Get Cultured: Dance Events This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow celebrates Native American heritage while Rhythmically Speaking showcases jazz, hip-hop, tap, and more


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Two people dancing in a dark room in a performance of Rhythmically Speaking.
Rhythmically Speaking

photo by Jillian Bell


Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow 

Attracting attendees from all around for its 52nd year of traditional dance, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe have this weekend prepared a dawn-to-dusk lineup of activities for their powwow on the Iskigamizigan Powwow Grounds in central Minnesota. 

For three full days, the event west of Lake Mille Lacs features crafts, raffle drawings, horseshoe and moccasin tournaments, a parade, a three-on-three basketball tournament, a "fun run" sponsored by the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, and contests including Best Parade Float and Best Old-Style Jingle Dress (where the first-place winner takes home $1,150). 

Dancers in bright, traditional regalia participate in dancing and drum ceremonies throughout the weekend. Ceremonies begin with a grand entry and an introductory procession of representatives of various tribes and schools. 

The grounds include a free campsite, showers, and complimentary campfire wood for those taking in the full weekend experience. 

When 

Grand entries begin Friday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 18, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m. 

Where: 

Iskigamizigan Powwow Grounds (on the west side of Lake Mille Lacs—follow the signs) 

How much: 

Free 

Rhythmically Speaking 

When you combine creative choreography, impressive skills, and the experience of artistic director Erinn Liebhard with the enthusiastic moves of local and national performers, you really can’t go wrong. This is Rhythmically Speaking

The annual two-hour dance performance, going on 10 years, showcases works inspired by vernacular American dance. This type of dance evolved naturally and informally within communities, often in public places, such as bars and clubs. Rhythmically Speaking has grooved, moved, and chasséd into uncharted territory in Minnesota—being one of few (on the local and national levels) specifically dedicated to supporting new work in staged dance. 

After an open-call opportunity for artists to upload video submissions, dancer and choreographer Liebhard, along with local dance luminaries Brian J. Evans and Zoe Sealy, selected 2018's choreographers. This year, all of them are established, well-known professionals with extensive performance and choreographic experience: Gabriel Anderson and Laura Selle-Virtucio; Leila Awadallah; Melissa Clark; Brandi Coleman; Karla Grotting; Jolene Konkel; and Emma Marlar. 

Rhythmically Speaking spans various social dance disciplines; the nonprofit company has presented jazz, tap, contemporary African, modern, various hip hop styles, and more. Each work features an energetic and eclectic ensemble of local dancers, this year including 44 performers—ranging from university students to seasoned professionals, business owners to yoga instructors, as well as the self-taught. 

“We are fortunate to have built a space that interests excellent choreographers and dancers," Liebhard says, “and brings in audiences to enjoy being in the moment with us.”  

When

August 16, 7:30 p.m.; August 17, 7:30 p.m.; August 18, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Where

The Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis 

How much

$20 in advance, $24 at the door. 

How long

Two hours (including intermission)

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