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2011-2012 Performing Arts Season

The daring work of global dance, music, theater, and performance innovators in the Walker’s 2011–2012 season reflects a world experiencing dramatic change. Artists lead the way—this has long been central to our beliefs at the Walker. Their creations allow us to absorb, celebrate, or mourn the beauty or the exquisite pain of living in our times.

More than ever, the coming season reflects our commitment to support the freshest, most timely works and ideas by commissioning boundary-pushing artists—from large-scale visions by masters such as choreographer Bill T. Jones to dynamic new creations by mid-career artists Big Dance Theater, Young Jean Lee, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph. We‘ve also commissioned voices new to Minnesota and the Walker such as Lebanese performance artist Rabih Mroué and Brooklyn indie folk heroes the Lisps.

This season is punctuated by three mini-festivals: New Music and Dance from the Congo; A Merce Cunningham Celebration, dedicated to the legacy of this transformative artistic figure and showcasing his company’s collection of sets, props, and costumes recently acquired by the Walker; and a special in-depth focus on vanguard composer/pianist Vijay Iyer featuring five of his bands over two days. Our annual Out There festival of alternative performance returns with a global sensibility, highlighting powerful new theatrical voices from artistic hot spots around the world: New York, Tokyo, Beirut, and Buenos Aires. Fierce visionaries, iconoclasts, shapeshifters—the transnational and hyper-connected artists of the Walker’s 2011–2012 performing arts season boldly take us into the future. We look forward to sharing the adventure with you.

—Philip Bither, William and Nadine McGuire Senior Curator of Performing Arts

Season Preview with Philip Bither

Jump-start the fall with senior curator Philip Bither’s inside scoop on the coming year’s performances. This engaging 70-minute show-and-tell includes videos, music, special taped Minneapolis greetings from some key artists, and back stories on the intriguing new projects and major commissions from across the globe that make up this adventurous 2011–2012 season.


Season Highlights

Sample audio/video clips for each project and the season’s five-minute trailer to catch a glimpse of all the artists in action.

Walker Channel

Watch webcasts of Walker programs, such as Making Music and Talking Dance lectures. The Walker Channel includes podcasts, talks by contemporary artists from a variety of disciplines, panel discussions, and musical and literary performances by some of today’s leading voices.


After the show, join a conversation about it online, where you’ll also find articles and reviews about each event. Visit the Walker on Facebook and


Activities for the public include workshops, discussions, opening-night celebrations, open rehearsals, and even the chance to perform. We look forward to your participation in the unique experiences these programs offer.

Make a Night of It at the Balcony Bar

The upper balcony of the elegant McGuire Theater is the place to meet the artists, talk about the show, and enjoy a happy hour-price drink. Open one hour prior to and after all performances.


Meet at the back of the Balcony Bar after every Saturday dance and Out There performance plus a few music events for an informal dialogue with a Walker tour guide and a local choreographer or theater artist. It’s like a book club for a performance. Jump into the discussion or just listen in as others hash it out after the show. Your questions. Your answers. Risk-free.