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Fall Arts Preview

The top 10 all-time, must-see, holy-cow, get-your-butt-down-here arts events for fall. Plus, 21 more shows you won’t want to miss.

Fall Arts Preview
Photo by Darren Booth (Typography)

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Visual Arts

2008 American Pottery Festival

➔ September 5 to 7
Northern Clay Center
WHAT TO EXPECT: The Northern Clay Center is a Midwestern mecca for ceramists, and its annual fundraiser pulls out all the stops, er, pots. View the private collections of some 24 national and regional ceramists, and the work of numerous up-and-coming artists from around the country. Each day is also a giant sale.
WHY GO: Warren MacKenzie, a Minnesota arts institution, will showcase some of the functional Japanese and Korean folk pottery he’s been making for more than 60 years.
WHERE: Northern Clay Center, 2424 Franklin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-339-8007


Vatican Splendors

➔ September 27 to January 10
Minnesota History Center
WHAT TO EXPECT: As Mel Brooks noted, it’s good to be the king. But historically it’s also been good to be the pope. In this 200-object exhibit on loan from the Vatican Museums, the popes’ kingly accoutrements are on display: artful, historical pieces related to the Holy See, from papal garments and jewelry to guards’ swords and armor to gifts from Napoleon and the Dalai Lama.
WHY GO: You could fly across the world and wait forever to see this collection at the actual Vatican—or visit, of all places, the Minnesota History Center.
WHERE: Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-259-3000


Brian Mark

➔ October 3 to November 15
Rogue Buddha
WHAT TO EXPECT: You wouldn’t expect that pouring acid on steel would result in anything nearly as gentle as Mark’s images of nudes, boxers, and saintly figures. Yet there’s a reason many of the local artist’s commissions are for churches and memorials—and that he lists several jobs at granite companies under “related experience” on his resumé: The work has a sculptural grace and permanence.
WHY GO: Rogue Buddha gallery remains the place, outside artists’ cooperatives, to see the work of edgy local artists.
WHERE: Rogue Buddha, 357 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-331-3889


India: Public Places, Private Spaces

➔ October 26 to January 18
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
WHAT TO EXPECT: From caste conflict to Bollywood blockbusters, this exhibition of contemporary photography and video art from the world’s largest democracy traces a billion people amid economic and cultural upheaval.
WHY GO: The exhibition heralds the emerging Indian modern art scene (among the featured artists is Shilpa Gupta, dubbed the “Damien Hirst of India”) as well as the MIA’s new openness to contemporary shows.
WHERE: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls., 612-870-3131


Dear President _______:

➔ October 31 to November 11
Minneapolis College of Art and Design Gallery
WHAT TO EXPECT: Ever written an impassioned letter, only to hold off on sending it? In this artistic free-for-all, every MCAD undergrad is required to do much the same, addressing the future president directly in their paintings, photographs, and illustrations—only without even knowing who the recipient will be. At the end of the exhibition (just after the election), if participants so desire, each bitter/giddy/disgusted image will be mailed to the White House.
WHY GO: Think of it as the infamous PostSecret blog, featuring anonymous true confessions—only artsier.
WHERE: MCAD Gallery, 2501 Stevens Ave., Mpls., 612-874-3700
 

Dance

Born to Be Alive

➔ October 22 to November 2
Ballet of the Dolls
WHAT TO EXPECT: Choreographer Myron Johnson has incorporated more serious themes in the Dolls’ shows in recent years, but he still has a gift for delightfully campy deconstructions—Saturday Night Fever, in this case, with the dancers depicting what everyone else on the dance floor besides Tony Manero was up to. Lonely or carefree, they’re all bumping hips for reasons of their own.
WHY GO: As an added twist, the show is set in the late, lamented Sutton’s, an infamous Minneapolis gay bar (the coat-check sign read: “Well-hung coats”) whose unmarked doors hid numerous secrets and stories.
WHERE: Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. N., Mpls., 612-436-1129


Dancing People

➔ October 23 to 26
James Sewell Ballet
WHAT TO EXPECT: Sewell’s contemporary ballet troupe wriggles confidently into its 16th season, opening with equal parts new and re-staged work. For Dancing People, one of two premieres, Sewell has choreographed solo excursions for Penelope Freeh, Justin Leaf, and every other member of his company—pliés and balances featuring Sewell’s wry inventiveness while playing to each dancer’s strengths.
WHY GO: Dance lovers count their blessings that Sewell, who moved here after a blossoming career start in New York, remains in the Twin Cities, nurturing the close-knit dance community he helped create with wife and troupe cofounder Sally Rousse.
WHERE: O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-6700


Pipaashaa: Extreme Thirst

➔ November 6 to 7
Ananya Dance Theatre
WHAT TO EXPECT: Exploring the possibilities of art as advocacy, Ananya Dance Theatre last year launched a three-part series of works examining the impact of environmental damage on the world’s poor, particularly women of color. This revival of the first and most popular installment shows them surviving amid a depleted landscape, scavenging for a living while attempting to maintain their dignity and even femininity.
WHY GO: The original performances of this work sold out quickly, and this summer’s second installment in the series (Daak) also drew crowds, demonstrating the troupe’s reputation for earnest yet riveting drama.
WHERE: O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-6700


Carmina Burana

➔ November 8
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
WHAT TO EXPECT: Who knew our windswept northern neighbor harbored a world-class dance troupe? Not many Twin Citians, as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet hasn’t performed at Northrop in more than two decades. Yet they’re not only Canada’s premier ballet company but the longest-running ballet company in North America, their regal status conferred by Queen Elizabeth II herself. The troupe takes a classical approach to Carl Orff’s poetic Carmina Burana, tirelessly teetering between despair and joy.
WHY GO: You may not recognize the name, but you’ll likely recognize the tune: “O Fortuna,” a cantata within the ballet’s score, is among the most-sampled musical pieces—of all time.
WHERE: Northrop Auditorium, University of Minnesota, 84 Church St. SE, Mpls., 612-625-6600


TU Dance

➔ November 21 to 23
O’Shaughnessy Auditorium
WHAT TO EXPECT: Though TU Dance is only a few years old, choreographer Uri Sands already has given the troupe enough memorable pieces to sprinkle them among his new creations at this season opener. His Veneers, a forceful, almost violent deconstruction of our hubris, and The 6 Beginnings, a buoyant sort of über-Twister, are instant classics.
WHY GO: Sands is refreshing for many reasons—he’s an African-American Floridian who loves ice-fishing, for God’s sake—but it’s his winning desire to lighten the opacity of modern dance with pure physical exuberance (and the occasional Rare Earth funk tune) that even non-dance fans will find engaging.
WHERE: O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-6700
 


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