This week's hounds are reveling in "post-conceptual" sculpture, celebrating raw, seductive rock from some nice Minnesota boys and fine-tuning their powers of observation along the Central Corridor.
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Allen Brewer can't help it. The Twin Cities artist and instructor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design sees unintentional art everywhere he looks; in mundane, everyday surroundings, and even light rail construction. Allen's St. Paul studio is near the Central Corridor on University Ave, where wild colors, piles of rubble and the detritus of a torn-up street make for eye-catching sculpture.
Award-winning set designer and Off-Leash Area co-founder Paul Herwig found solace and stimulation at the Walker Art Center's exhibition "Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrences/Documented Assignments." Paul says the acclaimed Dutch sculptor Manders is a thoughtful, clever artist who plays with the viewer's assumptions and perspective. The show is up through September 11.
Local poet and writer Laura Brandenburg has not one but two reasons to visit downtown St. Paul this Friday night. The first is a chance to preview the Amsterdam Bar and Hall, which will have a grand opening later this month, and the second is that the Goondas will help christen the new club. Laura says The Goondas, with their swampy, bluesy, all-out musical attack, have restored her faith in local rock and roll.
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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As summer comes to an end, performing arts venues are revving up their calendars. September has lots to offer - here are just some of this month's highlights.
Ananya Dance Theatre presents Tushaanal: Fires of Dry Grass
Sept 8 - 11 at the Southern Theater
Why you should go: Ananya Chatterjea and her dancers are out to change the world, with performances that take on environmental destruction and social injustices.
Ragamala Dance presents "Sacred Earth"
Sept 22 - 25 at the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts
Why you should go: Ragamala Dance earned a rave review from the New York Times earlier this year, and its founder Ranee Ramaswamy was named 2011 Distinguished Artist by the McKnight Foundation, a high honor in the Minnesota arts scene. Plus their the first dance company to perform at the brand new Cowles Center.
Sept 6 and 7 at the Orpheum
Why you should go: Well, since the shows are basically sold out, you're going because you were lucky enough to get a ticket.
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with Cantus
Sept 9 and 10 at the Ordway
Why you should go: The SPCO opens its new season with a program that features Haydn, Bach, Brahms and a new work by hot composer Nico Muhly.
Ben Folds and the Minnesota Orchestra
Sat Sept 17 at Orchestra Hall
Why you should go: Smart and fun pop star accompanied by a world-class "back-up band."
Sept 30 and Oct 1 at the Dakota
Why you should go: Local girl with nationally recognized musical talent performs in an intimate setting with amazing food.
The Burial at Thebes, based upon Sophocles' Antigone
Sept 24 - Nov 6 at the Guthrie Theater
Why you should go: Director Marcela Lorca stunned audiences a couple of years ago with "Caroline, or Change." This new work based on a Greek tragedy - with original music by J.D. Steele - has all the makings of another powerful drama.
A Wrinkle in Time
Sept 27 - Dec 4 at Children's Theatre Company
Why you should go: The CTC takes on Madeleine L'Engle's classic sci-fi fantasy.
Two Trains Running by August Wilson
Sept 29 - Oct 30 at Penumbra Theatre
Why you should go: Simply put, any August Wilson play directed by Lou Bellamy is worth seeing.
Posted at 2:37 PM on September 1, 2011
by David Cazares
Filed under: Music
Editor's note: Carolina Astrain is a newsroom coordinator for MPR News who loves Latino arts and culture. She will occasionally contribute to State of the Arts.
By Carolina Astrain
When singer Marc Anthony takes the Grandstand stage at the Minnesota State Fair tonight, he'll be greeted as a superstar by salsa music fans, and an adored favorite son by Puerto Ricans.
Though many people in the Twin Cities likely have never heard of him, Anthony is a big name in Latin America and Latino communities in the United States.
Anthony, who has sold more than 11 million albums worldwide, earned his shot to fame. For the last two decades he has been a standard bearer for contemporary salsa, giving younger fans contemporary versions of the music their parents came to love in the 1970s, when Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican and other performers in New York infused Latin dance music with streetwise sensibilities.
The salsero's music is a big hit among salsa fans in the Twin Cities, where local Latino performers count him among their influences.
Local hip-hop star Maria Isa used to sing Anthony's tunes to the mirror, dreaming of her own music career. She's seen the salsa singer perform twice in Minneapolis and thinks his show at the State Fair will be his best Twin Cities gig yet.
"He's just been taking over the world as one of the biggest salsa artists for my generation who's carried the torch tremendously," she said.
Born Marco Antonio Muñiz in East Harlem, Anthony grew up listening to rock and rhythm and blues. He began his career in dance music in the 80s, but converted to salsa. His big break came when he was the opening act for Latin jazz and salsa legend Tito Puente at Madison Square Garden.
In the late 1990s, the singer helped lead a Latin music boom in the United States by fusing traditional Latin rhythms with rhythms and blues. He also was among a number of Latin performers with crossover appeal, recording albums in English that were well-received by critics and fans. His single, "I Need to Know," (Dimelo) was a huge hit.
Anthony's music often explores themes of desire, love and heartbreak -- set to powerful salsa of accomplished musicians, with plenty of percussion and blaring horns. He has also recorded albums of Spanish pop.
His music is a big hit with dancers, said Cuban dancer Rene Thompson, a salsa instructor in the Twin Cities who has appeared the singer's music videos.
For Thompson, Anthony's hit pop crossover track, "I Need to Know," is a favorite track because of its cha-cha-cha beat.
"The song speaks about needing to know about the people you love," Thompson said. "As an immigrant who left Cuba, 'I needed to know,' and he does an amazingly well-done modern rendition of cha-cha-cha."
Anthony also is an actor who has appeared several Hollywood films, including: "Man On Fire," "Big Night" and "Bringing Out the Dead."
He starred with his wife Jennifer Lopez in "El Cantante," a biopoic about Puerto Rican salsa great Hector Lavoe.
Isa, whose family once had one of the few salsa collections in the Twin Cities, said the singer's show tonight is another sign her community has arrived.
"I'm very proud that the Minnesota State Fair brought Marc Anthony, to make Latinos feel that this is just as much as our State Fair, as it is to anyone else who's been here -- whether you're first generation or fifth," she said. "Expect to see a lot of Puerto Rican flags and a lot of people not sitting at the Grandstands, but dancing."
Listen to Maria Isa talk about Marc Anthony's show this afternoon on All Things Considered.