Aesthetically Speaking

Walker announces upcoming 2015-2016 performing arts season

philip-bitherThe Walker Art Center recently announced its schedule for the upcoming performing arts season.

Eclectic may be the best word to describe the 25-show season, with performances ranging from the quirky to the sublime. The season includes an intriguing production in association with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature.

The Walker’s upcoming season, which runs through next May, kicks off on Sept. 24 with a three-day run of Sarah Michelson’s dance theater show, “tournamento.” The Walker’s McGuire Theater senior curator of performing arts, Philip Bither, said he is thrilled to have such a diverse showing this coming season, with many connected to the Twin Cities community.

“We really like for a majority of the work here to be uniquely developed and have a strong connection to the Twin Cities,” said Bither.

To further area connections, the Walker has partnered with several other local companies to present some of the season’s works. Collaborations include those with the Givens Foundation, the Cedar Cultural Center and the O’Shaughnessy. The Givens is partnering with the Walker to present Dean Moss’ “johnbrown.” “johnbrown” is a dance performance piece examining the legacy of abolitionist, John Brown. The show incorporates video, and encourages audience participation in efforts to examine the roles race and gender have played throughout the country’s history. “johnbrown” runs from Oct. 15 – Oct. 17.

Several musical performances are slated for the coming season including African artist, Noura Mint Seymali. Seymali mixes funk, reggae, flamenco and blues to come up with her one-of-a-kind sound.

“She’s got an incredible voice and her husband (Jeich Ould) is an amazing guitar player who incorporates elements of (Jimi) Hendrix, so this is a really great show,” said Bither.

Former DJ of the Grammy Award winning group, Gorillaz, Kid Koala, comes to the Walker’s McGuire Theater in a show that’s a blend of futuristic sounds with the work of seven master puppeteers for “Nufonia Must Fall.” “Nufonia” uses cameras to capture the live work of the puppeteers, projecting the puppets’ actions on screen while telling the story of a love between a woman and a robot. “Nufonia” runs April 1 and April 2 of next year.

Another musical performance of interest is the May 7 jazz concert of saxophonist Steve Lehman Octet. Octet, who has recorded with Meshell Ndegeocello and Jason Moran, had his most recent release, “Mise en Abime” named as a Top CD of 2014 by NPR Music.

“His live band is really great, so we’re excited to have this show,” said Bither.

Additional information on the Walker’s coming performing arts season is available online at www.walkerart.org. The McGuire Theater is located inside the Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

July 2, 2015
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