Choreograph your spring and summer around these 11 dance performances
APRIL 5, 2019
Be the moves traditional Indian, Brazilian, on stage or on ice, it’s a fascinating season for dance. Here are 11 performances well worth catching. More spring/summer events.
Ragamala Dance Company and Brooklyn Rider
April 12: There was a time not so very long ago when one of the most interesting and innovative string quartets in classical music, Brooklyn Rider, hosted a summer festival in Stillwater to which they brought international masters like Swedish soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and banjoist Bela Fleck. Now the group is back, this time performing alongside and apart from the always mesmerizing traditional Indian dance troupe Ragamala. 7:30 p.m.; the O’Shaughnessy, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; $34-$30; 651-698-6700 or oshag.stkate.edu.
Contempo Physical Dance
April 12-13: One of the pieces that put choreographer Marciano Silva dos Santos and his Twin Cities troupe on the map was “SenZalma.” It was an ideal creation for the company, which is devoted to finding a place where dances of the African diaspora, Afro-Brazilian culture and the modern dance medium find commonality. In this case, “SenZalma” is inspired by a poem by 19th-century Brazilian abolitionist Antonio de Castro Alves called “The Slave Ship,” and it expresses asserting one’s humanity in an environment that denies it. 7:30 p.m.; Goodale Theater, the Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; $28-$20; 612-206-3600 or thecowlescenter.org.
David Rousseve and Reality (Courtesy photo)
April 13: One of America’s most exciting dance artists is David Rousseve, a visionary who creates works that explore a world divided by skin color, sexuality and economics. But Rousseve and his Los Angeles-based company, Reality, always find a way to deeply involve you in his dance works. Here, the troupe will perform “Halfway to Dawn,” inspired by the life and work of jazz composer Billy Strayhorn, a shy gay man who wrote many of Duke Ellington’s most famous tunes. 7:30 p.m.; Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. S.E., Mpls.; $47-$19; 612-624-2345 or Northrop.umn.edu.
Shapiro & Smith Dance
April 19-20: It’s been 20 years since this Minneapolis-based modern dance company premiered “Notes from a Séance,” a piece that builds off the conflict between two early 20th-century women with different takes on spirituality and the people who become their followers. In this tale of hypocrisy, hysteria and hypnotism, choreographer Joanie Smith’s imagination will doubtless shine through. 8 p.m.; Goodale Theater, the Cowles Center; $29-$25; 612-206-3600 or thecowlescenter.org.
Le Patin Libre and Brownbody
Le Patin Libre (Courtesy photo)
April 25 and 27: Figure skating has always had the potential to be an art form that expands well beyond the strict parameters of Olympic competitions. The members of Montreal’s Le Patin Libre do just that, creating modern dance on skates on the frozen rivers and rinks of their home city. They’ll perform “Vertical Influences” here, in tandem with local figure skating modern dance troupe Brownbody offering excerpts from a new work, “Tracing Steps.” 4 p.m. (Brownbody), 6 and 8:30 p.m. (Le Patin Libre) April 25, Anderson Ice Arena, Breck School, 4210 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley; 3 p.m. (Le Patin Libre), 5 p.m. (Brownbody) and 7:30 p.m. (Le Patin Libre) April 27, Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena, 800 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; $30.50-$17.50; 612-624-2345 or Northrop.umn.edu.
Candy Box Festival
April 29-May 4: Hats off to Arena Dances for putting together this annual mini-festival of local modern dance troupes with complementary — yet quite different — visions. This year, it features the April Sellers Dance Collective, Chris Schlichting and Darrius Strong’s STRONGmovement. While they’ll each perform Thursday through Saturday, there’s much more to Candy Box. Such as early-evening happy hour performances of works-in-progress at 5:30 Monday through Friday by Brenna Mosser Dance Works, Blake Nellis, Non Edwards, Arena Dances and Taja Will. And daytime workshops for dancers. Sellers, Schlichting and Strong: 7:30 p.m. May 2 and 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m. May 4; Southern Theater, 1425 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.; $20-$12; arena-dances.org.
May 3-5: To celebrate its 15th season at the O’Shaughnessy, St. Paul modern dance ensemble TU Dance will pay tribute to artists who have inspired its artistic directors, Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands. Among them are Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women, whose “Walking with Pearl … Africa Diaries” will performed, as will Ron K. Brown’s “Where the Light Shines Through,” featuring a Cuban jazz score. 8 p.m. May 3 and 4, 2 p.m. May 5; the O’Shaughnessy; $34-$20; 651-698-6700 or oshag.stkate.edu.
May 10-12: If you want to get a sense of what’s brewing in the local hip-hop dance scene, “Mixtape” is always a good place to start. A kind of curated forum for street artists, it will feature the most interesting artists that such local hip-hop standouts as Al Taw’am, Herbert Johnson III, Joelle Fernandez, Darrius Strong and J-Sun have discovered lately. Expect some breaking, krump, house and new jack swing. 7:30 p.m. May 10 and 11, 2 p.m. May 12; Goodale Theater, the Cowles Center; $25-$22; 612-206-3600 or thecowlescenter.org.
May 17: What do you do for an encore once you’ve been the champion for six seasons of “Dancing with the Stars”? Well, Derek Hough has stopped competing on that show, but he still likes to show off his fancy footwork periodically. He’s out on a solo tour, demonstrating his athletic, graceful way with ballroom, tap, hip-hop and salsa. Choreographing the show with him are Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo, or NappyTabs, who have worked with Michael Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. 8 p.m.; State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; $85-$59.50; 800-982-2787 or hennepintheatretrust.org.
Flying Foot Forum’s ‘Heaven’
June 7-23: For his latest choreographic creation, Flying Foot Forum’s Joe Chvala takes for inspiration the story of a photographer in 1990s Bosnia trying to save the life of his translator’s wife. It will feature the music of local Bosnian party band Orkestar Bez Ime, as well as original music by Suburbs co-founder Chan Poling. There will be plenty of dancing … but also singing and speaking. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; Park Square Theatre Proscenium Stage, 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul; $27-$16; 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org.
Zenon Dance Company’s final performances
June 13-16:Maybe not all great things come to an end, but one that will is the marvelous modern dance company that Linda Z. Andrews founded 36 years ago. Zenon has decided to disband, but not before a weekend of final performances that will feature a different program every night of dance introduced to local audiences by Zenon. 7:30 p.m. June 13-15, 2 p.m. June 16; Goodale Theater, Cowles Center; $100-$34; 612-206-3600 or thecowlescenter.org.