Aren’t we nice

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST (assuming you aren’t reading this two weeks from now): The great Lynn Redgrave, of Britain’s Redgrave acting dynasty, will be speaking at the Minnesota Center for Photography on Thursday, July 19, on her career and battle with breast cancer, as documented her photographer daughter, Annabel Clark.

Now, on to the blogging…

Recently, it was discovered that Minnesotans are nice. Seriously. And our cultural institutions are proof (and by “cultural institution” I don’t mean the VFW and the fact that Ernie lets you sing karaoke past 2 a.m.). I mean the fact, for instance, that the Minneapolis Institute of Arts recently received a gift of more than 600 photos by 106 master photographers, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Sebastiao Salgado, Edward Weston to Edward Steichen, Ansel Adams to Berenice Abbott, and, in a two part show over the next nine months, they’ll begin to display them.

Part one opened July7, though perhaps we should note: the donor is actually now a North Dakotan.

Elsewhere, on July 15 at the Southern Theater, Ragamala Music and Dance Theater presents their India-based dance teacher and inspiration, Alarmel Valli, whom the New York Times praised as the solo dancer “who puts all others out of mind.” If you enjoy Ragamala’s classical Indian dance, or simply want to see the best exponent, this is the show to see.

Earlier, and later, from July 12 to July 21, the Southern presents Momentum: New Dance Works, a showcase of the best new pieces from the celebrated Off-Leash Area and other local choreographers.

On July 16, the Orpheum has announced, the opening act for Chris Cornell will be Juliette Lewis, the actress best-known for her angsty, Academy-nominated teenage film work. Apparently, she’s just as ferocious in her rocking and rolling.

In a mellower mode, Flanders Art is hosting an opening on Saturday, July 14 for several abstract artists including the late, great George Morrison, perhaps the most prominent Native American painter, certainly in his genre.

And if you care to make a hot summer even hotter, on July 13 and 14 Patrick’s Cabaret is hosting the Art of Sweat Rhythm Fest No. 2, which pulled in 300 people in last year’s incarnation. Middle Eastern dance troupes, Brazilian groove rock, alternative folk (is that possible?), and solo percussion (Neil Peart, is that you?) are promised. Hey, you can always hit Manny’s Tortas afterwards til, like 3 a.m., joining the Nuevo Rodeo crowd.

And what of our Spamalot countdown? 13 days now. Weird fact: the show goes through about 40 coconuts a month, you know, for horse’s hoove sounds, supplied by someplace called the Coconut King. Nice work, if you can get it.

(Images: The Photojournalist by Andreas Feininger, 1955; Hanseatic Night by George Morrison, 1954)