Minneapolis based SHAPESHIFT is a hip-hop/contemporary storytelling dance company that uses a fusion of dance styles to create powerful theatrical productions tackling issues of social justice, loss, love and human emotions.
SHAPESHIFT, a multicultural dance collective, whose founder performed with Prince’s band 3rdEyeGirl and which has danced in front of 20,000 strong at Xcel Energy Center, was created on the fly.
Six years ago, Creative Director, Ashley Selmer and a collective of then 9 dancers, joined together to create a one time show for their generation – something fresh and innovative that would feature all types of dancers from various socio-economic backgrounds, trained in dance styles from hip-hop, contemporary, to modern and Ballet.
SHAPESHIFT’s November 2013 self-titled production at the New Century Theatre downtown Minneapolis, sold out to rousing applause and standing ovations, moving their audience to tears. That got the attention of presenters and audiences, which began to build. Thereafter, they continued their sold-out performances at The Lab Theater in September 2014, with their production “XI:XI” and again with their production “XI:XI The Awakening” at the Cowles Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis in February 2015. The company followed-up with more sold out performances with their debut of “Grey Skies Blue” at the Cowles Center 2016. In April 2016, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, St. Paul Minnesota asked them to headline their Annual Spring Fete, and to perform at their Flint Hill Festival in May that same year. SHAPESHIFT also has received national exposure and recognition, when they were approached by the Canadian based organization “Feed the Children”, to perform with National Recording Artist, Natalie La Rose at the Xcel Energy Center in 2015, followed up by another smashing performance with International Recording Artist, OMI at Xcel in September 2016. During this amazing event, SHAPESHIFT also choreographed and performed an original piece, in response to a performance challenge from International star, Paula Abdul. SHAPESHIFT closed out a banner 2016 with a performance with Capitol Records Recording Artist, Tori Kelly at Prince’s Tribute Concert in October at the Xcel Energy Center in front of another packed house!
In September 2016, SHAPESHIFT was nominated for a SAGE Award for the “Most Outstanding Performance” in the State of Minnesota for their production of “Grey Skies Blue” (“GSB”). In the fall of 2016, SHAPESHIFT was selected as one of sixteen artists from around the world by The International Performing Arts for Youth Organization, to showcase its production of GSB at IPAY’s Annual Showcase in Madison Wisconsin. That performance was met with rousing applause from an audience of international presenters. Soon thereafter, The Kennedy Center booked SHAPESHIFT’s production of GSB for 11 successful shows run in October 2017. In 2018, SHAPESHIFT also was selected to showcase GSB at the Arts Midwest Showcase in Indianapolis, and at the Mid-Atlantic Performing Arts Conference in Lancaster PA.
SHAPESHIFT, a 501(C) 3 non-profit, was formed for the express purpose of engaging dancers, choreographers, students and teachers who share an interest in developing and promoting the fusion of Contemporary/Hip-Hop dance styles as an art form, combined with theatrical storytelling.
Combined with SHAPESHIFT’s patented storytelling productions, SHAPESHIFT offerings include master classes in various dance styles (e.g. contemporary, hip-hop, ballet), workshops, residences, and participation in seminars and panel discussions.