Mar 7, 2014
Show Don't Tell
Four years ago, the UK-based Kneehigh Theatre wowed Twin Cities audiences with an adaptation of Noel Coward's BRIEF ENCOUNTER. Their return to the Guthrie stage, TRISTAN & YSEULT, has the same high-octane stagecraft if not quite as much magic.
Nov 15, 2012
Before the Big Show: the week in dance
This week Lightsey Darst sits in on a TU Dance rehearsal, a fly on the wall as the dancers and choreographer Uri Sands prepare for the company's fall concert at the O'Shaughnessy, November 16-18.
Oct 5, 2012
'Here & After' and 'Slippery Fish': the week in local dance
Lightsey Darst saw Time Track Productions' recent "Here and After," with choreography by Paula Mann, media by Steve Paul and original music by cellist Michelle Kinney. Also up: Penny Freeh's collaboration with composer Jocelyn Hagen, "Slippery Fish."
Sep 27, 2012
A National Conversation About Local Work: the week in dance
Between "McKnight Solo", Joint Project hip hop showcase at Intermedia Arts and following the invite-only circuit for Minnesota Contemporary Dance Platform presented by Northrop and the Walker -- our resident dance critic has had a very busy week.
Sep 21, 2012
From Skin to Desire: the week in dance
Lightsey Darst offers dispatches from two shows, the seductive and provocative "Dim All the Lights" at the BLB, and the much quieter experiment in dance revival - unauthorized performances of Pina Bausch, Deborah Hay and Richard Bull at Ivy Studio 206.
Sep 19, 2012
There Are No Strangers Here
Lightsey Darst begins a new column on dance for us this week with a lovely piece on seeing Ananya Dance Theatre's recent premiere at the Southern and the differences - in the dance, but also in the viewer - which alter the seeing of work over time.
Jul 11, 2012
The Emotional Climates of 'Basic North'
Lightsey Darst reviews Live Action Set's new show, "Basic North," recently on stage at the Southern, saying she appreciated the cast's spot-on comic timing and wordplay, but found herself wishing for more emotional depth and narrative nuance.
May 25, 2012
A Double-Dip Into "Black Water" - Lightsey Darst
The second of two critical takes on Skewed Visions' BLACK WATER. Lightsey Darst offers up a more experiential approach to the show, with a poetic, play-by-play dispatch on what it felt like to be in the audience for this unique performance.
May 24, 2012
The Rules of a Dance Exchange
Carl Atiya Swanson
Carl Atiya Swanson parses a recent, unusually participatory evening of dance at the Walker Art Center: David Zambrano and company's performance of the largely improvised series of solos against classic soul tunes, "Soul Project."
May 22, 2012
A Double-Dip into "Black Water" - Camille LeFevre
We're running two essays on Skewed Visions' new site-based performance, BLACK WATER, showing in an empty storefront on University Avenue through June 2. Read on for Camille's take on the work's disquieting insight into place, seeing and being seen.
Apr 19, 2012
Shapiro & Smith: A Crucible for Local Dance
Lightsey Darst reviews the recent 25th anniversary concert by Shapiro & Smith Dance, a company from which has emerged a host of local choreographers and dancers like TU Dance, Carl Flink, Ananya Chatterjea, Lise Houlton, Mathew Janczewski.
Apr 5, 2012
Lightsey Darst reviews Minnesota Dance Theatre's spring concert - for this, their 50th anniversary season, director Lise Houlton restaged a surreal circus-scape from 1977, "Ancient Air," by her mother Loyce Houlton, and other repertory pieces.
Feb 16, 2012
A Maelstrom of Human Energy
Lightsey Darst reviews Black Label Movement's recent concert at the Cowles Center, "Visceral," describing the show as intensely physical, with dark psychological undertones -- mesmerizing and exhausting.
Feb 3, 2012
A Dance Renaissance Man
Lightsey Darst profiles dancer and choreographer Mariusz Olszewski, a colorful personality and voracious artist best known for his work with Beyond Ballroom Dance Company, but who's also made stunning work with Zenon, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and others.
Feb 1, 2012
Dancing It True
Lightsey Darst reviews a recent performance of new dance works by Penny Freeh and Paula Mann with Steve Paul and Time Track Productions, "Far Afield," on stage at the Red Eye Theater last weekend.
Dec 14, 2011
A Happy Choreographers' Eve
Lightsey Darst reflects on the surprises, mysteries, and genuinely festive moments of this year's local choreographers' showcase at the Walker Art Center, curated by Chris Schlichting.
Nov 23, 2011
A Supple Mind
Lightsey Darst digs into the intimate, occasionally contradictory relationship that emerges when a dancer brings new choreography to life. Case in point: the mercurial artistry of Zenon's Leslie O'Neill and STORM, a new commission by Daniel Charon.
Nov 16, 2011
A Man Apart
Choreographer and dance writer Linda Shapiro studied at the Merce Cunningham Dance studio in the '60s and offers insights here about what it is to dance "inside the maelstrom" of his movements, sharing her experiences of him as both teacher and artist.
Nov 16, 2011
Wrestling with Merce
Lightsey Darst offers a first-person appraisal of Merce Cunningham's work - in performance, as a legacy, as danced movement, as fodder for fellow feeling (or not) - framed around recent shows at the Walker paying tribute to the storied choreographer.
Nov 1, 2011
At Play in Sewell-land
Lightsey Darst on James Sewell Ballet's fall concert: "Everything always looks good in Sewell-land and his dancers look so happy to be dancing. I don't always love everything he does but it's impossible not to appreciate his showmanship and good spirits."
Oct 19, 2011
Dancing the Rhythm and Pattern of Life
Lightsey Darst saw the recent fancy dance at the Cowles, by the Native Pride Dancers, and she wonders: "Shouldn't the Twin Cities be able to support a serious Native dance company that can break new ground in presenting this form of dance on stage?"
Oct 5, 2011
The Least Predictable Dance Company in the Twin Cities
On the occasion of Minnesota Dance Theatre's fall concert, Lightsey Darst reflects on the storied company's past and present, and checks in with artistic director Lise Houlton about where the company is, has been, and would like to be going forward.
Sep 28, 2011
Dancing on Sacred Ground
Dancer and critic Linda Shapiro reviews Ragamala Dance's ambitious new bharatanatyam work, "Sacred Earth," which had its world premiere last weekend at the new Cowles Center and, from there, will go on to tour the country.
Sep 22, 2011
Dancing in the Margins of Gender
Lightsey Darst had mixed feelings about "Tidal Tendencies," new dance works by local choreographers Jessica Briggs and Nick LeMere. She found herself wanting more, asking "What can a single evening of dance do against something so ingrained as gender?"
Sep 15, 2011
A New Incarnation for the Cowles Center
Linda Shapiro reports back with a dispatch from the performances of last weekend's richly appointed, well-heeled grand opening gala and community open house for the brand new Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.