LEFT: Bouchra Ouizguen Photo: Hasnae El Ouarga; RIGHT: Mdou Moctar Photo: Jerome Fino
The Walker Art Center’s 2017-2018 performing arts season kicks off with a weekend of African dance, music and film. Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen has assembled a 20-plus collective of Minnesotan and Moroccan women to perform her ritualistic work, Corbeaux (Crows), in three separate, free performances that launch the Walker’s Spot On: Site Specific Adventures series. Corbeaux (Crows) will be performed Saturday-Sunday, September 23-24 at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, North Commons Park, and Rice Park.
Saturday, September 23, the Walker and The Cedar present the desert blues of Niger’s Mdou Moctar. The evening begins with a screening of Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in It, a Saharan homage to Prince’s Purple Rain starring Moctar.
Spot On: Site-Specific Adventures
Bouchra Ouizguen: Corbeaux (Crows)
Saturday-Sunday, September 23-24
Saturday, 12 pm: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis
Saturday, 4 pm: North Commons Park, 1801 James Ave. N., Minneapolis
Sunday, 1 pm: Rice Park, 109 Fourth Street West Downtown St. Paul
“Raucous, chanted, they imposed a sound coming from elsewhere. A roar more than a cry.” –Le Monde
Equal parts living sculpture and ecstatic performance catharsis, this powerful ritualistic work by Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen offers an experience both intimate and universal. Presented in nontheatrical spaces with a 20 plus member collective of Moroccan and Minnesotan women, Ouizguen’s mystical music and movement event has been riveting audiences throughout the world.
Born in Ouarzazate, Morocco, and educated in France, Bouchra Ouizguen has been performing in Marrakech and France since 1995. In 2002, with Taoufiq Izeddiou and Saïd Ait El Moumen, Ouizguen founded ANANIA, a contemporary dance company in Marrakech, and created the On Marche dance festival. She also collaborated that year in forming the Al Mokhtabar contemporary dance company. Her choreographic works include AnaOunta (2002); Fina ken’ti (2002); Mort et moi (2005); Déserts, desires with Taoufiq Izeddiou (2006); Aïta with Naïma Sahmoud (2007); and Madame Plaza (2008-2009). Ouizguen has performed throughout Morocco and France, including at the prestigious Montpellier Dance Festival, and in New York at the 2010 FIAF Crossing the Line Festival in NYC. Since 2007, Ouizguen has been a co-organizer of the annual festival Recontres Chorégraphiques in Marrakech.
Support provided by the French-US Exchange in Dance, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE Foundation, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Additional support provided by the Hermès Foundation within the framework of the New Settings Program. Additional support provided by Producers’ Council members Nor Hall and Roger Hale.
This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Crane Group. Sunday’s performance at Rice Park is presented in association with the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium.
Mdou Moctar and Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai: (Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It)
Saturday, September 23
Film: 7 pm; Music: 8:30 pm
$22 ($17.60); $25 day of show
The Cedar, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis
“Moctar is a miraculous Tuareg guitarist and singer from Niger, a master of hypnotic Saharan electro-drone blues… fresh and vital guitar music unique to this millennium.”
An exhilarating desert blues singer/songwriter who pushes the boundaries of the genre, Mdou Moctar and his trio have shaped an unconventional style that has won them worldwide accolades. The evening opens with a screening of the now cult film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, a Saharan homage to Prince’s Purple Rain. Starring Moctar (with purple guitar strapped to his back as he rides through the desert on his motorcycle), the movie is a testament to Prince’s global influence and the universal nature of a vanguard musician fighting for his place in the sun. Copresented with The Cedar, this event is all ages.
The film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It) will start at 7pm, followed by a performance by Mdou Moctar’s trio at 8:30pm.
This is a seated show. For Walker member discount ($17.60), please call 612.375.7600 or visit the Walker website walkerart.org/tickets.
Tickets are available online, by phone, and at Walker Art Center, Depth of Field, Electric Fetus, and The Cedar during shows.
In the somewhat crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Moctar stands apart from his peers. One of the few original singer/songwriters willing to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre, his unconventional styles have won him accolades both in Niger and abroad.
Moctar hails from Abalak, in the Azawagh desert of Niger. He taught himself the guitar at a young age on a homemade instrument. Inspired by returning Ishumar, Moctar traveled the road to Libya where he traveled and worked odd jobs. As chance had, he would meet some of the now famous guitarists and further his musical studies. He returned home with a guitar and a dream.
Rising to the status as local celebrity, in 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album Anar — a psychedelic electronic album of Tuareg guitar, became an instant success throughout the mp3 networks of West Africa. “Tahoultine,” one of the standout tracks, was later featured on the compilation “Music from Saharan Cellphones.”
In 2013, he released his first international album, Afelan, rocking and raw sessions recorded live at his hometown in Niger. This was followed by the 2014 vinyl release of Anar. In 2015, he starred in the first ever Tuareg language film, a fictional story of the struggle of a guitarist trying to make it against all odds in Agadez. The film continues to be screened at festivals around the world.
Moctar has toured throughout Europe and North America.
About The Cedar
The Cedar Cultural Center is an eclectic music venue located in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis. Over its 28-year history, The Cedar has become a premiere US venue for world music by fulfilling its mission of promoting intercultural understanding through the presentation of global music and dance. thecedar.org
About Walker Art Center
A catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences, the Walker Art Center examines the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities. Established in 1927 as the Walker Art Gallery, in 1940 it adopted a new name and focused on modern and contemporary art exhibitions as well as screenings, performances and public programs. The Performing Arts program grew dramatically during the 1960s, presenting over 100 events a year and transitioning into a formal Walker programmatic department in 1970. Following a 1971 expansion and its 1988 opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, in 2005 the Walker opened a $100 million expansion which housed dedicated venues for all its disciplines including the 385-seat McGuire Theater.
Today the Walker is one of the top-five most visited modern and contemporary art centers in the U.S. Multidisciplinary in focus, it is equally committed to advancing artistic innovation and interdisciplinary scholarship as it is with increasing access to lifelong learning in the arts. Approximately 1,600 artistic presentations engage 600,000 people per year through up to eight exhibitions; 170 film screenings; 85 performance events; the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; and hundreds of residency, education, and community program events. Its 16-acre campus includes the highly acclaimed Herzog & de Meuron designed 385-seat McGuire Theater — home to one of the nation’s largest contemporary performance programs. The Walker is respected nationally and internationally as a groundbreaking leader in contemporary performing art presentations, residencies, and commissions.
Led by Senior Curator Philip Bither since 1997, the Walker’s Performing Arts program under his tenure has been defined by its commitment to the increasingly blurred lines between artistic disciplines, including contemporary dance, new music-theatre, performance art, experimental theatre, avant-jazz, contemporary classical music, new global sounds and alternative rock and pop. In addition to animating its outstanding McGuire Theater, the Walker has also greatly expanded its placement of dance into gallery settings, in its sculpture garden, and beyond, to further encourage a conversation between forms. It has also continued it long-standing tradition of mounting work together with presenters, venues, community-based collaborators, and unique sites across the Twin Cities. Through its endeavors, the Walker has earned an international reputation as “one of America’s foremost experimental art spaces” (The Guardian).
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.
The Walker Art Center’s Music Season media partner: 89.3 The Current