The hounds want you to know about a Minneapolis dance troupe that assumes different global folk identities, a D.I.Y. cellist who creates moody soundscapes for bands, films and fans, and a sketch comedy series that recalls a 1960s TV show in name only.
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As a dancer with the North Indian classical dance group, Katha Dance Theatre, Asha Sharma has an appreciation for dance companies that focus on the traditions of other countries. Asha thinks Ethnic Dance Theatre's spring concert "Then and Now" is something to be excited about, partly because it will re-interpret a variety of ethnic and folk dances using a modern dance vocabulary. "Then and Now" is on stage at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis Friday through Sunday.
St. Paul composer Mike Croswell has been an ardent follower of cellist Zoe Keating since he discovered her on Myspace years ago. Keating uses pedals and a laptop to build her music live on stage. Mike describes Keating's sound as lush and cinematic with the potential to envelop an attentive listener. Keating makes a stop at the Cedar on Wednesday, May 18.
Minneapolis actor Nathan Tylutki admits "Danger! Will/Robinson" at the Bryant Lake Bowl sounds like a send-up of the classic 60s TV series "Lost in Space," the space version of Swiss Family Robinson. It's not. But Nathan says it is a hilarious sketch comedy series written and acted by Joshua WILL, and Jim ROBINSON. It's on stage at the Bryant Lake Bowl through Saturday, May 14.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
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Each year the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota releases its list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places, with the hope of drawing enough public attention to save otherwise threatened structures.
This year, the list didn't come soon enough for one well-known drive-in: Porky's.
In this evening's release the folks at the alliance note:
The demise of Porky's raises troubling questions about the future of other historic sites along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (LRT) line. Architectural surveys carried out during LRT planning stages determined that Porky's and nearly two dozen other properties were individually eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This federal process is supposed to ensure that impacts on historic properties are carefully considered. Unfortunately, Porky's fate was determined in a rash decision by private owners that did not include a thorough exploration of alternatives or any opportunity for public consultation. Porky's is gone, but other sites along the St. Paul LRT corridor are still at risk.
Here are the other nine buildings on this year's list along with a few historical details provided by the alliance.
Pillsbury A Mill Complex, 301 Main St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
The Pillsbury A Mill on the Mississippi River's east bank near downtown Minneapolis was once the largest flour mill in the world. The overall 7.9-acre site is approximately three square blocks, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Minneapolis historic site. The "A" Mill building itself is a National Historic Landmark.
Jackson Street Water Tower, 422 Jackson Ave., NW, Elk River, MN 55330
Long a landmark for citizens of Elk River, the Jackson Street Water Tower was once a symbol of engineering technology in the early twentieth century.
St. Peter's Church, 810 W. 3rd St., Duluth, MN 55806
St. Peter's Church, once the cornerstone of the Italian-American community in Duluth, was constructed in the mid-1920s. The building's striking variegated stone exterior was the work of Italian-American stone masons from the church's original congregation.
Mayowood Historic District, 3700 Mayowood Rd. SW, Rochester, MN 55902
The Mayowood Historic District includes one of the great county estates in the Midwest, home of the Charles H. Mayo family.
Johnston Hall, 633 SE First St., Faribault, MN 55021
Designed by prominent New York architect Henry Congdon, Johnston Hall was built in 1888 as a library and seminary faculty residence for the Seabury Divinity School. The building is an excellent example of Richardsonian Romanesque style architecture, constructed of locally quarried blue limestone.
Howe School, E. 38th St. and 43rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55406
Howe School, built in 1927, was once the center of community life in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. The school design incorporated natural light, ventilation, steam heating, modern sanitation systems, and fireproof construction, as well as public meeting rooms, which helped foster a strong bond between the school and its community.
Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, 1400 N. Union Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537
The Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center was built in 1888, accepted its first patients in 1906, treated thousands of the state's mentally ill, and sustained the local economy with hundreds of jobs until its closure in 2005. The Fergus Falls complex was built using a model developed by Dr. Thomas S. Kirkbride, based on the belief that building design aided in the recuperation and maintenance of mental health.
Dredge William A. Thompson, Mississippi River (Winona vicinity)
For over 70 years, the William A. Thompson was an integral part of maritime activity in the Upper Midwest.
Mitchell Yards, 4685 Redore Rd., Hibbing, MN 55746
In the late nineteenth century, the U.S. became an industrial powerhouse, and the Iron Range of northeastern Minnesota led the way by providing raw materials for the growth of industry. At its heyday, "the Range's" many iron ore mines buzzed with activity and employed thousands of people. A strong infrastructure of rail and maritime transportation was needed to move the iron ore from the mines to shipping ports in Duluth and on to steel plants in Chicago, Gary, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Railroads played a key role, but many of the structures and switching yards--essential cogs in this industrial process--have been lost.
Perpich senior Ben Schultz and Dame Julie Andrews
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson
This afternoon, the students at the Perpich Center for the Arts were treated to an appearance by theater royalty. Dame Julie Andrews visited the Golden Valley school, which draws students from across the state.
She was there thanks to senior Ben Schultz, who has been corresponding with Andrews' agent for the past two years in the hopes of convincing her to visit.
So why is Schultz such a big fan?
She's always conducting herself with grace and poise. Everything you see her in - it's not a skanky role, it's not dirty. Every time she's on tv - like Oprah - she's never snotty or rude. Every single student here, we look up to her just because of the work she's done for theater and how successful she's become.
Andrews is in Minneapolis in part for a visit with Target Corporation, and also to promote her most recent children's book; it's thanks to Schultz she added the school visit to her itinerary.
The student body leapt to its feet with a roar when Andrews walked on the stage of the school theater.
She spoke to the students about the importance of the arts, and how they are a force for good in the world. When asked for her advice to budding performers, she offered this:
I think that if you're passionate about what you do - opportunities will float by when you least expect them. Since those moments could happen at any time, my best advice is do your homework. Learn what it is you love. Learn all about it, read as much as you possibly can, be ready because you never know when that special moment is going to be offered to you.
Afterwards, sitting in the makeshift "green room" (the boy's locker room), Andrews admitted that, while she attended an arts school herself, it was her family that played the most formative role in her career.
My mother was a fine pianist, my step-father was a wonderful tenor and he began giving me singing lessons when I was about seven years old - my mother's sister, my aunt was a ballet school teacher - actually she ran the local village ballet school and she did it very well. They encouraged and inspired me, and it just so happened that I was blessed with a kind of freak soprano voice that spanned four octaves. I didn't know anything else but theater growing up.
At the age of 75, Andrews is still looking at future film roles as well as directing opportunities. All this in addition to the more than twenty books she's published with her daughter.
I'm still learning, and I've worked my whole life. - I don't know how I would feel if I wasn't doing something that turned me on, so I'm always looking for the possibility of something fresh, something new something that I could embrace - I really love it.
Here's the audio from her talk to the students at the Perpich Center for the Arts, which includes a lovely recollection of her late husband Blake Edwards:(6 Comments)
Author Michael Ondaatje
Tonight Dave Eggers is at the Hopkins Center for the Arts as the final guest of the Pen Pals Author Lecture Series. And as part of the event, the Minneapolis Library Foundation is announcing the featured authors for the 2011/2012 season.
It's an impressive list - see for yourself:
October 27/28, 2011
Jhumpa Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for Intrepreter of Maladies, her debut story collection that explores issues of love and identity among immigrants and cultural transplants. Alongside her Pulitzer Prize, Jhumpa Lahiri has won numerous awards including the PEN/Hemingway Award, an O. Henry Prize, and the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her second novel, The Namesake, was published to great acclaim in 2003 and adapted for film in 2007.
December 1/2, 2011
Michael Ondaatje is one of the world's foremost writers -- his artistry and aesthetic have influenced an entire generation of writers and readers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje's work also encompasses memoir, poetry, and film, and reveals a passion for defying conventional form. In his novel, The English Patient, which was adapted into an Academy Award winning film, he explores the stories of people history fails to reveal, intersecting four diverse lives at the end of World War II. His forthcoming novel, The Cat's Table, will be published in the US in the fall of 2011.
March 15/16, 2012
Wallace Shawn is beloved for his comedic roles as a film and stage actor, in such works as My Dinner with Andre and The Princess Bride. As a playwright and an essayist, he is revered for his exploration of difficult, often controversial themes. Much of his writing in his collection Essays (2009) has the same cadence as the dialogue in his award-winning plays and screenplays -- bold assertions, often provocative, that outrage and even startle. In 2005, Wallace Shawn received the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for "showing the way to a new kind of theater...."
April 19/20, 2012
Dr. Brian Greene is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists and author of the national bestsellers, The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality. A brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts, Greene was described by The Washington Post as "the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today." In 2008, he co-founded the annual World Science Festival. The Festival's mission is to take science out of the laboratory, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating to the general public.
May 10/11, 2012
Arthur Phillips was born in Minneapolis and educated at Harvard. He has been a child actor, a jazz musician, a speechwriter, a dismally failed entrepreneur, and a five-time Jeopardy champion. His first novel, Prague, was named a New York Times Notable Book and received The Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for best first novel. He is the author of five novels, including Egyptologist, The Song is You and The Tragedy of Arthur. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages and is the source of three films currently in development.