Art Hounds: 2012 theater and dance highlights

We’ve asked our Art Hounds to tell us about their Minnesota arts and culture highlights of 2011. Here are the theater dance and highlights that we didn’t have to get to on air (see the first on-air installment here):

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Meronymy at the Red Eye Theater

This beautiful piece by Rachel Jendrzejewski explored memory, data overload, and how we think. Through movement, text, audio, and a simple (yet beautiful) set, this performance gripped me and challenged how I arrange my memories and how technology aids in my quest for knowledge. With exceptional performances and a tight all around presentation, Meronymy is certainly a 2012 highlight.

-Bethany Whitehad, membership manager at the Playwrights’ Center and board president of WARM

Penumbra’s Summer Institute Second-Year Student Showcase

The sheer honesty and artistry of these high-school aged performers was astounding! Penumbra says it is training the next generation of activist artists, and I think they may be doing just that. Particularly as the funding for their parent theatre company dries up, this may be the phoenix rising from the ashes.

-Rie Gilsdorf, Integration & Arts Specialist, FAIR Schools

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Theater Latte Da’s Spring Awakening

I saw this twice, and I NEVER see shows twice – it was that good. The heartbreakingly beautiful vocal and theatrical performances of David Darrow and Cat Brindisi moved me to my very core, and Carl Flink’s clever and athletic choreography was positively electrifying. This production shook me, hard, on every level possible.

-Leigha Horton, actor

Kevin Kling and Zeitgeist at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids

Kling and Zeitgeist were originally scheduled to play in Alexandria, and it was our good fortune that they rescheduled here. They played Kevin’s work “For the Birds” that he had completed after his accident, describing the various birds that were running through his thoughts at the time. It was creative, inspiring and greatly entertaining, by far the best event of the year.

-Deane Johnson, musician, photographer, writer

OMG_Web2.jpgThe Other Mr. Gandhi by Zaraawar Mistry

This performance was stunning in its simplicity and clarity. Mistry is a masterful story teller and performer who portrayed more than 8 characters with amazing detail. Using three wooden crates and 9 hanging bare lightbulbs he seamlessly and effectively transported the audience to Bombay, Pakistan, California, in temples, hotels, cars and prisons.

-Katie Kaufmann, actor and director

The Guthrie’s production of Time Stands Still

It was a relatable, human story with humor and poignancy, told effectively and enjoyably. It was timely, complex, and beautiful. Chekhov for the modern age.

-Mo Perry, actor

Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at the Minnesota Opera

A surprising newfound joy was an outright wonderful Bel Canto, nearly two hundred years old! Everything about the production was elegant. The rather dark velvety sound of the orchestra allowed the singers to easily soar above the orchestra, and the singers sounded fresh, light and buoyant, as is proper I believe for Bel Canto Opera. And I had never heard any Donizetti before, it was a delight!

-David Whetstone, sitarist, teacher and composer