About Our Artistic Director
Maria Genné, M.Ed. dancer, choreographer and educator, founded KAIROS ALIVE!.
She believes that dancing, as an art form, as creative expression, as a physical expression of our deepest emotions and as a response to our relationship to the natural world, is rooted in the many cultures of our earth. Maria has focused her dancing, choreography and teaching on inviting children, adults and elders to find their own unique way of dancing as they listen to their body intelligence, tap into their creative power and find joy in the freedom of artistic expression.
As a choreographer, Maria has created more than 50 works that have been performed in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Fargo-Moorhead.
She is the director of “KAIROS dancing heart™: Vital Elders Moving in Community,” an arts based intergenerational revitalization program through which KAIROS dancing heart™ collaborates with organizations serving older adults. In 2005 Maria and her colleagues presented KAIROS dancing heart™ at several conferences and in workshops in the U.S. and Canada.
Maria has been developing and teaching creative dance programs for children, families, teachers and administrators since 1976. She was one of the original dance consultants for the Perpich Center for Arts Education’s Dance Education Initiative (DEI), leading teacher workshops, writing curriculum, mentoring teachers and working with administrators. She has been a dance specialist for MacPhail Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, ArtStart, and Public Schools and Early Childhood Programs in Minneapolis, Edina, Hopkins and St. Paul. Maria continues to work with the Minnesota Children’s Museum and WAMSO family programs in support of the Minnesota Orchestra. She teaches Kairos’ Dance Discovery Classes for children and families at the Center for Performing Arts in south Minneapolis as well as special intergenerational programs at Loring Park.
Maria was Founder and Artistic Director from 1988-1997 of Young Dance, a young peoples’ modern dance company. During that time, the company performed at Dance and Child International in Salt Lake City, Utah, toured and presented their “Invitation to Dance” residencies in out-state schools for the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and gave many performances at local and regional venues. In the company, Maria sought to provide young people the opportunity to be full creative collaborators as dancers and choreographers.
She has assisted Dr. Jean Houston as dance associate in Houston’s year-long Mystery School and has led workshops, retreats and sacred journeys locally and in New Mexico. She works with teachers, crafts people, business women and men, therapists and social service professionals, and she has created community dance experiences for families and groups of all ages.
Maria has performed and led workshops in creative, liturgical and transformational dance at the Wisdom Ways Soul Conference at the College of St. Catherine, Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Church of St. Joan of Arc, the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center, the Midwest Odyssey, the Women and Spirituality Conference, and Women Venture, among others.
Maria received her Masters in Education, specializing in the arts, and her BSEd. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education at the University of North Dakota’s Center for Teaching and Learning, with additional studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her dance training has been with Bill Evans, Nancy Hauser, Erick Hawkins and Utah Repertory Dance Theater with special workshops with Merce Cunningham, Viola Farber, Laura Dean, Shirley, Bill T. Jones, Billy Siegenfield and Twyla Tharp. She studied creative dance with Virginia Tanner, Anne Green Gilbert and Barbara Lacey.
Interested in booking Maria for keynote speeches and other engagements?