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Ballet brings mix It's Robert Gardner's 25th anniversary with the Minnesota Ballet — and 10th as the company's artistic executive director. He's compiled a "Director's Choice" lineup for the season-opening performance, which includes Balanchine's "Tarantella," Salvatore Aiello's "Clowns and Others" and "The Waiting Room," "Court Dances," choreographed by Allen Fields, and "Here We Go," a commissioned piece — and debut — by choreographer Isaac Sharratt, who dances with the Milwaukee Ballet.
Imagine creating choreography, performing in its premiere — then shelving it for more than two decades. Then, imagine a random Monday in mid-October, settling into a gorgeous high-ceiling, big-window space and seeing the piece resurrected with all new dancers. Excuse Allen Fields, the former director of the Minnesota Ballet who created "Court Dances," if he gets emotional talking about it even a week after his visit to rehearsal at the Board of Trade building.
'In Winter' gets regional premiere A dramatic movie that was filmed in northeastern Minnesota about four years ago gets it regional debut this week. "In Winter" plays at 3:30 p.m. Sunday to close out the 10th Annual Flyway Film Festival in Pepin, Wis. The movie was co-directed by Duluth artist Alex Gutterman, who also wrote it, and Aboubacar Camara of Minneapolis. It has been accepted to six festivals in Iowa, Sweden, India, romania, New York City and Los Angeles, where it received an honorable mention at Experimental Forum.
Sarah Lawrence, soprano, watched part of a recent rehearsal of her company’s staging of “St. John Passion” while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium. A young barefoot baritone in the role of Jesus; A neutral-tone clad guest chorus as the mob of people surrounding him; A mezzo-soprano embracing him. Lawrence might not be able to perform this as simply a concert ever again.
A decade-ish ago, painters started gathering in a shared studio space on Wednesday evenings for figure-painting sessions. Artists invited other artists, instructors invited students. The idea was one of practicality: They could all chip in to pay the model. Then, the rest of the week, they could work on their own projects. All these years later: "We've kept it going," Lee Englund said.
An operatic treatment of 'St. John Passion' A young baritone who got a nod from Opera News will make his debut with Lyric Opera of the North in an operatic variation on what was originally written by Johann Sebastian Bach as a liturgical piece. Jarrett Ott is Jesus in LOON's production of "St. John Passion," which also features the Twin Ports Choral Project. The performances, with stage direction by Bob Neu, tell the story of Jesus Christ's last days and are billed as an operatic acknowledgement of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Woods named interim director at DAI Christina Woods has been named the interim executive director at the Duluth Art Institute, according to a news release.
An artist whose work can be seen in the main lobby's terrazzo floor at Amsoil Arena has written a book that combines the 14 animal icons inlaid in the floor with retellings of Native American stories. "Winds & Currents," by Joan Henrik, was published locally by Holy Cow! Press and the book launch is 2-4 p.m. today at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center near the ticket office and entrance to the arena. It's free and open to the public.
Sarah Seidelmann's spirit animal is an 1800s-era Asian elephant, wrinkled and grey with nice eyes. She's sometimes zany and theatrical — she wears a necklace of peonies — but is also sensitive and warm with sound advice. "Be yourself," she might tell Seidelmann. "Everybody else is taken." Her name is Alice and Seidelmann officially met her years ago during a shamanic journey, though the pachyderm is a figure she later realized she had encountered in her past.
A century-old downtown building that has housed tuxedos, boxers-in-training, a marketing company and more is scheduled to open later this month as a privately owned white box gallery. As of last week, Joseph Nease Gallery, 23 West First Street, was still under construction with piles of wood, tools here and there, stacks of drywall. The concrete floors and exposed brick will remain unchanged. The movable white walls were in place, but the track lighting was still on the to-do list.