If the Nordic Roots festival, running September 30 to October 2 at the Cedar Cultural Center, sounds like a cadre of neo-Vikings telling Ole and Lena jokes—possibly from inside a sauna—you haven’t been keeping up with Scandinavia. Sure, you can hear the classic hardanger fiddle at this music fest, but with a twist: the group Hurdy-Gurdy uses digital music-making technology (as well as, yes, hurdy-gurdies) to update ancient dance music. And Ellika & Solo, joined by Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, blend the sounds of the Swedish fiddle with those of the Senegalese kora, a stringed, gourd-like instrument. It’s as fresh as IKEA (heck, fresher). • Cedar Cultural Center, 416 S. Cedar Ave., Mpls, 612-338-2674, www.nordicroots.org
The Latin Look
Luis González Palma, perhaps the most successful art photographer to emerge from Latin America, rose to prominence on his sepia-tone portraits of Mayan Indians from his Guatemalan homeland, but his work has grown more mystical and complex since. A solo exhibition at the Weinstein Gallery opens September 30 and includes work featured at this year’s Venice Biennale—mysterious rooms, romantic portraits, modernist collages—that’s never far from the evocative humanism beneath his most powerful pieces in the past. • Weinstein Gallery, 908 W. 46th St., Mpls., 612-822-1722
The latest in European choreography—nothing involving lederhosen—takes the stage during the Central European Dance Exchange Festival, October 13 to 16 at the Southern Theater. Dancers from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Russia move to their own original work, as well as new collaborative pieces. Link Vostok, for example, brings the diverse group together for the world premiere of Solo, featuring new Czech music. • Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-340-1725.
Reading from Rock Bottom
Nick Flynn’s con-man father disappeared into a bottle—and out of his son’s life—for the better part of 20 years. Flynn partly fell down the same alco-hole before managing to pull himself back to sobriety and a job in a Boston homeless shelter, where—as he’d half-expected—his father showed up looking for a bed. On October 7, as part of the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series, he’ll read from his visceral memoir of those gin-soaked days, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which pulls the reader into this unusual father-son relationship without romanticizing it. • The Loft, 1011 S. Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-215-2575.
The pottery boom (unrelated to the Pottery Barn) has pushed so many plates, teapots, and vases onto the arts scene that it’s difficult to know where to find the cream of the crockery. But the Northern Clay Center’s showcase of 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship winners, which puts pots on pedestals through October 30, offers a terrific overview of artists from Missouri to Japan. Minneapolis recipient Leila Denecke, for instance, won her first McKnight in 1998 for her minimalist, soda-fired pots; these days, she’s showing the influences of her recent residency in Tokyo. • Northern Clay Center, 2424 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-8007.
Vladimir Horowitz was one of the 20th century’s most famous pianists, the last of the Romantic masters. And now, a couple years after the 100th anniversary of his birth, another acclaimed keyboardist, 26-year-old Misha Dacic, is holding a tribute to the late great piano man on October 2 at Macalester College. The long set list includes Scarlatti sonatas and Chopin mazurkas, as well as Horowitz’s own transcriptions and paraphrases of works by Bizet, Liszt, and others. • Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, 130 Macalester St., St. Paul, 612-822-0123.
After its off-Broadway premiere, From Door to Door comes to the Park Square Theatre from October 21 to November 13. The title was derived from the Hebrew prayer book, l’dor v’dor, which means “from generation to generation.” The touching story follows three Jewish women over the course of 70 years: the reserved and submissive grandmother, the defeated daughter, and the independent granddaughter, each faced with keeping the traditions of the women before her. It seems a fine fit for Park Square’s own tradition of tender but not saccharine shows. • Park Square Theatre, Historic Hamm Building, 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul, 651-291-7005.
The Museum of Russian Art doesn’t do nesting doll folk art any more than it panders to Soviet stereotypes. But it does remind us of Russia’s high art traditions with exhibitions such as “The Art of Russian Icons,” on view from October 13 to January 14. This collection of classic Orthodox religious imagery spans three centuries (and no, not a Jesus within a Jesus within a Jesus). It’s an exotic show for the Twin Cities’ most beautiful new museum—and quite appropriate, given that the space is a former church. • Museum of Russian Art, 5500 S. Stevens Ave. (Diamond Lake Rd. exit off I-35W), Mpls., 612-821-9045.
Lend Me Your Ear
Vincent van Gogh created some 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings in 10 years, a legacy that continues to inspire. Throughout October, the Shelley Holzemer Gallery will displays works from local artists influenced by van Gogh, but the highlight is My Name Is Vincent, a dance/music/theater performance on October 7. The 30-minute show by Keith Collis and Aaron Kerr includes singer/dancer J. P. Fitzgibbons, cellist Laura Handler, and pianist Mindy Eschedor channeling the emotional letters van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo, perhaps the Dutch painter’s own greatest inspiration. • Shelley Holzemer Gallery, 4810 S. Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-824-0640.
Given the anarchic wit of Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water and other early works, it’s worth wondering exactly what Allen was drinking back in the ’60s and early ’70s. Staged October 13 to 30 at St. Cloud’s Pioneer Place on Fifth theater, in a touring production by Pigs Eye Theater starring Ari Hoptman, this oft-performed play is about what happens when a New Jersey caterer and his wife are mistaken for spies behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. It’s a wild reminder of how groundbreakingly goofy Allen was before he started taking himself so seriously. • Pioneer Place on Fifth, 22 S. Fifth Ave., St. Cloud, 320-203-0331.