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By: Tad Simons | Posted: 05/18/2012
The Walker Art Center announced its 2012-13 performing arts season on Thursday, and it looks to be another good one. Highlights include a new solo work by performance artist Laurie Anderson, an experimental multimedia/music piece by Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and several of his friends, and a day-long 60th birthday bash for composer/musician/producer John Zorn.
In all there are six commissioned works, three world premieres, and a dozen or so other programs, all of which amount to another stellar season put together by performing arts curator Philip Bither and crew. Also, for the first time ever, the Walker is not waiting to sell tickets to these events—you can get them right now, if you want.
Here’s a quick recap of the schedule from Sept.-Dec:
Sept. 19-22: Miguel Gutierrez and the Poweful People perform a world premiere Walker commission, and lose the name of action.
—One of the most adventurous choreographer/performers in the New York dance scene, the Powerful People are regularly described as “wild,” “frenetic,” “powerful,” “rapturous,” and “confusing.” In other words, they’re perfect for the Walker.
Sept. 28-29: where we live, by Sō Percussion (with Emily Johnson, Grey McMurray, and Martin Schmidt)
—Another Walker commission/world premiere, this one is a multi-platform project that includes movement (created by local choreographer Emily Johnson), video projection and electronic music by Martin Schmidt (from the pop duo Matmos), Brooklyn-based indie-rock guitarist/composer Grey McMurray, and the manically precise drums of Sō Percussion. The project’s theme: the many meanings of home.
Oct. 10-13: Voices of Strength: New Dance and Theater by Women from Africa.
—A mini-festival of work by five of Africa’s most dynamic choreographers, including Kettly Noël, Nelisiwe Xaba, Maria Helena Pinto, Bouchra Ouizguen, and Nadia Beugré.
Oct. 25-27: Super Nature, by The Body Cartography Project
—The Twin Cities’ own Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad have created an ambitious dance/performance/installation piece—about the wild and civilized impulses in human nature—that involves more than 25 dancers, including special guests from the Lyon Opera Ballet.
Nov. 2-3: Dirtday!, by Laurie Anderson
—Deliberately timed to coincide with election day, Laurie Anderson returns to the Walker after a ten-year hiatus to present her own unique take on the current state of affairs in the United States. Co-presented with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Also, on Nov. 1, Anderson will still for a conversation about her art, process, and political point of view.
Nov. 10: Political Mother, by the Hofesh Shechter Company
—Britain’s choreographer of the moment, Hofesh Shechter, presents a loud, percussive investigation of community and country, service and freedom, and the pursuit of power. Co-presented at the Orpheum Theater with Northrop Dance.
Nov. 29: Dirty Baby, by Nels Cline, David Breskin, and Ed Ruscha
—Before Wilco guitarist Nels Cline got recruited to rock, he was more interested in coaxing bizarre and discordant sounds from his electric guitar and not caring what anyone thought of the results. Dirty Baby is a “trialogue” of music, poetry, and projected images performed to and with a mini-orchestra of L.A.’s finest musicians. This is the only performance of this work in the U.S., ever.
Dec. 7-8: Hay Days: A Deborah Hay Celebration
—Another mini-festival, this time in honor of former Merce Cunningham and Judson Dance Theater choreographer Deborah Hay, one of the most influential dance artists of the past fifty years. Two pieces will be presented—No Time to Fly and As Holy Sites Go—and is preceded by a presentation by Hay herself explaining, in video and readings, her process and approach to meaningful movement. Oh, and be sure to check out the Walker’s new Jim Hodges sculpture on the lawn outside. Very cool. Here are couple of snaps from yesterday (it changes with the quality and direction of the light.):
Tad Simons is a contributing editor for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's arts and entertainmenet section. See bio
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