Dances Made to Order

An Interview with Kenna-Camara Cottman

6/29/2012 by Kingsley Irons | Comment

Photo by Kevin Obsatz

Kenna-Camara Cottman is one of the artists creating a film for the Minneapolis edition of Dances Made to Order. Remember to select the ideas that will inspire our artists work and get your tickets for the online premiere. Sign up here

Tell us about some of your upcoming projects in 2012.

I’m going to Senegal in September on the Jerome Foundation travel study grant to study Griot culture with the family of Backa Niang, one of my main art homies/collaborators and a Griot himself. In December I’m doing a show called, “Surface Tensions” designed by my father, Bill Cottman. The performance with feature images and performance art by Dad, storytelling and performance art by Mom (Beverly Cottman) and movement and performance art by me! In the spring I’m choreographing on the U of MN Dance Theater where I also teach, and I’m going to a three week artist retreat in Florida with April Sellers to work on a new dance about race. By next summer I’m going to be back working with my main dance homegirl, Pramila Vasudevan on something new that I’m not sure I can announce yet…

 If we were going to spend a day hanging our with you in Minneapolis, what would we do?

Well, you would probably have to go with me to teach at least one class because I can’t remember the last day where I didn’t teach. One of my favorites is at the Caponi Art Park in Eagan, where I sometimes teach African drum and dance to a bunch of kids under the trees and then after run all over the huge wild sculpture park with my kids, Ebrima and Yonci. We would find big rocks to jump off of and stuff like that. Then it’s back to the Northside where I live to kick it on Broadway Ave. Maybe dance class at the Capri Theater, then the waterpark at North Commons, cookies at the Cookie Cart which is across the street from my studio at Juxtaposition Arts, shoe shopping at Freidman’s, then watching the free River Rats water ski show on the Mississippi. I would also take you to the Vali Hi drive in, almost in Wisconsin, where we would cook out while watching three trashy blockbusters till 4 a.m. Clearly this is a summertime plan. In the winter I would take you to all the bomb sledding spots.

What is your favorite drink and where do you get it?

Homemade gingembre. Not quite the same as ginger beer but I gotta make it myself. For a cocktail, Bryant Lake Bowl has the Alpine Flower. It’s Jasmine scented vodka and some other good stuff.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I tend to put it all out there so I’m not too sure about that.