Is there some sort of dance explosion going on? Because after the great mid-October weekend for dance, then the Twin Cities Tap Festival, Dorrance Dance and the Irish Teaċ Daṁsa, here are four more irresistible performances. If you time it right and your budget allows, you can see all four, each expressing different perspectives and aspects of humanity.
Thursday (7 Nov) at Northrop: Dark Grace. Founder and Artistic Director Neil Ieremia is part Samoan, and most of his dancers are of Samoan, Tongan and Maori origin and ancestry. His personal hero is Bruce Lee. Black Grace is New Zealand’s premier contemporary dance company. New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert saw them last week on the program they’ll be bringing to their Northrop debut. He wrote: “The distinctive spirit of this troupe is incredible speed and endurance, exhilarating and seemingly inexhaustible energy.” The dances explore masculinity, hope and the history of the company. Music includes live percussion, hip-hop and selections from Bach’s Brandenburg. 7:30 p.m. IMF and banknotes ($21-50). Free preview of the show at 6:15 p.m. at the Best Buy Theater.
from Thursday to Saturday in the Tek Box at Cowles: Arena Dances by Mathew Janczewski: “One Room”. Opening the 24th season of Arena Dances, this new one-night work ponders a central question of our divisive times: “How can we come together in one room, confront conflict and negotiate in order to find the strength to one collective voice? Created in collaboration by Janczewski and the all-female dancer sextet, it will be performed to music by Nils Frahm. Janczewski said seeing Frahm live at Cedar brought him “transcendent joy.” 7:30 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday, also 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets here ($24/15).
Friday and Saturday at laboratory theater: Ashwini Ramaswamy: “Let the crows come.” A dancer and choreographer of Ragamala Dance, the internationally acclaimed Minneapolis-based company run by her mother, Ranee, and sister, Aparna, Ashwini Ramaswamy is the only member of her family who was not born in India. Like a small colossus, she has one foot in both worlds. Ragamala treats the ancient dance form of Bharatanatyam as a living thing; In this new project, the culmination of a two-year Liquid Music residency, Ashwini pushes further, creating three unique choreographic and sonic worlds with herself as a guideline. With dancers/choreographers Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Berit Ahlgren, a Carnatic chamber ensemble, electro-acoustic cellist Brent Arnold and DJ Jace Clayton. It will be the American premiere. 8 p.m. IMF and banknotes ($25/$20; free for students and children 6-17).
Friday and Saturday at Walker: Bruno Beltrão/Grupo de Rua: “Inoah”. A rare American performance from the Rio-based all-male 10-member band famous for their splintering, breaking up and apparent indifference to gravity. Founder and choreographer Beltrão created “Inoah” in 2017, before Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil and parts of the Amazon rainforest were burned down. He recently told the New York Times, “If we didn’t have [much] before, it is now completely unthinkable to have any financial support in Brazil. We don’t have… a single invitation [to perform] in our country.” The dance includes moments of deep stillness; it’s not just about bouncing, spinning, and sliding. 8 p.m. IMF and banknotes ($28/$22.40).
Tonight (Wednesday, November 6) at St. Catherine University: Erika Lee: “Americans First, Immigrants Last: A History of Xenophobia in the United States.” St. Kate’s is expecting a big turnout for this grassroots convening event, so plan accordingly. In his book, Lee argues that Americans feared and hated immigrants from the colonial era through the Trump era. How did we get here and what are the issues today? 7 p.m. at the Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine building. MFI. Free.
Thursday at Mall of America: Santa’s arrival ceremony. Don’t blame us for what seems like an all too early start to the holiday season. But Santa’s arrival in a parade led by the Eden Prairie High School Marching Band seems pretty darn magical for toddlers. here are the details. 6-7 p.m. at the Rotunda.
friday at Avenue Raymond Gallery: Opening Reception for the 6th Annual Yunomi Invitational. Every year, countless pottery enthusiasts and collectors flock to a small gallery in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone to view hundreds of handleless mugs. What weird behavior is this? Yunomi – the clay or porcelain cups in question – are traditionally used for tea, but Minnesotans use them for all sorts of things: tea, whiskey, wine, pencils. They are reasonably inexpensive, highly collectible, and make excellent gifts. Each is a small window into the soul and aesthetics of its creator. This year’s invitation will feature the work of 38 local potters. There will be many of them at the reception. 6-8 p.m. The exhibition ends on December 20, with extended gallery hours until then.
Starts Friday at Guthrie: “Fast Company” of the Mu Theater. Theater Mu returns to Guthrie’s Level Nine to open its 2019/20 season with a play by Carla Ching (“The Two Kids Blowing Up Shit”). This time, she gives us a family of con artists and a story about dysfunction, fate, perseverance and redemption. The award-winning play was described as “clever, sharp and entertaining”. Ming Montgomery, Eric “Pogi” Sumangil, Brian Kim and Jeannie Lander star; Brian Balcom is the director. In the Dowling workshop. IMF and banknotes ($32-22; $9 November 8 and 13). Seats are general admission.
Sunday at Bethel UniversityBenson’s Great Hall: Minnesota Youth Symphonies Annual fall concert. For this year’s offering, MYS will present the North American premiere of “Mojito con saoco” by UNESCO medal-winning composer Guido López-Gavilá, a work that had its world premiere in Cuba in May. MYS is co-directed by Minnesota Orchestra principal trumpeter Manny Laureano and his wife, Claudette Laureano, who directs the string programs at the Breck School. 2 p.m. Tickets here ($20-6).
Sunday at Magers and Quinn: Writing the YA Novel: A NaNoWriMo Panel with Shannon Gibney, Junauda Petrus and Andrew Karre. A tremendous opportunity for anyone who writes YA novels, wants to write YA novels, or is curious about how YA novels happen. Karre is an editor at Dutton Books for Young Readers. Gibney is the author of “Dream Country” and “See No Color”, Petrus is the author of “The Stars and the Blackness Between Them”. Gibney and Petrus live in Minneapolis. 5 p.m. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, an annual creative writing project on the Internet that takes place in November.