Since 1971, the Walker Art Center-sponsored Choreographers’ Evening, which happens every year the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving, has been a must-see event for seasoned dance-goers and newbies alike. Each year, a different local choreographer serves as curator, auditioning and selecting dance makers, then programming a show that reflects their eclectic or narrow tastes.
Quite a brouhaha ensued last year after experimental movement generators The Body Cartography Project curated a Choreographers’ Evening with a definite bent. The show included pieces many audience members considered to be not dance at all, with their emphasis on talking, sitting, silence and gesture rather than choreography. Takeaway: The programming is inherently subjective. Wondering whether to go? Check out the choreographer who’s curating.
This year, flamenco powerhouse Susana di Palma, artistic director of Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater, is in charge. According to press materials, after auditioning 56 “acts,” she was determined to find the right combination of emerging and established artists to usher in the holiday season. “It’s a kick-off to the holidays,” she says in the press material, “and to me, dance epitomizes celebration, so I wanted the works I chose to reflect that.”
The show includes African drum and dance, modern court dance, a gestural solo (using hands) that comments on dance history, lyrical dance, and experimental work. There will be nudity.
The performers are: Paulino Brener, Christ Up Dance Crew, Carl Flink/Black Label Movement, Gerry Girouard & Rebecca Abas, Jim Lieberthal, Whitney McClusky & Fode Bangoura, Giselle & Dario Mejia, Alanna Morris, John Munger, Peter O’Gorman, Luke Olson-Elm, James Sewell, and SuperGroup.
Get your tickets early. The shows always sell out.
Choreographers’ Evening. 7 and 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 27. McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center. Tickets $16-$20. 612-375-7600.