Walker Art Center

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Presenting and commissioning innovative performances since 1940, the Performing Arts program offers a season that spans contemporary dance, experimental theater, new jazz, avant-folk, new global and alt-classical music, and the multiple hybrids of forms in between. More

Featured Performance


Dean Moss

In this dense and precisely executed work, Dean Moss creates a performative meditation on the complicated, controversial legacy of 19th-century abolitionist John Brown. Moss integrates transfixing choreography, visual design, video, theater, and community participation to question not only the turbulent past of a historical figure but also the… More

Featured Article


Performing Arts 2015-2016 Season Trailer

The global, multidisciplinary spectrum of artists we have invited in 2015–2016 demonstrate the force of the individual imagination and the power of collective art-making. These 27 events offer a window on a vast and ecstatically innovative world of contemporary dance, experimental theater, and forms… More

Adrienne Edwards

William Pope.L: The Will to Exhaust

As Gilles Deleuze put it, to exhaust is not to be tired; it is the will to begin again. In Pope.L’s performances—which have found the artist crawling the streets of Manhattan in a black suit or consuming pages of the Wall Street… More

He Gave Me Blues, I Gave Him Back Soul

A year to the day after Scaffold Room concluded its world premiere at the Walker, its creator, Ralph Lemon, returns for a “memory refraction” related to the work. A performance installation in the galleries, Scaffold Room fueled this… More

Gia Kourlas

Sarah Michelson: “The Question Takes me Forward”

“The question in all my old pieces is what’s a dance, what could it be? Is making art a self-congratulatory, redundant practice, or if there’s a real pursuit of the nature of the beast to ground level, knowing there is no ground… More

A 1978 trip to Bologna to witness “a prepared train”—a happening on wheels, featuring John Cage and a host of Italian collaborators.

Greg Tate

Why the Hell Ornette Went All Up In Eden

“It’s hard to think of any musician whose sonic convictions have been so personally liberating for themselves and so determined to liberate others,” writes Greg Tate of Ornette Coleman, who passed away June 11. “His music did all… More

Marvin Lin

Expiring Aesthetics

In a time of digital hyperacceleration and an ever-shifting technocultural landscape, we encounter an influx of trends, microgenres, and fads. But how do we talk about music when so much of what we listen to feels transitory and historically inconsequential… More