“An extraordinary, staggering dance.” —New York Times
Minneapolis, February 18, 2005—Guided by mental snapshots of charged historical places and events—the Mississippi home of bluesman Charley Patton, a lynching in Duluth, Civil Rights marchers blasted with a water cannon—Ralph Lemon and five performer-dancers present an intricately layered, soulful, and deeply arresting new work, co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center, at 8 pm Friday–Saturday, March 11–12, at the Historic Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis. Concluding Lemon’s decade-long Geography Trilogy, this chapter examines the illusory nature of memory and history through movement, music, and theater. A homecoming for the Minneapolis-born choreographer, _
Come home Charley Patton
_ also includes work by former Walker artists-in-residence Nari Ward (visual art installations) and Christian Marclay (sound score).
Walker Dance at the Pantages: Three Generation of Innovators is copresented with Hennepin Theatre Trust. The Historic Pantages Theatre is located at 710 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.
Begun in 1995, the Geography Trilogy explores Lemon’s shifting placement as an artist in the 21st century, confronting how cultural, political, and racial differences clash, inform, and intersect with his human and aesthetic concerns. Each part of the Trilogy involves many years of research and creative process—in collaboration with multinational multidisciplinary artists—which converge to produce multiple works of art.
Geography Part 1, presented by the Walker at the Historic State Theatre in 1997, began with Lemon’s exploration into African and post-African connections to his life as an African American. In Part 2, Tree (presented with Northrop Auditorium in 2000), Lemon directed his inquiry to Asia, to a concept of belief systems and how that might generate an art aesthetic. Each of the three performance works are complemented with visual art exhibitions, video documentaries, Web-based artworks, and published books.
Ralph Lemon is a founding member of The Mixed Blood Theater Company of Minneapolis as well as a former member of the Nancy Hauser Dance Company. He moved to New York City in 1979 and performed with Meredith Monk/The House from 1979-1981. After forming the Ralph Lemon Company in 1985, his ensemble presented annual New York seasons for 10 years, receiving numerous commissions and touring extensively in the U.S. and abroad. In 1995, Lemon dissolved his touring company and re-dedicated his organization, Cross Performance, to the creation of experimental performance and presentation. Through the collaboration of dancers, musicians, composers, media artists, writers, visual artists, and actors, Cross Performance produces cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performances, films, videos, exhibitions, publications, and workshops presented throughout this country and internationally. Lemon was honored with a 1999 CalArts Alpert Award in Arts. He served as an Associate Artist at Yale Repertory Theatre from 1996-2000. He is currently a George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Artist at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, Illinois. Most recently, Lemon was named the recipient of the 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) prize.
Come home Charley Patton (The Geography Trilogy: Part 3) is supported in part with funds from the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Additional support provided by the Bush Foundation, the Heartland Arts Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.
Walker Dance at Pantages is supported in part with funds from the Walker’s Doris Duke Fund for Jazz and Dance. Walker without Walls is made possible by generous support from Target.
Tickets to Come home Charley Patton are $29, $23 ($25, $20 Walker members) and are available by calling 612.673.0404, by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, or at the State Theatre box office at 805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.
Talking Dance with Ralph Lemon
Wednesday, March 9, 7 pm FREE
Barbara Barker Center for Dance, University of Minnesota’s West Bank
Call 612.375.7600 for reservations
Join Ralph Lemon and Ananya Chatterjea of the University of Minnesota Dance Program for this informal talk about Lemon’s latest work, history, and future.
How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
A Web-based Chronicle of the Development and Presentation of Ralph Lemon’s Come home Charley Patton
Conceived by Ralph Lemon and Wayne Ashley
Created by Ralph Lemon and John Klima
From 1995-2004, Ralph Lemon undertook an artistic pilgrimage that culminated with the pan-cultural epic The Geography Trilogy (Geography, 1997; Tree, 2000; Come home Charley Patton, 2004). Over the course of those 10 years, Lemon unearthed a vast amount of material as he traveled to diverse regions of the globe, exploring ways that cultural influences define our place in the world and inform artistic expression. The Web-based companion site to the trilogy’s final piece offers public access to a database of his research and the history of the work as well as insight into Lemon’s own trajectory as an artist and an American in the 21st century.
Co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center. Additional support provided by the Wallace Fund, the Institute for Studies in the Arts at Arizona State University, and Cross Performance, Inc.
Walker Dance at the Pantages: Three Generations of Innovators
Continuing in April
The show must go on
Friday–Saturday, April 1–2, 8 pm $29, $23 ($25, $20 Walker members)
“Bel’s work is genuine . . . exciting, smart, and great, great fun.” —Dance Europe
Notorious for his hotly debated conceptual dance work that took Europe by storm in the 1990s and is influencing dance-makers around the world today, Parisian provocateur Jérôme Bel tours the United States for the first time. Using a visually captivating and physically impressive company of 18, Bel plays off a wide range of pop songs (spun live by an onstage DJ) to outwit audience expectations with radicalism and humor. See where dance/performance art is taking us in the 21st century. Presented in association with Alliance Française de Minneapolis/St. Paul. This work contains nudity.
Supported in part with funds from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Association Française d’Action Artistique (AFAA), and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
For audio and video clips of these and other upcoming Walker performances, visit calendar.walkerart.org.