places beyond

A journey from places of the heart to places far out of reach. The second in our series of innovative new work includes creations from award-winning choreographers Uri Sands and Mark Godden and Associate Artistic Director Steven McMahon.

About the Show

First on the program is Associate Artistic Director Steven McMahon's new work, Stella, set to Philip Glass and featuring an energetic star-filled exploration of places in the galaxy far out of our reach. Special guest choreographer Uri Sands, known for his "edgy contemporary action, and pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism," brings us a new creation, Salve, which takes us from the bottom to a place of love and hope. The final work of the night is award-winning Mark Godden's Angels in the Architecture, with a nod to the religious places of Shaker culture and set to the beloved Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland. The evenings' works will run 1.5 hours. 

Special Events

  • Spark: Choreographer’s Chat with wine & cheese before the Friday, Feb. 17 opening, free with ticket. Reception starts at 6:30p, conversation starts at 7p. Join all three choreographers, moderated by WKNO's Christopher Blank for this fun and intimate look at this world premiere. 
  • Community Day Matinee Feb. 18, 2p. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available at the Playhouse on the Square Box Office starting at noon on the day of the performance. Or, you may reserve in advance on a credit card with a minimum donation of $5 per ticket beginning February 1 at 901-737-7322. All tickets will be held at will call until the day of the performance. 

More on the Choreographers

Uri Sands (Artistic Director and Choreographer)  has received national recognition for choreography that is notable for the fusion of classical elegance with edgy contemporary action, for pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism. A native of Miami, Uri trained at New World School of the Arts, and performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years, Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, as principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre, and as guest artist with Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. His choreographic commissions include, among others, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Dance St. Louis, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Uri has received the Princess Grace Award in choreography, the Joyce Foundation Award and the McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography. He was named City Pages’ 2011 Choreographer of the Year, and–along with Toni-Pierce-Sands–the 2010 StarTribune Artist of the Year. Uri was recently named as a 2015 USA Fellow, receiving this year’s Knight Fellowship in Dance together with TU Dance co-founder Toni Pierce-Sands. 

Mark Godden (Choreographer) has created original works for Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Northern Ballet Theatre (U.K.), Ballet Florida, Compania Nacional de Danza (Mexico), Ballet Contemporania (Argentina), Ballet Memphis, Alberta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Ballet Met, and Charlotte Ballet, among others. Godden is resident choreographer for The Harid Conservatory and was resident choreographer for Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He is the recipient of multiple awards for choreography including the Choo-San Goh award. The film adaptation of his full-length ballet, Dracula, won an Emmy as well as best choreography at The Monaco Film Festival. He directed and choreographed the 2006 Olympic Games Flag Hand-Over Ceremony in Torino, Italy. For Ballet Memphis he has set A Midsummer's Night Dream, Firebird, Catherine de Medici and, appearing on this program, his renowned Angels in the Architecture


Steven McMahon (Choreographer & Associate Artistic Director) has created more than two dozen ballets for Ballet Memphis, including full length ballets for Wizard of Oz, Cinderalla, Romeo & Juliet and Peter Pan. His contemporary ballets have been performed around the country and the globe, including Soul Selects Her Own Society, Confluence, I Am, The Royal We and Carnival of the Animals. The Lovely Story of Us was performed in Helsinki, Finland, at the International Ballet Competition, and two of his works, Being Here With Other People and Confluence, have been performed at the Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis. His works also have been performed at Organizacion Para La Artes in Guatemala and at other venues around the nation. Steven, who is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, joined Ballet Memphis as a dancer after completing his training at The Ailey School in New York City, and retired from dancing in 2016 to join the Artistic Staff full time. 

Event Details

Playhouse on the Square
February 17-19, 2017
Showtimes 2p & 8p
Length approx. 2 hrs.