The Arts

Minnesota Monthly’s recommendations for cultural diversion in April 2007

Gallery Goings-on

Rosalux Gallery, run by 25 local artists, has a knack for showcasing graphically interesting work, and two shows this month are no exception. One, closing April 2, features the paintings of Pamela Belding and Scott Wenner, as well as Belding’s sculptures. Both artists have backgrounds in ï¬lmmaking, and it shows in the strong compositions. The other, opening April 24, highlights landscape paintings by Tara Costello and David Malcom Scott, two artists for whom the landscape is just a place to start, often ending up with layered, abstracted, and otherwise textured takes on our surroundings. Rosalux Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-747-3942

Through a Lens

Darkly Movie-making is a luxury many nations can’t afford, so the U.S.-based Global Film Initiative grants money to struggling directors in such places as China, Algeria, India, and Croatia. One result is the Global Lens series, screening April 11 to 22 at the Walker Art Center, a showcase of movies from the developing world. As you might expect, there’s not a lot of laughs—the subject matter ranges from war to drug addiction to sexual violence—but the quality is uniformly high. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600

Timber by Thomas Allen

Seeing Double

Diorama art has grown beyond science projects and museum displays. In “Double Take,” opening April 6 at the Bloomington Art Center, book illustrations literally jump off the page. The artist Thomas Allen cuts apart cowboy fights and other scenes from the covers of vintage paperbacks and wires them in 3-D fashion to create the appearance of motion, before photographing and displaying the result—a book you can almost literally get into. • Bloomington Art Center, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, 952-563-8587.

Art as History

Despite their shared Anishinaabe ancestry, the painters Andrea Carlson and Jim Denomie bring decidedly different perspectives to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in their politically charged exhibition opening April 6. Pairing Denomie’s landscapes and painting-a-day portraits with Carlson’s meditations on the importance of objects results in a fuller picture of their heritage. • Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls., 612-870-3131.

String Theorist

John Scofield, the jazz guitarist who has played with everyone from Miles Davis to Charles Mingus to Herbie Hancock, has always aimed to bring the high-flying conceptualism of modern jazz down to earth. Make that Earth, Wind & Fire—he’s a soul man with a jazz musician’s gift for improv and collaboration. And he’s playing the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant on April 1. • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010.

No Easy Answers

Mixed Blood Theatre lives up to its name with Messy Utopia, staged April 20 to May 13 and written by five biracial playwrights. The writers have differing ethnicities but explore a similar theme: in a world that seeks definition, how do you answer the question, “What are you?” • Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. Fourth St., Mpls., 612-338-6131.

That New Song and Dance

Zenon Dance Company’s spring show, performed April 26 to May 6 at the Ritz Theater, is highlighted by the U.S. premiere of a new work by its former co-artistic director, Danny Buraczeski, whose Jazzdance troupe folded in 2005 after 25 years. Other talents from around the globe add to another strong program by the local, long-running champions of modern dance. • Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-436-1129.

New Moves

The James Sewell Ballet is best known for its modernist works, particularly, well, those of James Sewell. But for its April 12 to 15 program in a new venue—the McGuire stage at the Guthrie Theater—the company is pulling out Tarantella, a neoclassical work from 1964 that was originated by ballet legend George Balanchine. Based on the Italian folk dance of the same name, “It’s really about the body smiling—it’s just one huge grin,” said one of Balanchine’s original dancers of the piece. • Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Mpls., 612-377-2224.

Bill Cooper

A Real Cut-up

Running with scissors takes on new meaning in the world of Edward Scissorhands. The story of a boy with scissors for hands, memorably played by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s film, comes to life on the stage through the cutting-edge creativity of the choreographer Matthew Bourne, who breathed fresh air into Swan Lake a few years back, using a mostly male cast and nabbing two Tony Awards in the process. Bourne’s take on Scissorhands comes to the Ordway April 10 to 15 during its cross-country tour. • Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St.,
St. Paul, 651-224-4222.

Art Mart

The annual American Craft Show, held in St. Paul from April 13 to 15, more closely fits the definition of “craft” as something skillfully handmade—not the connotation of owls made from pinecones. Thus the jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor for sale in this juried show by the American Craft Council (not to be confused with the recently defunct Minnesota Crafts Council) are assuredly high-quality. This year’s show includes toys and other creations for kids. St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul,