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A big weekend for dance; ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at Open Book

Dorrance Dance
Photo by Matthew Murphy
Elizabeth Burke and Christopher Broughton of Dorrance Dance.

There’s no excuse not to see some dance this weekend. You might not be able to avoid it. Dance will be everywhere.

Tonight (Thursday, Oct. 16) and tomorrow at the Cedar, the dance duo Hijack (Arwen Wilder and Kristin Van Loon), with other local dancers, will premiere a new work by Mexico City-based Galia Eibenschutz, the 2019 McKnight International Choreographer. Eibenschutz integrates drawing into her performances, so the walls and floor of the Cedar will be covered with paper for drawing by dancers.

Bringing Eibenschutz here for a monthlong residency took “a visa application that weighed five pounds and a classically nail-biting wait from immigration offices,” according to the Cedar. Her piece will be performed to original live music on drums by New York-based Katelyn Farstad, who will open the show as her alter-ego Itch Princess. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Thursday’s show will be followed by a public reception, Friday’s by a conversation with the artists. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30. FMI and tickets ($15).

TU Dance continues to tour “Come Through” with Bon Iver. Commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series, the smash hit collaboration that premiered here in 2018 has upcoming dates in Brooklyn, Houston and New Orleans, among other cities. Friday-Sunday at the O’Shaughnessy, the esteemed dance company founded by former Alvin Ailey dancers Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands will perform their 16th season fall concert. The program will feature two works Uri choreographed for other companies, including “Tracks,” set to the music of the O’Jays; the repertory favorite solo piece “Clear as Tear Water”; and a reprise of “Salve,” a dance about healing. FMI and tickets ($24-34).


The Cowles Center will host the 5th annual Twin Cities Tap Festival, a weekend of explosive rhythms and infectious joy that will start Thursday with a student showcase and continue Friday with a concert. The showcase will feature top local tap talent (try saying that five times fast) and youth ensembles including Keane Sense of Rhythm and Elite Tap Feet. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($15-20). The concert will shine a light on local and national tap artists Sarah Reich, Bril Barrett, Jeannie Hill and members of Dorrance Dance. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($28-34). Tip: Use promo code 5TAPS19 when ordering showcase and concert tickets, save 20%.

On Saturday, the festival will tap its way to Northrop for the return of Dorrance Dance, the award-winning New York City-based company that made its memorable Northrop debut in 2015. Performing to music by Jelly Roll Morton, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and a live ensemble, the company will dance “Jungle Blues,” “Three to One” and “Myelination,” named for the change in nerve cells that allows impulses to move more quickly. All were choreographed by Michelle Dorrance, a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. “Myelination” will include improvisation by the dancers. Here’s a preview. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($21-50).

Are you free tomorrow morning (Friday, Oct. 17)? Three women of Ragamala Dance – founder and co-artistic director Ranee Ramaswamy, co-artistic director Aparna Ramaswamy and choreographic associate Ashwini Ramaswamy – won’t be dancing, but they will be talking about their artistic process, their intergenerational creative partnership, and more at Paikka in St. Paul. Tickets are free. Coffee and breakfast will be available. 8:30-10 a.m. FMI. P.S. Ashwini will dance in November at the Lab.

The picks

Stephanie Bertumen, Shá Cage and Steven Epp in “A Winter’s Tale.”
Photo by Peter Vitale
Stephanie Bertumen, Shá Cage and Steven Epp in “A Winter’s Tale.”
Now at Open Book: Ten Thousand Things: “The Winter’s Tale.” TTT has a long history of presenting Shakespeare as human-scale stories, not sacred literature, and making Shakespearean language sound normal. In her second year as artistic director, Marcela Lorca carries on the tradition with “The Winter’s Tale,” featuring a stellar cast and music by Peter Vitale and J.D. Steele. After touring to prisons and community sites, the show has moved into Open Book (through Oct. 27), after which it will travel to North Garden Theater in St. Paul and the Sheldon Theater in Red Wing. FMI and tickets (prices vary). Closes in Red Wing on Nov. 17. P.S. Earlier this month, Lorca became the first Twin Cities-based director/choreographer to win the prestigious Fichandler Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. Joseph Haj, the Guthrie’s artistic director, also has a Fichandler; he won his in 2014, before coming to the Twin Cities.

Tonight (Thursday, Oct. 17) at the Minnesota Museum of American Art: Curator Tour of “History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary.” This exhibit at the M features work by 17 Arab artists – paintings, photographs, video, installations, book art – that challenges stereotypes and opens eyes and minds. Walk in off the street and you might find it daunting. Walk through with Laura Werthem Joseph, the museum’s new curator of exhibitions, and you’ll get an inside perspective on the themes and artists. 6 p.m. Free, but RSVP requested. Also 2 p.m. on Nov. 17.

Aparna Nancheria
Aparna Nancherla
Tonight through Saturday: 9th Annual 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival. If it’s comedy you want, you’re in the right place. For this year’s 10,000 Laughs, Mystic Lake has partnered with Acme Comedy Club to bring stand-up into venues across Minneapolis, from the 70-seat Comedy Corner Underground to the 400-seat Parkway. National headliners – people who have appeared on “The Daily Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “Conan,” “Colbert,” Comedy Central, Netfllix and more – will convene to make you laugh, along with unknowns who will try their darnedest. Headliners will include Aparna Nancherla, Josh Johnson, Doug Benson, Brian Posehn, Dan Cummins and Ryan O’Flanagan. Here’s the complete schedule. We love the idea of the “Funny 20,” which will take place at the Uptown VFW on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Twenty comics will each deliver one joke, maximum length one minute. And “Don’t Tell,” a midnight Friday show of secret comedians at a secret Northeast Minneapolis location, with free drinks. FMI and tickets.

Friday morning through Sunday: Richard Egarr Plays Bach. One of the SPCO’s two new artistic partners, Egarr will debut in that role with an all-Baroque program of music by Bach and Telemann. Egarr, a harpsichordist, also serves as music director of the Academy of Ancient Music and has, ahem, made several recordings with them. Plus he has a large solo discography. He first performed with the SPCO in March 2017. 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday at the Ordway Concert Hall, 8 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, and 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. FMI and tickets ($11-50; children and students free).

Friday and Saturday: Minnesota Orchestra. Two nights, two concerts, both led by Osmo Vänskä, each featuring northside artists and performers (including North Community High School’s high-voltage dance troupe) and Aaron Dworkin’s “The American Rhapsody” as its centerpiece. Friday’s concert is at North Community High School, Saturday’s at Orchestra Hall. Dworkin’s new work combines spoken word with composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Symphonic Variations on an African Air.” Both concerts are at 7 p.m. FMI and tickets f0r Friday and Saturday (both choose-your-price starting at $5).

Sunday at LynLake Brewery: “Atlas Obscura” Trivia with Dylan Thuras and Magers & Quinn. Among our favorite nonpolitical e-newsletters (besides New York Times Cooking) comes from Atlas Obscura, with a daily dose of “the world’s hidden wonders.” Just the other day, we learned something about China’s chopstick industry. It can’t hurt, right? Originally founded as a media company, Atlas Obscura has evolved into a travel and experiences company that recently partnered with Airbnb. But it still publishes a best-selling book by the same name (the second edition just came out), and co-author Dylan Thuras will be here to lead us through a night of travel and location-themed trivia. Event starts at 6 p.m., trivia at 7. Buy a copy of the book and get $1 off a beer.

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