneapolis for the past 30 years; challenging, educating and engaging artists, audiences and communities with passion, inventiveness and rigor. She was full time faculty at the University of Minnesota Department of Theater and Dance from 1993-2013 and is a 2019/2020 McKnight Fellow in Choreography.
Mann taught students at The University of Akron in 2021 as part of a survey series called 21st Century Dance Practices — the first of three programs of Ideas in Motion, a new joint initiative between NCCAkron, The University of Akron School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration (DTAA), and the Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series in the Arts. She was also interviewed by NCCAkron's Artistic/Executive Director Christy Bolingbroke for the Inside the Dancer's Studio conversation series.
Photo courtesy the artist
Ideas in Motion: 21st Century Dance Practices (2021)