Art Hounds recommend live, in-person dance and music performances


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For the first time in well over a year, this week’s Art Hounds recommend three live, in-person only performances.

McKnight choreography fellow Darrius Strong is excited to see live dance on stage again, and his pick this weekend is the show “60/40” by BRKFST at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.

“They use the foundational steps of breakdance,” Strong said, and they “find ways to bend, flip that, collaborate that with contemporary movement.” He appreciated how the St. Paul-based collaborative dance ensemble works together as a cohesive unit on stage, as well as their stated goal, “to expand awareness on topics that address marginalized and underserved populations.”

This show has been in the works for two years, after COVID-19 delayed production. Featuring choreography that explores loss, fragmentation and contradiction, the show includes original music composed by troupe member Renee Copeland. “60/40” runs Thursday through Sunday at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Thursday night’s tickets are pay-as-able. Face masks are required, with socially-distanced seating in the theater.

The annual short film competition Z-Fest is back and screening films in-person this weekend. Minnesota filmmakers, veteran and emerging, compete by creating films that are at most seven minutes. Minneapolis writer and director Owen Royce didn’t submit a film this year, but he credits past comedy and drama shorts with helping boost his visibility early in his career and allowing him to explore new genres in a low-stakes environment.

“I owe a lot to Z-Fest in the sense of helping me galvanize my friends and colleagues in making short films.” Royce said the creative focus of Z-Fest helped revolutionize the Minnesota film scene.

The screenings are Friday and Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. at Emagine Willow Creek in Plymouth, Minn. The theater will be operating at full-capacity seating, with masks required.

As music concerts return to in-person venues, Simon Calder, host of Back to the City Minneapolis Music Conversation on YouTube, recommends the music of StoLyette, an innovative Minneapolis-based group performing Friday night at 10 p.m. at Icehouse.

Part of their distinct style, Calder says, evolved as bassist Ben Clark created a way to recreate guitar and other nonvocal components of a band using one instrument. It’s a complex process that involves a delay pedal, multiple amps, and “a pitch shifter or two,” said Calder. That couples with Irene Ruderman Clark’s vocals in both English and Russian.

Calder said Ruderman Clark moved from the Soviet Union when she was 11. Calder learned in an interview with the musician that when she was 12, “suddenly there was this moment of clarity when she could understand what her schoolmates were saying. And I feel that especially as we're shifting between different registers and even languages, it is almost as if the listener or the audience is invited to experience that shifting.”

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