The hounds hunt down an exhibition about Mao suits and modern Chinese fashion, a veteran rock band that resurrects a '70s sound, and "The Christmas Carol" re-told by the family Scrooge clerked for as a young man.
Sonya Berlovitz, who designs costumes for local theater companies, had her curiosity roused by the Goldstein Museum of Design's latest exhibition, "Mao to Now: Chinese Fashion from 1949 to the Present." Sonya says it offers a fascinating look at, among other things, the evolution of the iconic Mao suit. Plus, it showcases Chinese designers who are making a splash in global fashion right now. It's at the University of Minnesota through January 17.
Twin Cities Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler was on the receiving end of some Victorian Christmas cheer when he went to see "Fezziwig's Feast," put on by the Actors Theater of Minnesota at Wigington Hall on Harriet Island in St. Paul. It's a re-telling of "The Christmas Carol" from the point-of-view of Scrooge's benevolent former employer, Old Fezziwig and his family. A roasted pork and butternut squash soup dinner comes with the ticket. It runs through this Sunday.
Minneapolis songwriter and Frank Randall has a lot of respect for veteran musicians who rage against the dying of the light and continue to make great music for music's sake. That's how Frank describes members of The Shiny Lights, who include such local notables as John Eller, Chris Lynch, Steve Price and Noah Levy. The Shiny Lights will unleash their epic '70s sound and unveil a new CD with gigs at The Fine Line tomorrow, The Varsity Theater on Dec. 23 (CD release show) and the Aster Cafe on Dec. 30th.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.(2 Comments)
Posted at 9:33 AM on December 16, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: News and reviews
Here are the arts stories making headlines in the past 24 hours...
Walker Art Center to screen censored Wojnarowicz work
The Walker Art Center will screen Fire in my Belly, the late David Wojnarowicz's video work that's at the center of controversy after the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery removed it from an exhibition at the urging of conservative Christian groups and legislators, according to a blog post by its director, Olga Viso.
- Paul Schmelzer, Eyeteeth (via TC Daily Planet)
The Mesmerizing Involutions of Justin Jones' JIG
Lightsey Darst previews Justin Jones short new dances, JIG, on stage at the BLB. It's a departure for him, with tropes and trappings not typical to his work, so Darst chats with the choreographer to find out more about this intriguing change in direction.
Revisiting Reese & Rudd's Minnesota bomb
"How Do You Know" does not mark the first time Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd hooked up on screen. That honor belongs to "Overnight Delivery," shot in the Twin Cities. So how come you've never heard of it? Here's my 1998 article on how things went awry:
- Neal Justin, Star Tribune
Golden Globe nominations: Lots of surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant
Yesterday morning, the 68th Golden Globe Award nominations were announced and there were some nice surprises (Ryan Gosling, Michele Williams, I Am Love, Emma Stone, Idris Elba for BBC's miniseries Luther) and more than a few "holy moly!" surprises (The Tourist, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp twice nominated, Kevin Spacey) in both film and television categories.
- Jim Brunzell III, TC Daily Planet
Here's why First Avenue's 40th anniversary was a blast
It took First Avenue a little more than six hours to celebrate its 40th anniversary on Wednesday night. In a word, it was a blast.
- Jon Bream, Star Tribune
Music Box Theatre to change name back to Loring Theater
The Music Box Theatre, perhaps best known as the home of Triple Espresso, has undergone quite a few changes in the past year...Soon, they will undergo another change; the theater will be taking back its old moniker, the Loring Theater.
- Jessica Armbruster, City Pages
Max About Town
Student movies at the Trylon, and a selection of gourmet candy
- Max Sparber, MinnPost.com
Posted at 11:23 AM on December 16, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Music
I just tuned into the second hour of Midmorning to get an introduction to the Minnesota Opera's new director, Allan Naplan. In conversation with guest host Tom Crann, Naplan took on several topics, including the challenges surrounding finding new audiences, balancing new opera with the classics, and the importance of philanthropy ("an opera starts losing money as soon as the curtain is raised").
Naplan also discussed the Metropolitan Opera's broadcasts in movie theaters, the difference between opera in the U.S. and opera in Europe, and promised that "Jerry Springer: The Opera" would not be on the Minnesota Opera's calendar any time soon.
Click on the above link to here the entire conversation; it's worth sticking through the whole hour to hear the newsmaker with James Sewell and Camille LeFevre on a NY Times' writer's criticism of two ballet dancers' physical appearance.
Posted at 1:30 PM on December 16, 2010
by Euan Kerr
Filed under: Film
Derek Jarman at a screening of "Blue" before his death in 1994 (Image courtesy of Walker Art Center, copyright Zeitgeist Films)
Amidst the kafuffle about "Fire in my Belly" opening at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis today, another movie being screened just a few yards away in another WAC gallery has been lost in the shuffle.
That's unfortunate because Derek Jarman's "Blue" (1993) is by all accounts an extraordinary film. Jarman, an activist moviemaker who prided himself for having been denounced on the floor of the British Houses of Parliament, created the film as he was dying from AIDS-related complications.
He was also losing his sight in those final months, and he reacted by creating a feature length film which consists of a single shot of a deep blue color which fills the screen.
"And that is all there is," says Walker Film Curator Sheryl Mousley. "There is no other image, and you are really bathed in this blue light."
However "Blue" is constantly in motion through the soundtrack, which mixes music with the writings, memories and recordings gathered over a period of 10 years leading up to just before Jarman's death. Watchers hear Jarman's voice, and those of others, including his long-time collaborator and friend Tilda Swinton.
Jarman was a noted writer and speaker too, and it all blends in to the "Blue" package.
Mousley says it carries the audience along.
"With stories that are told about everyday life, the world events, as well as the rituals that Derek Jarman is going through as he is saying goodbye to his friends," she says. "He knows that he is dying. He is going through the process of a lot of medical treatments. He is also using a particular eyedrop that causes his sight that he is losing, he sees this cerulean blue."
Jarman talked about Yves Klein blue, which is a big feature of the Klein exhibit in another part of the Walker. Jarman also talks about Klein's courage and his insistence of leaping into the void of the unknown.
Mousley describes "Blue " as "a really lovely end-of-life" transition."
She says "Blue" belongs to the activist art movement spurred by the rise of AIDS in the 80's, and so it is appropriate for the screening room in the three year long "Event Horizon" show which draws on items from the Walker's collection.
"And the idea of it was those things that are in our history that have caused change," she says, "And change in many ways."
Mousley points out that "Fire in My Belly" came out of the same movement.
While"Blue" is set up so visitors can slip in and out of the room, Mousley hopes people will stay for all 90 minutes.
"It really does alter your color perception," she says. "When you leave it takes a bit of time for your eyes to readjust."
You can get a sense of the film from this opening extract
Posted at 3:19 PM on December 16, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Music
Yesterday in the course of writing an article on Bruce Coppock consulting for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, I quoted music industry blogger Drew McManus, who had the following to say:
...the DSO has hired Bruce Coppock as a consultant although what he's doing with the organization beyond his meeting presentation is not clear... What is known is that the far-reaching changes Coppock put into place at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra during his time there as the president and managing director don't seem to be helping that organization fare any better than their peers. Over the past decade, the organization has had endured numerous staff cuts and musician base pay has been cut three times, the most recent of which was in 2009. Whether or not this was taken into account by the DSO when deciding to hire Coppock is unknown.
Well, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra took issue with that quote. Chief Operating Officer Jon Limbacher gave me a call, and pointed out McManus was overly abrupt in his summary of Coppock's tenure.
"We're not denying that our musicians have made sacrifices," said Limbacher, "but it should be taken in the context of the worst economy since the Great depression."
This year the SPCO musicians obtained a pay increase, although for less than they had originally been contracted.
Limbacher went on to add that, thanks in part to those sacrifices, the SPCO has balanced its budget the last seven years, has no debt, and has also managed to increase its subscriber base by 37%.