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Dance Showcase features seven local companies at the Cowles

Black Label Movement
Photo by Bill Cameron
Black Label Movement will perform an excerpt from Carl Flink’s most recent work, “Morituri te Salutant,” with live animations by Paul Herwig and an original soundscape by Greg Brosofske.

Are you curious about Ballet Co.Laboratory? Wondering what BRKFST Dance Company is about? Haven’t yet seen Brownbody? Not ready to commit to an evening-length dance performance?

Arena Dances has something for you. Call it a dance dabbler. Tonight (Thursday, Sept. 5) and tomorrow, Mathew Janczewski’s company will present the first-ever Twin Cities Dance Showcase. Seven local dance companies will each perform for 15 minutes. Some will dance one or more excerpts, others an entire work.

The order each night is different, but here’s what’s on the program.

April Sellers Dance Collective: “Patriotic Erectors,” a new performance work inspired by the Fourth of July, the “Star Spangled Banner” and the rainbow flag. It examines the roots of our disconnect to national identity and asks, “Can you be queer and be a patriot and what does it mean to be a queer American?”


Arena Dances: A trio excerpt from Janczewski’s full-evening sextet “One Room,” a meditation on the need to join together, set to experimental music by Nils Frahm.

Ballet Co.Laboratory: “Gentle Human.” An exploration of human emotion as a reaction to adverse outside forces, inspired by true events in the lives of company dancers and by Nikita Gill’s poetry.

Black Label Movement: An excerpt from Carl Flink’s most recent work, “Morituri te Salutant,” with live animations by Paul Herwig (of Off-Leash Productions) and an original soundscape by Greg Brosofske.

BRKFST Dance Company: “Paper/Trails,” a collaborative, hip-hop infused work about the meaning of paper in our lives: as defining and confining, proof of identification and tool for creativity.

Brownbody: Excerpts from “The Most Perfect Human Specimen,” “Quiet as It’s Kept” and “Tracing Sacred Steps.” Deneane Richburg’s company usually performs its signature blend of modern dance, theater, storytelling and social justice practice on ice, wearing figure skates. Each work is rooted in the histories, stories, and cultural memory of U.S.-based black communities.

Shapiro & Smith Dance to perform “Bolero.”
Photo by V. Paul Virtucio
Shapiro & Smith Dance to perform “Bolero.”
Shapiro & Smith Dance: “Bolero.” Company director Joanie Smith’s now-iconic work premiered in 2010. She originally choreographed it for all men; it has also been performed by all women. The music is Maurice Ravel’s.

The showcase was created because the Arts Midwest Conference is in town this week. But it’s such a good idea perhaps it will return. 7:30 p.m. each night in the Tek Box at the Cowles Center. FMI and tickets ($10 advance, $15 at the door). Note: The ticketing page gives the time as 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. There’s an earlier showcase each night for Arts Midwest only. The showcases for the general public start at 7:30 p.m.

The picks

Tonight at Wooden Hill Brewing Company in Edina: Doug Hoverson presents “The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State.” Hoverson is also the author of “Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota” (2007). Now he turns his mug toward our neighbor to the east, telling the stories of Wisconsin’s brewing history from the giants to the small breweries started by immigrants and entrepreneurs. 7 p.m. Free. Magers & Quinn will have copies of the book available for signing. Also Sept. 12 at Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery in St. Paul, presented by Ramsey County Historical Society’s History Revealed Series. 7:45 p.m. Free, but registration is required.


Tonight at North High: First Thursday Films: “Do the Right Thing.” While the Capri Theater is closed for construction, First Thursday Films @ the Capri, a popular program of the MSP Film Society now entering its fourth year, will move to North High. What has always set this series apart continues in its new, temporary location: the discussions that follow the films. Craig Laurence Rice, who programs the series, will lead tonight’s conversation about Spike Lee’s masterpiece, still topical after 30 years. 1500 James Ave. N., Minneapolis. 7 p.m. FMI, trailer and tickets ($5).

Saturday at the Walker: Free First Saturday: Dance the Day Away. Let’s squeeze every possible moment out of the summer. Starting with a Kids’ Dance Party, this day will be all about moving and grooving. It will include a dance workshop with Kenna-Camara Cottman, art-making activities, a performance by the Somali Museum Dance Troupe and a participatory tour for kids of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, led by a Walker-trained educator. Plus admission to the galleries will be free all day. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.

Soprano Liv Redpath
Photo by BD Portraits
The Bakken Trio opens their new season with Minnesota-born soprano Liv Redpath as guest artist.
Sunday at MacPhail: The Bakken Trio: Siren Songs. The esteemed chamber music ensemble opens its 2019-20 season with a program that celebrates women as composers, creative muses – and musicians. With Minnesota-born soprano Liv Redpath as guest artist, it includes Nadia Boulanger’s “Songs for Soprano and Piano,” André Previn’s “Four Songs for Soprano, Piano and Cello,” after poems by Toni Morrison, Fauré’s “La Bonne Chanson” and Amy Beach’s rarely performed Piano Quintet. The musicians are Stephanie Arado, Sarah Grimes, Pitnarry Shin, Sabina Thatcher, Kristen Bruya and Hanna HyunJung Kim. 4 p.m. FMI and tickets ($25).

Monday at Next Chapter: Margaret Atwood “The Testaments” Midnight Release Party. In the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Atwood picks up the story five years after the original left off. Reviewers are loving it and Atwood is on the shortlist for the Booker Prize, side-by-side by Salman Rushdie. Yes, Next Chapter will have copies. The evening will include refreshments, a speaker from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA), and group readings. Doors at 10:30 p.m. Costumes are welcome. FMI. Free.

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