Our Story

In 1999, noted dancer, choreographer, and artistic director Maria Genné founded Kairos Dance Theatre, now Kairos Alive!, the first intergenerational modern dance company in the Twin Cities and one of a handful in the country. Since then the vision and scope of Kairos has grown exponentially.

As pioneers in participatory art and the creative arts and aging movement, we challenge the status quo and seek innovative ways to enrich the lives of participants and create vibrant communities. Our research-based, award winning arts programs actively engage older adults through the artistic expression of dance, music, and story participation led by professional artists.

The Team

This enthusiastic dancer, musician, puppeteer, storyteller and theater artist is long associated with Ethnic Dance Theater and Heart of the Beast Theater in Minneapolis. He was an environmental educator on Pete Seeger’s Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in Beacon, NY; was music director at St. Elizabeth Seton School, Minneapolis; taught dance at the Twin Cities Waldorf School, and grade 5-12 social studies in Minneapolis Public Schools. He taught creative arts to children on the Red Lake Nation, and conversational English through music and improvisation as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Graz, Switzerland. He is a participant in the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis.

Nicholas Pawlowski

MEd, Teaching Artist

Parker Genné is a singer-actor-teacher, who serves as a lead Teaching Artist for Kairos Alive! She has been teaching and performing with Kairos Alive! since 2011 and is the dance mentor for ArtSage MN Artists Training. As a performer, Parker has been bringing her hit cabaret comedy show Ms. Luisa Eats to stages in Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York and Scotland since 2008. With co-collaborator Emilia Allen, Parker launched a new theater company, Impossible Salt, at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival. Star Tribune said of their premier production, Tatterhood, “Genné is feral in the title role…in this wildly imaginative production.” Impossible Salt’s production Heartless ran in the 2015 MN Fringe Festival. The company is collaborating with the American Swedish Institute for a new show, The Stranger, in November 2015. Parker received a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Lawrence University and has been teaching music, theater and dance to all ages since 2002.

Parker Genné

BA, Teaching Artist

In addition to Kairos Dance, this striking dancer, storyteller, singer has performed with Marylee Hardenburgh, Marcus Young, Body Cartography and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Peter has been involved with the development of the Dancing Heart™ and Intergenerational Dance Hall™ since 1991. He is a 39-year award-winning brick/stone mason (another dance): City Pages Best Restaurant Bathroom 2011 (Loring Pasta Bar, Mpls.), City Pages Best Concert Venue 2012 (Varsity Theater, Mpls.), New Hampshire Institute of Architecture Design Award (Music Hall Theater, Portsmouth). And, he is an amateur astrologer.

Peter Podulke

Teaching Artist

Maria Genné is a dancer, choreographer and educator, recognized as a pioneering leader in the intergenerational interactive participatory performing arts, and arts and health fields. Her national award winning work to create interactive dance, music and story programs for intergenerational participants is designed to tap into the artistry and creativity of older adults and invite them to be central collaborators in the artistic process of dance, music and storytelling. It models a new and vital role in society for the community based professional performing artist, and new possibilities of intergenerational community enjoyment and understanding. Her 65+ choreography works are recognized for their ability to highlight the beauty of human experience through movement and story.

In 2001, Maria developed The Dancing Heart™, a nationally recognized, evidence-based program which engages older adults of all abilities in weekly, interactive arts participation and health education. It was featured in the 2012 PBS documentary, Arts & the Mind, and is recognized as a model arts involvement program by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), and winner of awards for program innovation by the American Public Health Association, American Society on Aging, and others.

Romeo is recognized for his affability, and capacity to receive pats, scratches and rubs.

Maria Genné

MEd, Founder/Director and Romeo, Certified Therapy Dog

This storyteller, dancer and theater artist has a rich background leading performing arts involvement programs for children, youth, adults and elders, including for Compas, Children’s Theater Company, El Colegio, Intermedia Arts, Hmong Youth Group, Work Opportunities Center, Phalen Lake Elementary School, Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, and Roseville Women’s Correctional Facility. She has had many engagements for her storytelling, keynote and cabaret performances, including work with Eisner’s Klezmorium, Jewish Humor Festival, Wild Yam Cabaret (co-producer) and Metropolitan Poverty Department, a theater company of artists and homeless people (Artistic Coordinator). She is currently living in Colorado studying for her MDiv.

Carla Vogel

BA, Associate Teaching Artist

Kevin’s talents as a drummer and composer have made him a favorite among musicians in New York and Minneapolis. He currently leads his own group called The Kevin Washington Quintet, performs in a band with bassist Anthony Cox called Happy Spirits, as well as Mississippi Quartet, and the Nachito Herrera Trio for the last 12 years, Viva Brazil and Hip-Hop group called Toki Wright and This Debris. Kevin has performed with Reggie Workman, Roscoe Mitchell, Rodney Whitaker, Bob Hurst, Antonio Hart, Chico Freeman, James Carter, Fred Wesly, Roy Brooks, Marcus Belgrave, David Murray Big Band, Fred Hopkins, Craig Taborn, James Newton to name a few.

He was born in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to musicians and music scholars Donald and Faye Washington.  His musical career began at the age of five with his first performances at the Detroit jazz festival.  As a young performer he also played at jazz festivals in Chicago, Alabama, and Connecticut.

After first moving to Minneapolis at the age of thirteen, Kevin went on to New York City in 1996 to study jazz at the New School for Social Research. During his stay in New York he taught rhythm section fundamentals at the Harlem School of the Arts.

Kevin Washington

Associate Teaching Artist

Kim is a performer and explorer who is passionate about creating insights into the human experience through music, storytelling, and dance. She has been sharing the vibrant music, language, and history of Hawai‘i with Minnesota communities since 2005, and has received Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership and Artist Initiative grants for her performance and community outreach in Hawaiian music. She is a performer and teaching artist with COMPAS, The Rose Ensemble, Lau Hawaiian Collective, and Lumina Women’s Ensemble. She also delights in her work as a music enrichment facilitator at EXPO Elementary School in St. Paul, an artist-in-residence at Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education, and a section leader and vocal coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Minneapolis. Kim received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance at The University of Evansville and the University of Minnesota, and studied Hawaiian chant and hula with the late Kumu Pohaku Nishimitsu and with Kumu Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman.

Kim Sueoka

MA, Associate Teaching Artist

Cris is a welcome folk fiddler, poet and theater artist. He plays at local Scandinavian dances (appears on American Swedish Institute Spelmanslag CD, Love is Hard to Hide), his poems and essays have been published regionally, and he founded and is a 20-year director of an interactive participatory folk theater, Big Woods Theater of Involvement. He is a professional writer and video producer (national award-winning PBS documentary Visible Target) who often writes and produces videos for us. In his other life, he is a relationship coach and wedding celebrant.

Cristopher Anderson

Associate Teaching Artist

Board of Directors

Gary Oftedahl, M.D., Board Chair, Consultant/Chief Knowledge Officer, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (Ret.)

Maria Genné, Founder, Director, Kairos Alive!

Cynthia Harms, Board Treasurer, Trust Officer, US Bank Corporate Trust

Brenna Galvin, Attorney, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, PA

Joan Semmer, President, Semmer Group

National Advisory Board

Stuart Kandell, Ph.D., Consultant/Founder, Stagebridge Theater, San Francisco

David O’Fallon, President and CEO, Minnesota Humanities Center

Susan Perlstein, Founder Emeritus of the National Center for Creative Aging, Washington, D.C. and Elders Share the Arts, NYC

Kathy Sykes, Senior Advisor, Environmental Protection Agency Aging Initiative

Peter Whitehouse, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University

Pin It on Pinterest

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news on our programming. We will protect your privacy and you may unsubscribe easily at any time.

You have Successfully Subscribed!