Music, dance, food, crafts at IndiaFest; Art Crawl at the Arboretum

Photo by Edward J Bock III
Ragamala Dance will perform “Sacred Earth” at IndiaFest on Saturday.

Roti, poori, dosa, samosa. Curry, masala, vindaloo and saag. Lovers of Indian food – and music, dance, clothing, crafts and jewelry – will gather Saturday on the State Capitol grounds for IndiaFest, our annual celebration of India’s heritage, traditions, diversity and culture, now in its 42nd year.

Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed Aug. 15 India Day. More than 42,00 Asian Indians call Minnesota home.

Six Twin Cities Indian restaurants – the Copper Pot, Bawarchi, Paradise Biryani, Surabhi, Bay Leaf and Hot Indian Foods – will be on hand; just follow your nose. For the first time, two internationally acclaimed classical Indian dance companies based here will perform at the festival. At 3:30, Katha Dance will present “Kathak Yatra.” At 5:30, Ragamala Dance will perform “Sacred Earth.” The rest of the day will feature Bollywood and folk dances, Indian classical music and a DJ.

A colorful parade and flag hoisting starts at 2 p.m. Go to the Sports Corner anytime for cricket, badminton, and kite flying. Activities include face painting, diya making (a diya is a small clay oil lamp), henna tattooing, sari-tying and chess. For kids, there’s a magic show and a reptile show. For grown-ups, shopping and culture exhibits.

Some 15–20,000 people are expected to attend. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. FMI. Free. 

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Don’t hate us for thinking back-to-school, but we’re wondering what the U’s LearningLife has in store for fall. (If you’re new here, LearningLife offers noncredit short courses for grown-ups, taught by University of Minnesota faculty, and scholars and professionals from the community.)

No surprise, award-winning professor emeritus Toni McNaron’s “Trilogy of Grace: Reading Marilynne Robinson” book-club class – starting Sept. 10, covering “Gilead,” “Home,” and “Lila” – has a waiting list. Call 612-624-4000 to add your name.   

Author, architectural historian and former Pi Press architecture critic Larry Millett will lead “Minnesota’s Own: A Century of Homes starting Sept. 14. Millet’s books include “Once There Were Castles: Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities,” “Lost Twin Cities,” which spawned three TPT documentaries, and “Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders,” which Jeffrey Hatcher turned into a play for Park Square Theatre that closed last month. Millett’s next book, due out this fall, is “Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury,” and we can’t wait. His class will be an armchair tour of outstanding Minnesota homes (large and small), an overview of our state’s architectural styles, and a look at what it takes to preserve a historic home.

On Oct. 10, photographer and historian Doug Ohman will present “Sacred Spaces: The Churches of Downtown Saint Paul,” a day-long journey through art, architecture and history that includes a bus tour with stops at five churches. Ohman’s photography career began with the state’s churches; his first book, “Churches of Minnesota,” features reflections by Minnesota novelist Jon Hassler.

Starting Oct. 26, Lara Roy, currently MCAD’s director of continuing education, formerly docent educator at Mia and assistant director of education and tour programs at the Walker, will explore art history in Challenges and Controversies: American Art Since 1950.” She’ll start with Duchamp’s “Fountain” (a version of which appears in the Walker’s Artist-Designed Mini Golf course), end with the Guerrilla Girls, and help us make sense of artists, movements and artworks that raised a ruckus.

These are classes that caught our eye. Here’s the whole catalog [PDF].

The picks

ARENA dancers Sarah Baumert and Dustin Haug
Courtesy of Armour Photography
ARENA dancers Sarah Baumert and Dustin Haug

Now at the Southern: Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA Dances: “I hate myself. Will you please love me?” A cautionary tale of repressed insecurities, told through the story and music of The Carpenters. The return of a show that premiered at the Southern in 2011 and played to sold-out houses. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. Through Aug. 16. FMI and tickets ($24).

Tonight at Studio Z: All Originals Jazz Series: Michael Janisch’s Paradigm Shift Quartet. Born in Red Wing, now based in London (where he teaches at the Trinity Conservatoire of Music and the Royal Academy), bassist and producer Janisch joins local heroes Zacc Harris (guitar), Brandon Wozniak (saxophone) and Pete Hennig (drums) for an evening of original music and free thinking in this cutting-edge series curated by indefatigable trumpeter/composer Steve Kenny. 8 p.m. $10 at the door.

Friday at the Black Dog: Spirit Lifter for Ta-coumba Aiken. Through his lively, rhythmic public art and his community activism, Aiken has lifted our spirits for decades. Here’s a chance to return the favor. Aiken has recently undergone surgery and could use some help, so this is a fundraiser. Live music, silent auction, art raffle, food and drinks. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Art Crawl Through the Gardens. As if anyone needs an excuse to go to the Arboretum. Nestled among the landscapes and gardens of the Three-Mile Drive, nearly 60 artists will show off their paintings, photographs, prints, jewelry, pots, glassware, stained glass, garden ornaments, hand-dyed hammocks, scarves, sculptures, fiber art and edibles. On Saturday, multimedia artist Shawn McCann will create a chalk landscape on the Dahlberg Terrace. Walk or ride the hop-on/hop-off Circulator. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. FMI and list of artists. Arboretum admission $12 for ages 13 and up; 12 and under free.

Tickets, please

Eric Lu
Eric Lu

Single tickets go on sale Saturday, Aug. 15, to the Chopin Society’s 33rd season. Including tickets to the pre-season all-Chopin recital on Sept. 20 by 17-year-old Eric Lu, first prize winner of the Ninth National Chopin Competition held earlier this year in Miami. Lu will represent the U.S. in the XVII International Chopin Competition in Warsaw this October. The rest of the season isn’t too shabby: Lise de la Salle, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Dénés Várjon, Steven Osborne, Roman Rabinovich. Just the usual Chopin Society line-up of piano prodigies, award winners and stars.

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