“Sherman is one of the most daring and insightful artists working in our community, and she creates work that is not only relevant to our time but memorable.” —City Pages
Minneapolis, October 31, 2016—Minneapolis-based artist Karen Sherman lays bare the behind-the-scenes intricacies of a dance performance in the world premiere of the Walker-commissioned Soft Goods, an evocative and insightful examination of work, life, and loss. Soft Goods illuminates the choreographic elegance of manual labor, the loneliness of theaters, the spectral beauty of a lighting focus, and the human hand behind all stage art. Created with and performed by an ensemble of 10 theater technicians and dancers Thursday–Saturday, December 8–10, in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater.
Karen Sherman makes performances that incorporate her background in dance, writing, theater, music, and the handyman arts. Based in NYC from 1988 to 2004, she now lives in Minneapolis and works all over.
Her work has been presented by P.S. 122, Walker Art Center, PICA/TBA Festival, Fusebox Festival, The Chocolate Factory Theater, American Realness, The Southern Theater, Dance Place, Diverseworks, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, the Improvisation Festival/NY, Highways Performance Space, ODC, Red Eye Theater, Links Hall, Studio 303, Philadelphia Dance Projects, and many other spaces across the U.S.
She has received numerous awards for her work as a choreographer, performer, and designer, including a 2007 Bessie Award for her performance in Morgan Thorson’s Faker; McKnight Foundation Fellowships in Choreography (2013, 2006) and Dance (2009); a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship (2009); MN Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2014, One with Others), Design (2009, copperhead), and Performer (2006); City Pages’ Best Artist Awards as a Dancer (2007) and Choreographer (2009); MacDowell Colony Fellowships (2010, 2003); a Movement Research Artist Residency (1999-2000); and a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship and residency in Liguria, Italy (2010).
She has worked and collaborated with many fine artists, including Sally Silvers, Morgan Thorson, Dan Hurlin, Nami Yamamoto, NTUSA, Lisa D’Amour, Emily Johnson, Katie Pearl, Clarinda Mac Low, Cydney Wilkes, Hijack, Tanya Gagné, The Love Everybody Players, Circus Amok, and the feminist punk pop band, Le Tigre (as choreographer for their 2004-2005 world tour).
She holds a BFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (with a double major in Women’s Studies) and is also a singer, fifth-generation lasso-spinner, former student of the flying trapeze, and renegade carpenter. As Administrator and Production Manager of New York’s legendary Judson Church (1994-2004), she co-created, produced, and curated START, a multi-disciplinary series integrating politics and arts. Her writing, including essays and poetry, has been featured on many live stages and print forums including The Movement Research Performance Journal, the live-cast Culture Bodega, The Performance Club, Criticism Exchange, and The Triumph of Poverty: Poems Inspired by the Work of Nicole Eisenman. Her background in these areas, as well as over two decades of experience working in nearly every facet of arts production as a technical director, production manager, stage technician, and scenic/sound designer, informs each aspect of her artwork.
Tickets to Soft Goods are $22 ($17.60 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600. $1 from every ticket will be donated to Behind the Scenes, a charity providing financial assistance to production personnel seeking treatment for chemical dependency or mental health issues.
Drinks in Cityview Room (in the former Gather by D’Amico space) is the place to be before and after the performance. Grab a cocktail before the show, or stay afterward for a drink and conversations.
Free Gallery Admission
Extend your art experience—come back with your ticket within seven days of a performance, and get in free to the Walker galleries.
Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, The McKnight Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Performance Network’s (NPN) Creation Fund project created in partnership with the Walker Art Center, P.S. 122, The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and NPN. Support also provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Walker Art Center’s performing arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Goodale Family Foundation, Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr./The David and Leni Moore Family Foundation; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson.