Karen Sherman: Tiny Town
From weather to Wal-Marts, Tiny Town stands at the intersection of terrain, the body, and the physiological embodiment of environment. Karen Sherman’s idiosyncratic voice and clean, distinct movement have earned her a devoted following in New York; she brings to Minnesota a unique ability to craft singular worlds populated by disquieting images and curious people. Inspired by the Midwestern landscape and climate, along with the region’s complicated sociopolitical histories, the work explores the possibility of disappearing into the lay of the land—geographical, emotional, anatomical, and cultural—and reappearing. Using contemporary choreographic language, Tiny Town physicalizes the silent spirit of one’s environment and the ways it shapes human identity.
Leah Nelson/Abstraktions: Requiem for a Homegirl
Interweaving vernacular dance styles and high-art performance modes, Leah Nelson’s sophisticated choreography gives new context to dance history while at the same time creating a place where the popular meets the underground. The story of a neighborhood and its complex struggles comes to life in Requiem for a Homegirl, which surveys the resonant milieu of the street-wise, from economic inequality and racial injustice to family, church, and cultural pride. Integrating the politics of everyday life with fresh takes on the formal idioms of dance-theater, Nelson expertly navigates the world of contemporary performance, layering abstract narrative with spoken word, beatbox, and classical opera to take the form in new directions.