The hounds track down forward thinking classical music in Duluth, a fashion forward knitting wizard in Minneapolis, and some polished public speakers at the state high school speech tourney.
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The annual "New Music Festival" at the University of Minnesota-Duluth is one of Duluth composer Ryan Rapsys' favorite events of the year. Ryan says it helps keep northern Minnesota connected to the latest currents in contemporary classical composition. The New Music Festival, which happens April 23 and 24th, is highlighted this year with a performance by the celebrated Luna Nova New Music Ensemble from Tennessee, April 23 at 7:30pm at UMD's Weber Hall.
Twin Cities dancer, improvisor and poet Lori Crever gets goosebumps this time of year, anticipating all the wonderful speakers who will partake in the Minnesota High School Speech Tournament. Lori says the teens who compete in such categories as humor, dramatic duo, and extemporaneous speaking, will make one confident in the country's future. The tournament will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College on April 23 and 24.
Some don't associate knitting with the glamour of fashion, but Audra Williams says with local knitwear designer StevenBe, the two are, huh, intertwined. As part of fashion week, StevenBe will show off his creations with a runway show, tonight (4/22) from 6-9pm at 3448 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.
Noah Bremer is an actor, artistic director of Live Action Set theater, and soon to be a clown with Cirque du Soleil.
Noah Bremer has always wanted to join the circus. And now, at the age of 33, his dream is coming true. The world famous Cirque du Soleil has offered him a part - a significant part - in its touring show "Varekai." He starts training on June 3, which begins in Montreal (where he'll learn how to do his own make-up - a 2 hour process - among other things) and then takes him to Frankfurt, where he'll shadow the performer he's replacing.
So, how does it feel to have a dream come true?
Both terrifying and obscenely fulfilling. It's funny - Cirque really likes people who are a little more established, who have a real presence and character. What's difficult about that, is that by the time you've achieved all that, you've set some roots down. It was easier to contemplate running away with the circus when I didn't have such a great community of friends, and my own theater company.
Noah Bremer had to study this piece and replicate it as precisely as he could for his audition.
Bremer has been performing in the Twin Cities for years, and in December took on the position of sole Artistic Director of Live Action Set. But then in February, he got the offer from Cirque du Soleil.
Rather than drop the job with Live Action Set, Bremer says he's going to continue working as Artistic Director... from Frankfurt, Belgium, and wherever else the circus takes him.
Our company has always been experimental - and now even the way we run the theater is going to be experimental, too.
Bremer says his colleague Joanna Harmon will transition into the role of Executive Director, handling the day to day details, while Bremer continues to set the vision for the company - via Skype - from abroad. Bremer jokes that he's been overcommitted all his life, and he doesn't think the circus is going to stop that. He also thinks it will be important to maintain a strong connection to Minneapolis while he's on tour. Otherwise, he says, it would be easy to lose his identity in the huge performance machine of Cirque du Soleil.
Bremer is producing and performing in one last show with Live Action Set before he takes off. It's called "The Happy Show," and it's a collaborative piece that will take over the Bedlam Theatre's entire building with multiple vignettes.
The idea is during difficult times, this group of happymakers comes and performs the ritual of happiness. But it's dangerous, because if they don't succeed the world will literally explode.
Bremer says the play is responding to what's going in the world right now, i.e. NOT happy stuff.
Every time I turn around there's another natural disaster, or a pirate ship... it's just there's a lot of sadness in the world. We're not trying to be trite with this, we're looking at what is happiness, and whether you can be happy in this climate, through an experiential event.
"The Happy Show" runs April 29 through May 14.
Director of the Minnesota Historical Society Nina Archabal is stepping down. Archabal has served as the society's director for the past 23 years, and its deputy director for nine years prior to that. Under her leadership, the Minnesota History Center has grown into the state's premier history museum and library, and the society created the Mill City Museum. The historical society is also responsible for a statewide network of historic sites and museums, including Historic Fort Snelling, Split Rock Lighthouse, the James J. Hill House and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. Archabal says she will continue to serve as director until her replacement is found, which she expects to be no later than the end of this year.
Posted at 5:44 PM on April 22, 2010
by Euan Kerr
Filed under: Photography
"They are like giant Legos," laughed Christine Podas-Larson, as a crane swung a huge container into position. As the President of Public Art St Paul she was near the corner of University and Hamline to watch the creation of the central element of the University Avenue Project.
Between May and October windows along a six mile stretch of University will display hundreds of pictures made by Wing Young Huie. However the site at 1433 University will be a literal focal point, with three projection screens, made out of these Lego blocks.
During the run of the Project there will be a two hour display of photographs every night, accompanied by a recorded soundtrack of local musicians. In addition there will be several cabarets during the run.
The crew was working on two towers of three smaller containers at the front of the site, and then placing two larger containers, one atop the other at the back. Projectors in the top container of the small towers will project on screens in the end of each. These will allow people passing by on the Avenue to enjoy the show.
Larger projectors will shoot images on the exterior of the huge containers at the back.
Podas-Larson and Steve Dietz, (above) who designed the installation for Northern Lights, were clearly pleased by how things were taking shape. "It really has taken a whole village," she said, referring to the huge outpouring of help from local businesses, and individuals who have helped bring the project to reality. Over the next few days volunteers will begin installing the pictures along the Avenue.
The Project also just got a major grant from the 3M Foundation which will allow the creation of several large photo murals which will be in place by May 1st, at either end of the Avenue in St Paul, and on the side of the Rondo Library.
"You can see that wall from a mile away," Podas-Larson said.
With the containers in place work can begin on the projection element. You can see a mock up of what the final site will look like here.