Art Hounds: Congolese dance, “Tommy,” and “Habibi”

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This week the hounds have the Walker’s mini-fest of Congolese music and dance, a more than 500-page graphic novel and the granddaddy of all rock operas on their minds.

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stevemarsh.JPGMinneapolis/St. Paul magazine senior writer Steve Marsh just got back from a trip to Gabon, so Central African culture is still swirling in his head. He’ll get a heavy dose at the Walker this weekend when choreographer Faustin Linyekula and the Studios Kabako dance troupe perform. The Congolese music ensemble Benda Bilili was also scheduled to play, but its concert was cancelled because of visa issues.

joshwilichowski.JPGTwin Cities sculptor Josh Wilichowski went to school with writer Craig Thompson in central Wisconsin and is proud of Thompson’s literary achievements. Josh heartily recommends Thompson’s second, newly published, more than 500-page graphic novel entitled “Habibi.” It’s about a harem girl and slave boy who come together amidst hardship and strife in an unnamed modern country in the Middle East. Thompson will be in town this Monday for a reading at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design as part of the Rain Taxi Reading Series.

scottp.JPGFor photographer and Bedlam Theatre board chair Scott Pakudaitis, rock operas don’t get much better than the forerunner of all rock operas, The Who’s “Tommy.” Mainly because it’s the music of The Who. Scott will be road tripping to St. Cloud’s Pioneer Place Theatre for its production of “Tommy,” and he’s particularly excited that the show will have the inimitable style of director Zach Curtis and music director Jake Endres.

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