1. “Parking Ramp Project”: Aniccha Arts founder Pramila Vasudevan showcased her eye for space and ritual with this bewitching site-specific performance, full of eerie neon ropes, haunting vocals and post-apocalyptic pillows, in a Bloomington parking garage.
2. “Procession”: New York choreographer Sam Kim brought acrobatic fireworks to this weird and wonderful Zenon Dance Company piece, performed with jaw-dropping physicality by the company’s dancers.
3. “Shaatranga: Women Weaving Worlds”: Ananya Chatterjea’s urgency of voice never felt dogmatic in this social justice-themed Ananya Dance Theatre piece, thanks to the production’s radiant imagery and fierce movement.
4. “The Falls”: Physical touch was a running theme in a number of dance works this year, but the most on-point take came from Anna Marie Shogren. Her series on caregivers traveled to the A-Mill Artist Lofts, Bryant-Lake Bowl and Weisman Art Museum, offering a compelling investigation on the basic need for human contact.
5. “Mercurial George”: Part of the Walker Art Center’s 2018 Out There series, this solo work by Montreal-based Dana Michel was absolutely mesmerizing.
6. “Just Her Time”: If Wynn Fricke’s moving new work for Zenon Dance Company didn’t gather a tear in your eye, you must be made of stone. Departing company member Leslie O’Neill gave an exquisite performance in this heart-stirring piece.
7. “Blaq Presence”: Deja Stowers’ West African-rooted contemporary choreography served as the basis for this stunning new piece based on Toni and Slade Morrison’s children’s book “The Big Box.” Featuring gorgeous visual elements by Twin Cities artist Bill Cottman, the collaborative piece was filled with powerful moments.
8. “Isotope”: Choreographer Helen Hatch brought precision that was articulate and had a sense of breath to this Hatch Dance collaboration with local indie band Poolboy.
9. “Garden of Names”: Zorongo Flamenco founder Susana di Palma pulled out all the stops in revisiting her company’s 1991 collaboration with Joe Chvala’s Flying Foot Forum. With tons of master guest artists and di Palma’s flair for brassy theatricality, the piece proved well worth the refresh.
10. “Yam, Potatoe an Fish!” Former TU dancer Alanna Morris-Van Tassel stepped into the realm of dance-making with gusto, using her considerable gifts as a performer to fuel her choreographic voice.
Sheila Regan is a Minneapolis-based critic and journalist.