Artistic director of the award winning dance company Black Label Movement (BLaM) based in Minnesota, Carl and BLaM's awards & honors include two 2016 Upper Midwest Emmy Award nominations, the 2015 Twin Cities StarTribune Best of MN and the 2012 Twin Cities City Pages Best Choreographer and Artist of the Year lists, a 2014 MN Dance Community Sage Award, 2008 and 2012 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Choreography, 2010 and 2012 MN Ivey Awards, among others. 2020 marks BLaM's 15th year.
Featured in Dance Magazine's January 2014 issue, Flink’s dancemaking is recognized for its intense athleticism, daring, and humanistic themes. Commissioned by the 2014 American Dance Festival, other projects/commissions include: MADCO (St. Louis, MO), Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME), TED, TEDMED, TEDx Brussels, The Guthrie Theater (Mpls, MN), VocalEssence (Mpls, MN), Theater Latté Da (Mpls, MN), the Chicago Humanities Festival, The MN Orchestra, Company C Contemporary Ballet (San Francisco, CA), Same Planet Different World (Chicago, IL), Urbanity Dance (Boston, MA) and dance programs, such as the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Florida - Gainesville, University of Utah, Santa Fe College, and University of North Texas. The Performing Institute of Minnesota named BLM its inaugural dance company in residence for 2017 - 2018. He is also a regular conference adjudicator for the American College Dance Association.
He is also a sought-after choreographer for Theater, creating and directing the movement for the 2014 production of "The Crucible," the 2016 production of "The Parchman Hour: Songs & Stories of the ’61 Freedom Riders" and the 2020 production of "Twelfth Night" at Minnesota’s renown Guthrie Theater, as well as, award winning productions with Theatre Latte Da, The Jungle Theater, Minnesota History Theater, among others.
Flink's ongoing collaboration with biomedical engineer David Odde called The Moving Cell Project (MCP) has conducted research residencies at recognized research institutions such as the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MN and The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India. These residencies focused on MCP's ongoing development of its bodystorming research technique. Bodystorming is a rapid modeling system that uses choreographic principles and strategies. MCP has also generated 4 TED Talks, including the pioneering "A Modest Proposal: Dance v. Powerpoint" created with Science Magazine correspondent John Bohannon and featured on TED.com. MCP recently received funding from the National Cancer Institute to further explore bodystorming.
Carl Flink is the Director of the University of Minnesota Dance Program and the Nadine Jette Sween Professor of Dance. He has been with the University since 2005. Appearing in the June 2016 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine, Carl is a recipient of CLA's Motley Exemplary Teaching Award. He was the UMN Theatre Arts & Dance Department Chair from 2008 – 2014.
During the 1990s, he was a member of the Limón Dance Company, Creach/Koester Men Dancing, Janis Brenner & Dancers, among others, in New York City. He holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, a University of MN Political Science and Women Studies B.A. summa cum laude and was a social justice attorney for Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc., St. Paul, MN from 2001-2004. He and BLaM Artistic Associate Emilie Plauche Flink also partner to raise their lives' masterworks: Willa, Freyja & Iris.
With Black Label, Carl aims to create wildly physical, naturally virtuosic, intellectually and emotionally engaging movement driven art and embodied activities that examine and engage the human condition to inspire vivid lives.
Featured in the January 2014 issue of Dance Magazine, BLM is recognized as one of Minnesota’s leading and most innovative contemporary dance companies. BLM's numerous awards and honors include a 2014 Minnesota Dance Community Sage Award for Outstanding Ensemble, The 2015 Twin Cities Star Tribune Best of MN List, A 2016 Sage Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance and Two 2016 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Award Nominations, among others. Artistic Director Carl Flink was featured in the June 2016 Issue of Dance Teacher. We have moved well beyond Minnesota with performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Florence Gould Hall, Bangalore, India, New York City, Brussels, Belgium, Texas, Massachusetts, California and Florida.