In the world premiere of this vibrant movement, sound, and language based-work, dance legend and choreographer Dianne McIntyre unites a vigorous company of dancers and musicians to explore how dance and music “speak” to each other. With original music by celebrated composer Diedre Murray, it reveals how language creates worlds of beauty, alienation, harmony, tension, or peace. Dynamic vignettes ignite the stage, including McIntyre’s autobiographical stories with “the music”—such as the musical influence of the Black Arts Movement—and feature the poetry of Obie-winning playwright Ntozake Shange.

"Dianne McIntyre is the queen of dance collaborations and improvisations."—Star Tribune


Know Before You Go

Event Information

  • Performance Location: Walker Art Center
    725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
  • Performance Begins: 8:00 pm
  • Accessibility: Accessibility services are available upon request.
  • Detailed Event Information: Walker Art Center will email detailed event information to all ticket holders the day before the performance they are attending.

If you need assistance with your tickets, please call 612-624-2345, email

Learn More - Explore These Themes

The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics:

  • African American & African Studies
  • African Slave Trade
  • Black Arts Movement & Black Power Movement
  • Dance: Contemporary, Modern, Improvisation
  • Dance History
  • Music: Composition, New Music, Avant Garde Jazz, Free Jazz
  • World Music
  • Theatre
  • English/Creative Writing: Poetry
  • Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Dance and Film

Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.

Modern dance powerhouse and cultural investigator Dianne McIntyre will premiere her new work, In the Same Tongue, at The Walker Art Center in October. The work explores a conversation between dance and music, and features innovative composer, musician and curator Deidre Murray, and poetry by American playwright and poet Ntozake Shange. In a video about her process, McIntyre says, “We have the language in actual words, we have the language of the music and we have the language of the dance.”

  • What do you think it means to be a cultural investigator and how does it inform how McIntyre might choose who to collaborate with?
  • Why do you imagine an artist might refer to music and dance as ‘language’?
  • Do you believe you need to understand the language of an art form in order to enjoy a performance? 
  • If the dance, music, and poetry are speaking different languages, how do you think they are able to speak to each other? In what ways do these ‘languages’ intersect?

McIntyre has been a dynamo in the dance world for over five decades. She has worked as a performer and a choreographer in concert dance, theater, film, and television. In 1972, at the young age of 25, she founded her dance/music company Sounds in Motion in New York. A couple of years later the company established its own studio in Harlem. In an interview with TimeOut, she spoke about dancing in ‘70s New York, “It was fantastic… It was a very high time for dance and for the arts in general.”

  • How do you imagine the founding of Sounds in Motion shifted the dance economy and life in Harlem at that time? 
  • Would you say that it is a good time to be an artist today? Why or why not?
  • How do you think art opportunities have shifted in the past five years? How do you think they will shift in the next five years?
  • What do you think inspires an artist to keep creating new work over a long career?

McIntyre is committed to strong engagement with the local community whenever her work is being presented, and local performers are incorporated into the production at each tour site. 

  • What is the importance of connecting local artists with national or internationally recognized artists? 
  • What challenges or successes do you imagine would arise through such exchanges? 
  • How might these exchanges impact and develop the local performance communities long after the visiting artists’ residencies are over?

In an interview with Dance/USA, McIntyre talks about the first time she posted an audition notice. She mentions the advice of a mentor, “I’ll never forget what she said, ‘People will come because they’re hungry to dance.’ And that has not changed.’”

  • What do you think it means to have a “hunger” for art? 
  • Do you agree that the same hunger exists today for both artists and art-goers? Why or why not?
  • Does performing art have any impact on culture and on society? Do you have examples?
  • How do you think passion for the arts can be instilled in future generations?


Support for the commission and the development of In the Same Tongue was provided by: Walker Art Center, Northrop, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Dance Place/Alan M. Kriegsman Creative Residency, Duke University, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Princeton University, Apollo Theater, ArtsEmerson.

Minnesota State Arts Board - logos

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.