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Minnesota Dance Theatre pairs old and new

Past and future exist side-by-side in Minnesota Dance Theatre’s program of revivals and new works this weekend and next.

The troupe celebrates the raw and ritualistic aspects of spring with a 1985 version of “Sacre du Printemps” (Rite of Spring) choreographed by MDT’s late founder, Loyce Houlton. While Nijinsky scandalized Paris audiences with his flat-footed, primitive ballet in 1913, set to Stravinsky relentlessly rhythmic score, Houlton’s version puts the dancers back on point with the same music.

Also on the program is a premiere by Christine Maginnis (a founding member of Zenon Dance Company who retired last year): two duets under the whimsical title “Eat, Drink and Be Nary A …” About the duets, Maginnis has said, “My hope is that [they] stir up some sort of internal riot, because I think that’s what a work of art should do.”

One duet, “E Finito?” pairs Maginnis with Sam Feipel, a table and a tablecloth. The second duet, “The Fermentation of Suzie and the Sailor,” pairs the luxuriously long-limbed Justin Leaf with Melanie Verna (familiar to little bunheads throughout Minnesota from her solos during the annual “Nutcracker Fantasy.” Local composer Matthew Smith created the score.

You can see a preview here.

Minnesota Dance Theatre, The Lab Theater, 700 North First Street, Minneapolis; 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through April 26. $26-$29. 612-333-7977.

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