It’s been feeling a bit 2020 lately with shows and events cancelling on the regular. However, things are still happening, and here are a few options for vaccinated folks that are looking to go out. Mask up, test often, and let’s ride this latest wave through to the other side.
Outside of Time – Slow Journeys on Paper by Hend Al-Mansour & Eleanor McGough: In a two-person gallery exhibition running at Rosalux this month, Hend Al-Mansour will be sharing a new set of poignant illustrations about a young immigrant girl’s journey. The works on paper were made for a new book called “Zaynab’s Night of Destiny,” commissioned by Commonwealth Theater Center. Meanwhile, Eleanor McGough has used hand-cut paper insects and packaging materials to explore the loss of insect habitat, and meditate on the notion of stepping outside of time as a means for seeking solace. The exhibition runs through Jan. 30. The opening reception takes place this Friday, Jan. 7 from 7-10 p.m. at Rosalux Gallery (free). More information here.
Sibelius Festival: The Minnesota Orchestra began its Sibelius Festival with a joyful concert on New Year’s Eve at Orchestra Hall, playing the composer’s 2nd and 7th Symphonies as well as the whimsical and challenging “Humoresque” pieces for the violin and orchestra. The festival, which continues the orchestra’s Sibelius explorations after recording all seven of the composer’s symphonies, soars on this week, with Symphonies 1 and 6 being played at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7 and Saturday, Jan. 8. Then on Thursday, Jan. 13 and Friday, Jan. 14 they will perform Symphonies No. 3 and 4, followed by Artistic Director Osmo Vänskä and Violist Sam Bergman taking a deep dive into Symphony No. 5 before it’s performed on Saturday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 16. ($30-109) More information here.
Best new bands of 2021: Get caught up on who is getting the buzz at this year’s Best New Bands concert at First Avenue. The lineup includes sibling duo Durry, TikTok breakout stars who do nostalgic indie-pop, as well as singer EVV, whose soulful sound draws from blues, jazz and rock, and the folky groove of Honeybutter. You can also check out the Liberian-American fusion of Kokou Kah, sweet songwriting of Lanou, eclectic Senegalese-American rapper-singer papa mbye, and the upbeat tunes coming from VIAL. 6:30 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show, Friday, Jan. 7, at First Avenue, ($12 advance, $15 day of the show). More information here.
13th Annual Tattoo Festival: With contests, side shows, and a whole lot of ink, the 13th Annual Tattoo Festival is your destination for body art of all shapes, colors and designs. Come check out the tattoos and artists coming to the convention, and maybe you’ll be inclined to get a new tat yourself. There will also be clothing available for sale as well as food and drink options. 2 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9, at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. ($20, $30 for a three day pass.) More information here.
“We Are Meant to Rise.” This new anthology edited by local writers Carolyn Holbrook and David Mura reflect on the traumas endured in 2020 by Indigenous writers and writers of color. From the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd to uprisings around Minneapolis and beyond, “We Are Meant to Rise” speaks truth to the ongoing struggles and issues impacting communities. On Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. Holbrook and Mura will be joined by Suleiman Adan, Marcie Rendon and Kevin Yang for a Zoom panel discussion hosted by the East Side Freedom Library in partnership with the Ramsey County Historical Society. Register in advance for the Zoom meeting here. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out There 2022: The Walker Art Center’s annual Out There Series, a foray into interdisciplinary modes of performance, is leaner this year, featuring three shows instead of the four it has in the past. It’s packed with some delectable options, including two commissions and a world premiere.
The first show was set to open Wednesday, but is postponed. We’ll note the new date when we get it. It’s the premiere of Kaneza Schaal’s second Walker commission, “KLII”. The solo work, designed and co-directed by Christopher Myers, ruminates on the figure of King Leopold the II, King of the Belgians and self-appointed “owner” of the Congo Free State between 1885 and 1908. Drawing on Mark Twain’s satirical pamphlet “King Leopold’s Soliloquy,” as well as a speech delivered in 1960 by the Congo Free State’s first prime minister Patrice Lumumba, the work mines the tyranny and brutal racisms of the Colonial era for lessons relevant today.
Later this month, algorithms become music in Annie Dorsen’s “Yesterday Tomorrow.” Deconstructing the Beatles and the musical “Annie,” Dorsen utilizes artificial intelligence to create original scores for each performance, featuring three vocalists. That’s on Jan. 27-29, also at the McGuire.
The festival concludes with another commission called “The Mood Room” by Big Dance Theater. Written by Guy de Cointet, who layers the writings of Shelly, Baudelaire, and Chekhov, with ads and soap operas, the play mixes film, movement, music, and more. It runs Feb. 10-12. More information on the entire series here.