The Arts

Minnesota Monthly’s recommendations for cultural diversion in June 2007

Fly Style

If you think crunk is a new type of energy drink, you may feel especially uncool at the B-Girl Be Summit at Intermedia Arts. Now in its third year, the festival celebrates hip-hop culture through artwork, dance, fashion shows, and films that are less about shaking your budunkadunk than shaking your fist in protest or pride. The celebration of women in hip-hop continues through August with the exhibit “The Art of T&A: Truth and Activism.” – Summit: June 28—July 1; Exhibit: June 21—Sept. 9; Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-871-4444

Picturing Russia

Much of the imagery shown so far at the Museum of Russian Art (TMORA) has been limited to paintings. But Andrew L. Moore’s photographs, now on exhibit, capture a more contemporary Russia—one slowly but surely transformed. Simply titled “Russia,” the show has a quirkiness, as if famed local photographer Alec Soth was let loose in Siberia, and the images range from an abandoned missile base to a fairy-tale-like 13-story wood house. – Through Sept. 1: The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-9045.


Out and About

Pride Month is more than a parade these days, with an art show on the 15th, a boat cruise on the 16th, a block party in Uptown on the 22nd, and the Pride Festival in Loring Park on the 23rd and 24th. Few events promise to be as pitch perfect as Glitter & Be Gay, however, a concert by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus at Ted Mann Concert Hall that highlights gay composers, including Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and Noel Coward. – June 22, 23: Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth St. S., Mpls., 612-624-2345.


Best of Beethoven

The Minnesota Orchestra, led by Osmo Vänskä, has lately become the foremost interpreter of Beethoven’s symphonies, recording five of the works over the past few years. This month, they perform the Sixth Symphony—an ode to the countryside, complete with aural thunderstorm.  – May 31 to June 2: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-371-5656.

Pablo Picasso, Bathers with Beach Ball, 1928

Picasso Squared

An insular America, void of foreign influence, would leave us without some rather treasured traditions (freedom fries anyone?). “Picasso and American Art,” opening this month at Walker Art Center, explores just how popular the Spanish painter was in the United States by juxtaposing his work with that of such quintessentially “American” artists as De Kooning and Warhol. Opens June 16: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600

Bathers with Beach Ball, 1928, Pablo Picasso

Explosive Exhibition

“A Day in Pompeii” allows visitors to explore an ancient culture without leaving the comfort of the city—or the 21st century. The town famously laid to waste by Mount Vesuvius still has secrets to divulge, apparently, as the Science Museum of Minnesota is promising never-before-seen artifacts—from gold coins to jewelry to sculptures—recovered from the ash. Eight plaster body casts, molded from cavities left by victims’ bodies, provide an eerie narrative about the Roman city’s final, fateful moments. – Opens June 27: Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-221-9444.

All Keyed Up

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra showcases the chops of French phenom Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who performs piano concertos by Mozart, Ravel, and Gy̦rgy Ligeti, an avant-garde composer whose work was featured in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (no, not that music; that was Strauss). РJune 1: Wooddale Church, 6630 Shady Oak Rd., Eden Prairie; June 2, 3: Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth St. S., Mpls., 651-291-1144.

The Playwright’s the Thing

Alan Ayckbourn, who wrote his first play in 1959 and is still going strong after 70 plays, always seems to have a show on a Twin Cities stage. This month, he has two. Taking Steps, one of Ayckbourn’s first farces, stars David Mann, the perennial Fringe favorite, at the Park Square Theatre. Intimate Exchanges, one of the first plays to challenge the medium itself—it requires actors to make choices at certain intervals, affecting how the scenes play out—begins its run at the Jungle Theater. – June 1 to 24: Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul, 651-291-7005; June 22 to July 29: Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-822-7063.

Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

Let’s Get Physical

Two choreographers who showcase the athleticism of dance—and who tend to inspire thoughts of “must work out” in patrons’ minds—premiere works at the Southern Theater this month. Wynn Fricke and Minnesota Dance Theatre uncork the dark and lovely Close to Silence, a modern piece blending the poetry of Rumi with traditional Islamic whirling dances. Then TU Dance hits the floor with characteristic energy and featuring guest artist Joanie Smith of Shapiro & Smith Dance. – June 1—10: MDT; June 14—24: TU Dance; Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-1725.

Acting Out

Live Action Set’s Please Don’t Blow Up Mr. Boban was the best-selling show of the 2005 Minnesota Fringe Festival, and the troupe has only gotten more comfortable taking risks. The ensemble has also become richer, recently scoring a $10,000 Jerome Foundation grant. Live Action Set used the money to subsidize a new piece of physical theater with an established master of the form: Robert Rosen, cofounder of Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Desiderare: Desire the Undesirable, which premieres at the Red Eye Theater’s New Works 4 Weeks Festival, explores taboos of desire through theater and dance. – June 14 to 17: Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St., Mpls., 612-870-0309.