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Weekend Picks: The art of listening, performance art, and the search for lesbian bars

Plus: A debut duo album from AJ Srubas & Rina Rossi; exploring disability through movement, performance; a quartet at kj’s hideaway; and more.

“Give Ear” focuses on the notion of listening, and how individuals hear, our relationship to sound, and tuning in more intentionally to the world around us.
“Give Ear” focuses on the notion of listening, and how individuals hear, our relationship to sound, and tuning in more intentionally to the world around us.
Photo by Bill Cameron

Theater and dance come together for a piece by Berit Ahlgren and Nathan Keepers that opens at the Southern Theater this week. “Give Ear” is all about truly listening. Also this week, the Red Eye’s New Works 4 Weeks series continues with a double bill featuring works by artists grappling with identity and societal assumptions. On Friday, Dreamsong welcomes performance artist and writer Gabrielle Civil, who is in residence at Franconia, to share a series of videos and a preview of what Civil will be doing later on at the sculpture park. At kj’s hideaway, Dayna Stephens takes the stage. 

After the weekend, head to Moon Palace to hear from author Krista Burton about her search for disappearing lesbian bars. Then on Wednesday, AJ Srubas and Rina Rossi team up for their first duo album, which will have its release at the 331 Club. 

Give Ear

Choreographer Berit Ahlgren and theater artist Nathan Keepers were set to premiere their collaborative piece, “Give Ear” in March of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans. They shared the work via Livestream for the Cowles Center’s virtual “Merges in March” program in 2021, and now, three years later, they are bringing the work in-person toTwin Cities audiences at The Southern Theater. 

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The work focuses on the notion of listening, and how individuals hear, our relationship to sound, and tuning in more intentionally to the world around us. Thursday, June 8, Friday, June 9 & Saturday June 10 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 11 at 2 p.m. at The Southern Theater ($25 in advance, $30 door, pay what you can on Sunday). More information here.

Alys Ayumi Ogura and Akiko Ostlund
Photo by Valerie Oliveiro
Alys Ayumi Ogura and Akiko Ostlund

New Works 4 Weeks: D. Allen | Alys Ayumi Ogura

Allen explores societal assumptions around disability in a piece that uses movement, projections, music, and performance as part of The Red Eye Theater’s New Works 4 Weeks series. Allen shares a bill with Alys Ayumi Ogura, who collaborates with fellow performance artist Akiko Ostlund on a work that explores identity and pushes back against stereotypes and too-easy categorizations. Both Ogura and Ostlund are Japanese-American, and problematize the American knack for putting people into a box. Thursday, June 8, Friday, June 9 & Saturday June 10 at 7 p.m. at Red Eye Theater ($15-50). More information here.

Gabrielle Civil
Photo by Sayge Carroll
Gabrielle Civil

black dreams & black time

Writer and performance artist Gabrielle Civil is going to be in residence this summer at Franconia Sculpture Park, and will be making a stop at the Dreamsong gallery this weekend. At Dreamsong, the artist will be sharing video works in a program named after her latest performance memoir, “the déjà vu: black dreams & black time,” published by Coffee House Press last year. Civil formerly has taught at St. Catherine University and Macalester College, and among the videos she’ll be showing are works created with artists here in Minnesota, including Miré Regulus, Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe, Sayge Carroll, Moe Lionel, and Rosamond S. King. She’ll also give a sneak peak of her upcoming live performance that will premiere at Franconia, called “Pilgrimage.” You can see the full version on Saturday, June 17 at Franconia as part of the Summer Solstice Festival (free). More information here. The Dreamsong event takes place Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m. (free). More information here

Dayna Stephens Quartet

This week at kj’s hideaway, Brooklyn-born and Bay Area-based Dayna Stephens brings his velvety sax playing and inspired rhythms to Twin Cities audiences. It’s a special evening-length, two-set performance, with Stephens performing in a quartet configuration for the show. It should be a special performance. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at kj’s hideaway. ($20). More information here.

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Moby Dyke

Twin Cities author Krista Burton gets to the bottom of why lesbian bars have become an endangered species with her new book “Moby Dyke: An Obsessive Quest to Track Down the Last Remaining Lesbian Bars in America.” For research, Burton traveled the country, competing in dildo  races, singing karaoke, and doing some soul-searching as well, visiting queer social spaces in Indiana, Texas, Tennessee and more. Creator of the blog “Effing Dykes,” Burton is on a national book tour, but makes a stop here in her home of Minneapolis for a book reading. It takes place Monday, June 12 at 7 p.m. at Moon Palace (free). More information here

AJ Srubas and Rina Rossi
EFS Publicity
AJ Srubas and Rina Rossi

AJ Srubas & Rina Rossi Celebrate Debut Duo Album

AJ Srubas & Rina Rossi have collaborated together often in various different musical projects, including Steam Machine, New Riverside Ramblers, and Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, but they’ve never ventured toward a duo with just the two of them. That changes with “Sweet Bunch of Daisies,” featuring Srubas playing fiddle, Rossi playing guitar, and vocals by both artists.  Hear their intimate folk song arrangements that celebrate the pure sound of fiddle and guitar as part of Harold’s House Party series. Clogging shoes are optional. 7p.m. Wednesday, June 14 at the 331 Club (free). More information here.