Feb 10, 2012
Letter to a 'Wary Feminist'
Ann Klefstad responds to Miranda Trimmier's recent essay on feminist art and its rhetorical and aesthetic extremes. Klefstad offers an accounting of her own ambivalence about the cultural foment of those times, when she herself came of age as an artist.
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.
Jan 25, 2012
Winter Nomads of 'Out There'
Lightsey Darst has been a regular at the Walker's annual festival of global, contemporary performing arts and offers a dispatch from the scene, observing that when you're Out There -- it's the audience, not the shows that really make the festival.
Jan 6, 2012
Everything is Not Beautiful
Poet and dancer Lightsey Darst on her years in ballet class, giving a candid glimpse into what it feels like on the inside of the dance: both the devotion and the ordeal of daily practice, and the human moments of pain, pettiness, and triumph.
Jan 6, 2012
Too Many Words
Our music columnist, composer/pianist Jeremy Walker, on music philosophy and the written word, jazz and nostalgia, the restrictions of genre, fresh starts and belief in action.
Dec 29, 2011
Putting on the Ritz
This time of year, our dance writer Lightsey Darst yearns for glamor, for rhinestones and luxe fabrics, vamp and shimmer -- and so, she brings us along on a whirlwind tour of the Ballet of the Dolls' outrageously fabulous costume closet.
Dec 22, 2011
The Chat: Minnesota Humorists Talk Shop
Maggie Ryan Sandford
Writer and performer Maggie Ryan Sandford gathers together our favorite writerly wit-erati -- Brian Beatty, Dennis Cass, John Jodzio -- for a free-ranging, entertaining and insightful online chat about what it takes to bring the funny to the page.
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.
Dec 9, 2011
Lightsey Darst grapples with the innovative theatrical hybrid, "Supernatural Wife" by Big Dance Theater, recently at the Walker, a piece adapted from poet Anne Carson's fresh translation of a rarely performed play by Euripedes, "Alkestis".
Dec 1, 2011
The Living End
Writer Sheila Regan profiles two visual artists, Sean Connaughty and Kate Casanova, who use living material as their medium and embrace the natural life cycle of their organic artworks as an integral part of their creative process.
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
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 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 14, 2011
Us and Them
Our music columnist Jeremy Walker reflects on impetus of the Occupy Wall Street protests and others like it around the country, the tension between striving and protecting, and the small but potent political power of simply making good work.
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 20, 2011
In the Heart of Darkness
Sheila Regan went through the Soap Factory's Haunted Basement this year and lived to tell about it. She says it's definitely dark down there, and more than a little creepy - an ingenious, wildly successful gimmick to get folks to come by the gallery.
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.
Oct 3, 2011
Our music columnist, composer/pianist Jeremy Walker, just celebrated his 40th birthday - this month, he reflects on the something and nothing of that milestone, and on his recent trip to NOLA to play with some of the storied town's best musicians.
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.
Sep 14, 2011
When a Black Box Goes Dark
Lightsey Darst on the entanglements of dance-making and the spaces that house it, how each colors and irrevocably bounds the other, and on the void left by the Southern in the local dance community and the promise of spaces to come.
Sep 8, 2011
Bain Boehlke's All-too Human 'Hamlet'
Sheila Regan profiles Bain Boehlke, founder of the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, and reflects on a production he's waited a lifetime to bring to fruition - his own staging of Shakespeare's "Hamlet."