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Darrius Strong brings his imagination – and movement – to CTC’s Alice in Wonderland

A man looks on as two actors collide into one other.
Darrius Strong works with actors Antonisia Collins and Keegan Robinson to create movement for Children's Theatre Company's production of "Alice in Wonderland." (Photo credit: Kaitlin Randolph)

Movement artist Darrius Strong’s life is proof that what you dream can become real. Strong says working with his imagination has opened him up to new possibilities and opportunities including most recently, working with Children’s Theatre Company to choreograph “Alice in Wonderland.” 

Raised in the South Side of Chicago, Strong says he moved to the Twin Cities as a teen to take his love of dancing at family get-togethers a step further. At 21 he transferred to the University of Minnesota from community college to join the dance program, where he recognized just how significant movement was in his life.

“Dancing, movement is a release for me... It took me a while to realize how much movement helps me through my journey of life and through my body. It helped me deal with trauma, and with many different things going on throughout life.”

Now as the Movement Director of the Children Theatre Company’s Alice in Wonderland, Strong says he had to dive into his imagination to turn this dreamworld into a physical reality.

A man in an orange shirt and white pants sits on a stool, looking at the camera. One pant leg is rolled up to just below the knee.
Dancer and choreographer Darrius Strong

“The older we get, the more walls we put up. And the more we forget that we can have an imagination and bring out the child in us,” said Strong. “ We have a four year old daughter, and I realized that she helped me tap into my imagination a lot more.”

Alice in Wonderland opens today at the Children Theatre Company and runs through March 31. Strong says he’s enjoyed transforming this wild story into movement, challenging the way non-human characters can take shape.

“Alice in Wonderland opens up a great palette for me to be a little weird–like how we articulate moving the body like a caterpillar. And it's been really inspiring to be a part of this project because I like to be innovative.”

Despite being told to find a real job when he was young, Strong has built a successful career out of pursuing his passion. He’s the founder of a contemporary dance company called STRONGmovement, which fuses hip-hop, ballet, modern and West African styles with storytelling. And you can find him sharing his love of dance at schools and studios throughout the Twin Cities. 


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