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Press Releases Walker Art Center Announced 2012-2013 Performing Arts Season

Season Features Premieres, Walker Commissions, 40th Anniversary of Choreogrpahers’ Evening, Out There 25, and a John Zorn Marathon

“If Philip Bither says ‘I’m supporting this art’ and the Walker puts its full weight behind it, it’s a good seal of approval.” —Claudia La Rocco (of the New York Times), Star Tribune

“The Walker Art Center has been on fire with amazing music this year and it ain’t all just about Rock the Garden. In fact for those who know it’s just as “in” to be “out” the Walker has consistently showcased fantastic experimental and traditional players of a variety of pedigrees, last weekend’s once in a lifetime colossus of Chicago’s Tortoise with the Mpls Jazz All-Stars being the most recent unforgettable example.” —City Pages

Minneapolis, May 17, 2012—The Walker Art Center announces its 2012–2013 performing arts season today, featuring global contemporary performance including six commissions and three world premieres. Philip Bither, McGuire Senior Curator, Performing Arts, comments: “This year, the Walker continues to serve as an essential national and local portal to the worlds of contemporary dance, new theater/performance, and a range of boundary-defying music. Our commitment to developing new work by the country’s leading live arts creators remains undiminished and more necessary than ever; the season supports six major commissions, five multiweek production residencies, three world premieres, and several US debuts or exclusive US engagements; and a series of mini-festivals that allow us to more deeply examine the work of essential innovators such as musician/composer John Zorn, Judson Dance Theater founder Deborah Hay, pianist/composer Craig Taborn, and new dance and performance by women from Africa. This season we also celebrate anniversaries of two of our most popular programs—Choreographers’ Evening’s 40th and Out There’s 25th—and welcome back, for the first time in a decade, iconic performance artist Laurie Anderson with a stunning new solo work.”

Walker-commissioned works in the upcoming season include the opening event, the world premiere of Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People’sAnd lose the name of action (Wednesday–Saturday, September 19–22); experimental ensemble Sō Percussion with director/choreographer Emily Johnson, indie-rock guitarist Grey McMurray, and electronic music/video artist Martin Schmidt performing the world premiere of where (we) live (Friday–Saturday, September 28–29); Twin Cities-based The BodyCartography Project, performing the world premiere of Super Nature, (Thursday–Saturday, October 25–27) featuring Bessie Award–winning composer Zeena Parkins performing a live score amid stage sets by visual artist Emmett Ramstad and over 20 other dancers with special guests from the Lyon Opera Ballet; experimental percussionist, composer, and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche’sIlimaq, (Saturday, February 16) an epic percussion opera-as-solo performance combining 19 instruments, live electronics, and Alaskan field recordings; theater artist Cynthia Hopkins performing the Walker-commissioned This Clement World (Thursday–Saturday, March 7–9), a new piece grappling with the environmental crisis and featuring her most expansive avant-folk rock orchestration to date; and Elevator Repair Service’sFondly, Collette Richland (Thursday–Saturday, May 16–18) a new large-scale production with a rising star in the New York experimental theater scene, playwright Sibyl Kempson.

Walker exclusive engagements/area debuts include a performance by Icelandic musician Ben Frost at Amsterdam Bar & Hall (Saturday, February 9), the Nels Cline/David Breskin/Ed Ruscha collaboration Dirty Baby (Thursday, November 29) and the Midwest debut by Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara (Friday, April 12) at the Cedar.



Unless otherwise noted, all events take place in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater.

($) = ticket prices for Walker Art Center members


Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People DANCE

And lose the name of action

Walker Commission/World Premiere

September 19–22

Wednesday–Friday, 8 pm; Saturday, 3 and 8 pm 3 Wednesday evening and Saturday matinee, $18 ($15); Thursday–Saturday, $22 ($18)

“His political and creative restlessness—his refusal to settle and to settle down—makes him one of our most provocative and necessary artistic voices.” —Dance Magazine

A provocateur known for performances “that are things themselves,” Miguel Gutierrez premieres a major work to open the Walker’s new season. Inspired by discoveries in neuroscience and paranormal phenomena, Gutierrez delves into the wonder of living with an ephemeral body in the here and now, and into the beyond. This wry, playfully perplexing piece draws on the mysterious logic of improvisation among a star-studded cast that includes Gutierrez, Michelle Boulé, Hilary Clark, Luke George, K. J. Holmes, and Ishmael Houston-Jones, and features sound design by Neal Medlyn, lighting by Lenore Doxsee, and visuals and writing by Boru O’Brien O’Connell.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Sō Percussion MUSIC

with Emily Johnson, Grey McMurray, and Martin Schmidt

where (we) live

Walker Commission/World Premiere

Friday–Saturday, September 28–29, 8 pm

$20 ($16)

“Time and again … you found yourself smiling in a quiet amazement that could verge on disbelief.” —New York Times

Experimental powerhouse Sō Percussion enlists a fresh mix of collaborators for the premiere of a potent, poetic new work. Swirling together movement and video projections amid Sō’s exacting, exhilarating percussive scores, where (we) live explores the many meanings of home, tapping emotions embedded in places both physical and symbolic. Collaborators include Minneapolis-based director/choreographer Emily Johnson, and new videos by electronic music/video artist Martin Schmidt (experimental pop duo Matmos), Brooklyn-based indie-rock guitarist/composer Grey McMurray; and a special Twin Cities guest artist each night. Copresented with the National Performance Network (NPN).

where (we) live is an NPN Creation Fund project commissioned by the Walker Art Center in partnership with the Myrna Loy Center and Vermont Performance Lab, with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Voices of Strength: New Dance and Theater DANCE/THEATER

by Women from Africa

Wednesday and Friday, October 10 and 12 (Program I)

Thursday and Saturday, October 11 and 13 (Program II)

8 pm

$22 ($18) each; $30 ($26) for both performances

Stylistically diverse and universally resonant, this two-evening showcase features new works by five fierce female director-choreographers from across the African continent.

Program I

Correspondances—Kettly Noël (Mali & Haiti) and Nelisiwe Xaba

(South Africa)

Equal parts theater, dance, and storytelling, this raucous yet intimate duet explores race, culture, and gender and is “nothing less than mesmerizing” (NYTheatre.com).

Sombra—Maria Helena Pinto (Mozambique)

In a stirring and stark solo performed with a bucket atop her head, Pinto illuminates the lives of “invisible” task women: necessary in our society, yet existing only in shadows.

Program II

Madame Plaza—Bouchra Ouizguen (Morocco)

Bodies and song merge in a folkloric yet profoundly contemporary piece featuring three Aïta vocalists, whose traditional technique includes guttural wailing and incantation.

Quartiers Libres—Nadia Beugré (Côte d’Ivoire)

Beugré (formerly with the stunning Compagnie TchéTché) offers a commanding solo with interactive sound design illuminating the struggle between cultural boundaries and personal freedom.

Voices of Strength is a project of the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, curated and presented in partnership with MAPP International Productions and presented in partnership with the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium.

Support provided by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The BodyCartography Project DANCE

Super Nature

Walker Commission/World Premiere

Thursday–Saturday, October 25–27, 8 pm

Thursday, $18 ($15); Friday–Saturday, $22 ($18)

“The BodyCartography Project is a group with a rare and wonderfully powerful gift to offer us.” —Twin Cities Daily Planet

Borne out of the restless imaginations of Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad, this radical ecological melodrama is replete with artifice and animal appetites. The dance/performance/installation duo engages the wild and civilized aspects of human nature with idiosyncratic movements drawn from bodily impulses and social interactions. Bessie Award–winning composer Zeena Parkins performs a live score within an elaborate scenic installation by visual artist Emmett Ramstad; dancers include Justin Jones, Timmy Wagner, Emily Johnson, Anna Shogren, Otto Ramstad, and 20 other local movers, with special guests from the Lyon Opera Ballet. Copresented with the National Performance Network (NPN).

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Laurie Anderson MUSIC/THEATER


Friday–Saturday, November 2–3, 8 pm

$39 ($33 Walker members and SPCO subscribers)

“Politicians are essentially storytellers. They describe the world as it is and also as they think it should be. As a fellow storyteller, it seems like a really good time to think about how words can literally create a world.” —Laurie Anderson

As election day looms, Laurie Anderson has a few things to tell us concerning Darwinism, feminism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Willie Nelson, alien popes, and other pressing matters. Infused with her hallucinatory language, this intimate snapshot of the United States takes form as a collection of songs and stories both witty and soulful. Delving into politics, desire, and portraits of people and cities, Anderson weaves in eloquent leitmotifs and brilliantly conceived tangents to create a uniquely satisfying metanarrative. A lush sonic landscape of violin and electronics rounds out this poignant picture of our contemporary American moment. Copresented with Liquid Music, a new St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert series.

Related Event

Composer Conversation series featuring Laurie Anderson Thursday, November 1, 7 pm Free, but reservations required UBS Forum, Minnesota Public Radio, 480 Cedar Street, St. Paul Presented by Liquid Music, the Walker Art Center, and Classical MPR


Zammuto + Eluvium

Midwest Debut MUSIC

Saturday, November 10, 8 pm

$20 (16)

“…the nimble, the knotty, the philosophical and the pensive… Mr. Zammuto likes his music stratified, with different layers moving at different speeds, nested mathematically.” —New York Times

Alt-pop conjurer Nick Zammuto (formerly of the Books duo) returns to the Walker with his cerebral and hyper-catchy electro-pop defined by dexterous musicianship and jaw-dropping rhythmic density. Building up meticulous layers of found sound samples, intricate rhythms, and hooky vocals and again syncing his compositions with quick and expertly cut video sequencing, Zammuto offers a slyly silly and entirely fresh aural feast. The emotive and sonically subtle textures of Portland-based Eluvium opens the evening with his “majestic balance between his ambient and quasi-classical styles.” (Pitchfork). Copresented with the Cedar.

Hofesh Shechter Company DANCE

Political Mother

Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 pm

$59, $48, $37

Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

Tickets: Single tickets will go on sale on August 6 via Ticketmaster/Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Ticketmaster fees apply. To avoid processing fees, patrons may purchase single tickets in person at the State Theatre Box Office, 805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, or by phone at 612-339-7007.

“… as hair-prickingly exhilarating as modern dance gets.” —The Daily Telegraph (UK)

This tour de force from Britain’s fieriest choreographer, Israeli-born Shechter, has garnered glowing praise worldwide for its emotional tension, gritty complexity, and explosive collision of politics and movement. Channeling a roiling, relentlessly physical version of Jewish folk dance, 10 dancers unleash a rapid-fire chain of surreal images, propelled by a blistering eight-piece live band. The result is a gripping investigation of community and country, service and freedom, and the pursuit of power. Warning: it might get loud. Copresented with Northrop Dance.

Choreographers’ Evening: 40th Anniversary DANCE

Curated by Patrick Scully and Aparna Ramaswamy

Saturday, November 24, 7 and 9:30 pm

$22 ($18)

“A welcome—and very accessible—bouquet of performances showcasing some of the area’s many talented dancemakers.” —TC Daily Planet

From established dancemakers playing with new ideas to the freshest emerging talent, Choreographers’ Evening has, over 40 years, become an honored rite of passage in Minnesota dance circles. Grab your friends and get the lowdown on a thriving and diverse local scene through this snappy sampler of works lasting seven minutes or less. This year’s guest curators bring an expansive view and unique generational twist to a program destined to celebrate, spark debate, and chart new directions in the art of movement.

Nels Cline/David Breskin/Ed Ruscha MUSIC

Dirty Baby

US Exclusive Engagement

Thursday, November 29, 8 pm

$25 ($22)

Conceived by Wilco guitar wizard Nels Cline and poet/producer David Breskin, this gloriously unruly “trialogue” of music, poetry, and pictures is an absorbing multimedia work created inspired by artist Ed Ruscha. Cline leads an ensemble of outstanding instrumentalists and improvisers from the Los Angeles scene through a program split into two distinct sides: orchestrated jazz and frenetic indie rock are complemented by Breskin’s ghazals (a lyric and ancient Middle Eastern poetry form usually set to music) and large-scale projections of Ruscha’s Silhouettes and Cityscapes series. Supporting musicians include Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto (electric piano, samples); Nels Cline Singers cohorts Scott Amendola (percussion, drums, electronics) and Devin Hoff (bass) along with Devin Bill Barrett (harmonica), Jeremy Drake (guitars), Danny Frankel (percussion), Wayne Peet (organ), and Glenn Taylor (pedal steel).


Hay Days: A Deborah Hay Celebration DANCE

Wednesday, December 5, 7 pm: Talking Dance Lecture


Friday, December 7, 8 pm: No Time to Fly

Saturday, December 8, 8 pm: *As Holy Sites Go*

$18 ($15) each; $30 ($26) for both performances

“Ms. Hay’s work suggests layers of concentration and emotion, as indefinable as they are riveting.” —New York Times

This event series honors a legendary choreographer and offers an intimate look at her latest work. Hay’s storied career and expansive legacy date back to her work with Merce Cunningham and the Judson Dance Theater during the 1960s; since then, her own rigorous and experimental methodology and her ongoing investigations into the ephemeral nature of dance have inspired peers, scholars, critics, and generations of choreographers across Europe and the United States.

Talking Dance: A Lecture on the Performance of Beauty

Find out why Dance Insider calls Hay “a national living treasure.” Through readings and a video exploration of her solo work Beauty, Hay reveals her multilayered, revolutionary art practice and shares the ways that environment can profoundly change outcome.

No Time to Fly

After several years, Hay returns to solo performance with this mesmerizing and intricate piece. Drawn in by her presence and Jennifer Tipton’s stark yet lush lighting, audiences quickly find their way in Hay’s world of nonlinear reality, filled with humor and surprise.

As Holy Sites Go

Meticulously reconstructed from the choreographic language of Hay’s solo work No Time to Fly, this duet of uncanny beauty—choreographed and directed by Hay—is performed by New York–based dancer/choreographer Jeanine Durning and Australian dance star Ros Warby.


Out There 25: Reality, Identity, Myth

January 10-February 2

Thursday, $18 ($15); Friday–Saturday, $22 ($18)

Series package—buy all four performances and save 20%

Over the past 25 years, Out There has brought startling, vital, provocative, and often joyous new forms of theatrical expression to the Twin Cities. Beginning as a modest two-weekend series held in the depths of Minnesota’s winter at the Southern Theater, Out There grew into a full-fledged monthlong festival featuring new global performances, workshops, dialogue sessions, salons, and other activities. In 2013, audiences will see how theatrical artists today are interrogating the form of theater itself, blurring lines between reality and theatrical fiction, exploring the creation and transformation of identity, and reimagining the mythic.

Out There and Then Some

During the four-week festival, meet and talk with the artists after the shows, and participate in Saturday-morning workshops with Out There company members. Visit walkerart.org for details.

Rude Mechs

The Method Gun

Thursday–Saturday, January 10–12, 8 pm

“Immensely funny, abruptly touching physical-theater work …. They keep taking perilous theatrical leaps, but we are the ones to feel sweaty-palmed, nearly vertiginous exhilaration.” —Time Out New York

A gleefully raucous piece about the ecstasy and excesses of performing, The Method Gun uncovers the life of the fictional Stella Burden, actor-training guru of the 1960s and ‘70s. Burden’s technique, “The Approach,” was known as the most dangerous acting technique in the world, merging Western acting methods with risk-based rituals in order to infuse even the smallest role with sex, death, and violence. Set amid swinging pendulums and talking tigers, this daring, absurd, and heady exploration of the creative process is a tour-de-force by these Texas-based theater rebels. Performance contains nudity.

She She Pop


Thursday–Saturday, January 17–19, 8 pm

“Rarely do the great questions of life present themselves on stage so spirited and full of feeling, so touching and allusive…. Absolutely remarkable.” —New Zurich Times

Internationally lauded German performance collective She She Pop deconstructs Shakespeare’s incisive tragedy King Lear for modern times. Performing with their real-life fathers, the collective exposes the funny, tender, and raw realities of generational conflict, parenthood, and love. Performed in German with English supertitles, this richly metaphorical and spontaneously absurd send-up of classic theater translates into a daringly honest work of reality performance that lays bare universal truths about us all.

Trajal Harrell, Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud, and Marlene Monteiro Freitas

(M)IMOSA—Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (M)

Thursday–Saturday, January 24–26, 8 pm

“They don’t make many artists like Mr. Harrell; his sophisticated, nuanced works are not to be missed.” —New York Times

Provocative and outlandish? Riotous and fabulous? Absolutely! This mash-up of parallel dance histories—Judson and Voguing—is a frenetic free-for-all that bounces from soul music to sculptural acrobatics, from elaborate drag (including an eerily faithful rendition of Prince’s Darling Nikki) to amazingly virtuosic movement, all mixed as a gender-blender tribute to the power and pleasure of persona. This collaboration with Paris-based performance artists Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud, and Cape Verdan–born dancer Marlene Monteiro Freitas was inspired by Paris Is Burning, the landmark documentary film on voguing. Performance contains nudity.

Back to Back Theatre

Ganesh Versus the Third Reich

Thursday–Saturday, January 31 – February 2, 8 pm

“Courageous, confronting, intelligent and magisterially considered theatre. (5 stars)” —The Age

Australia’s leading independent theater company returns to the Walker with a disarming investigation of theater itself—a humorous yet poignant work for the near future full of rich metaphor and sly transparency. This cleverly interwoven tale-within-a-tale begins as the elephant-headed god Ganesh travels to Nazi Germany to reclaim the Swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol. This epic hero’s journey prompts questions about cultural appropriation, exploitation, and abuse of power (both within the world and on the stage) with unflinching honesty. Conceived by Back to Back, whose ensemble primarily features actors with perceived mental disabilities, this deftly realized double narrative brims with striking visuals and surreal theatrical moments.


Ben Frost MUSIC

Exclusive US Engagement

Saturday, February 9, 8 pm

Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 West Sixth Street, St. Paul


Single tickets are available now through SPCO. Tickets as part of a Walker Performing Arts package deal may be purchased through Walker’s box office.

“The emotional power of Frost’s music comes precisely from the stark contrast between extremely basic musical material and the deadly virtual instruments he invents to perform it…. This is Arvo Pärt as arranged by Trent Reznor.” —Wire Magazine

Ben Frost’s music is about contrast, influenced as much by classical minimalism as by punk rock and metal. It has a visceral presence, felt as much as heard. Muscular yet cerebral, ambient yet urgent, Frost’s compositions merge guitar-based textures, musique concrète samples, and building-shaking amplified electronics into sweeping digital soundscapes. Increasingly in demand for his exorbitant electronic production work, Frost has collaborated with Björk, Brian Eno, and celebrated Bedroom Community label mates Nico Muhly and Sam Amidon. Catch this rare appearance by “one of the most interesting and groundbreaking producers in the world today … showing us the future of electronic music” (Boomkat). Copresented with Liquid Music, a new Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concert series.

Glenn Kotche MUSIC

Ilimaq and Martin Dosh Collaboration

Walker Commission

Saturday, February 16, 8 pm

$20 ($16)

“In the hands of a musician like Glenn, the drum set is a one-man percussion orchestra.” —John Luther Adams

Revered experimental percussionist, composer, and Wilco drummer Kotche takes on one of his most ambitious projects to date: an epic percussion opera-as-solo performance combining 19 instruments, live electronics, and Alaskan field recordings. A richly layered new work by noted Alaska-based contemporary composer John Luther Adams and written expressly for Kotche, Ilimaq (Inupiaq for spirit journeys) melds the rigor of modern music with found sounds of the natural world. Minneapolis percussionist/composer Martin Dosh (Fog, Andrew Bird) then joins Kotche for a kindred collaboration that clicks together loops, samples, and a battery of instruments to create a one-of-a-kind sonic mélange.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sarah Kirkland Snider and Shara Worden MUSIC

(My Brightest Diamond) with yMusic

Penelope and new chamber works

Tuesday–Wednesday, February 26–27, 8 pm


SPCO Center, Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter Street, St. Paul

Single tickets are available now through SPCO. Tickets as part of a Walker Performing Arts package deal may be purchased through Walker’s box office.

“Worden is a creative chameleon with endless wells of technical skill … one of the most astounding voices in all of indie rock” —Pitchfork

“A potent melding of classical poise and alt-pop punch, this dreamy song cycle [Penelope] was the year’s most affecting creation.” —Time Out New York

This elegantly woven two-part program begins with the Midwest premiere of composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s vivid song cycle Penelope, performed by Shara Worden and New York’s most in-demand new music ensemble, yMusic. Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey—but drawn from the perspective of Odysseus’ wife—this “gorgeous netherland between richly orchestrated indie rock and straight chamber music” (Pitchfork) is a mesmerizing meditation on memory, identity, and what it means to come home. The evening concludes with the versatile Worden joining conservatory-trained/pop-savvy yMusic for an intoxicating mix of cabaret, opera, chamber music, and rock. Each program half will also feature several new works written by an eclectic mix of today’s leading composers. Copresented with Liquid Music, a new St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert series.


Cynthia Hopkins MUSIC/THEATER

This Clement World

Thursday–Saturday, March 7–9, 8 pm

Thursday, $18 ($15); Friday–Saturday, $22 ($18)

Walker Commission

“Cynthia Hopkins is the definition of postmodern artistry. Her work transcends single genres and mediums and defies definition.” —New York Press

A purveyor of outlandishly theatrical fictions and original avant-folk orchestral songs, Hopkins is an audaciously charismatic talent that fans will follow anywhere: from memoir, murder, and memory loss in the South to ‘70s pop stardom, the CIA, and Moroccan Sufism to evolution in outer space—all have figured in her trilogy of previous works at the Walker. In a new piece, she grapples with the environmental crisis with her most expansive avant-folk rock orchestration to date. Presented as a live documentary film set in and out of the Arctic, this skillfully crafted, richly narrative performance questions how—or whether—one can act now to maintain a livable climate for generations of people we will never meet. Tag along with Hopkins, her longtime collaborators, director DJ Mendel and designer Jeff Sugg, and a band of 12 singers and musicians on a voyage of discovery that’s global in scope, playfully idiosyncratic, and utterly necessary.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion DANCE

Live! The Realest MC

Thursday–Saturday, March 14–16, 8 pm

Thursday, $18 ($15); Friday–Saturday, $22 ($18)

“Watched carefully, Abraham’s group choreography displays an intensely naked understanding of humanity; watching Abraham dance alone is deeply moving.” —Boston Globe

Riffing on the Pinocchio fable in a search to become “real,” choreographic chameleon and Bessie Award–winner Kyle Abraham takes a darkly humorous approach to gender roles and masculinity in the black community and the quest for acceptance in the world of hip-hop celebrity. Blending fast and furious contemporary dance with athletic movement derived from the street, this ensemble work ponders the price of conformity and the ways that identity is formed. An eclectic score includes sounds from Pan Sonic, James Blake, and Bill Evans.


John Zorn @ 60 MUSIC

Featuring Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Erik Friedlander, and more

Saturday, April 6

$20 ($18) each; $50 ($42) for all three performances

Program I: Game Pieces, 4 pm

Marc Ribot Solo/Hockey Wet and Dry/Cobra

Program II: Radical Jewish Music, 7 pm

Erik Friedlander Solo/Masada String Trio/Bar Kokhba

Program III: Lounge/Noise/Beyond, 10 pm

Aleph Trio/Enigmata/Moonchild instrumentals and more…. plus a Zorn @ 60 Blow Out Finale

“Take King Crimson, The Bad Plus, and Mr. Bungle, tie them all together and set them on fire, and you’ll wind up with something like John Zorn.” —The Wire

Zorn turns 60 and brings his birthday party to the Walker—in the form of three killer gigs and one unforgettable night with the protean, influential yet inimitable composer/musician/producer. This marathon of fresh composition and brilliant improvisation features six of Zorn’s bands and a host of celebrated musicians, including keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood), cellist Erik Friedlander, guitar hero Mark Ribot (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits), multi-percussionist Cyro Baptista, drummer Joey Baron, bassists Trevor Dunn and Greg Cohan, violinist Mark Feldman, saxophonist John Zorn, and select Twin Cities improvisers.

Fatoumata Diawara MUSIC

Friday, April 12, 8 pm

$30 ($25)

The Cedar, 416 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis

“The most beguiling talent to hit the world music scene in some time.” —Daily Telegraph (UK)

Catch the Midwest debut by Mali’s new music sensation, who has been wooing critics and lighting up stages around the world with her radiant voice, coolly infectious Afro-pop, and smoking live band. Fatoumata Diawara, aka Fatou, spins elements of jazz and funk into an exquisitely spare yet sensual folk-rock, inflecting it with the rhythms and melodies of Wassoulou, her ancestral song form. Likened to her mentor, Oumou Sangaré, Fatou has been hailed as the next female African songwriter of significance, one who “combines feminist social conscience with effortless melodic charm” (Financial Times). Copresented with the Cedar.

Support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Heroic Frenzies: The Music of Craig Taborn MUSIC

Friday, April 26, 8 pm

$25 ($22)

“Mr. Taborn, an unusually matter-of-fact virtuoso, teases out structural affinities among free jazz, postimpressionist classical and electronic music, forging something uniquely his own.” —New York Times

This joyous celebration and welcome return home for critically acclaimed jazz keyboardist/composer and former Golden Valley prodigy Craig Taborn showcases his omnivorous musical tastes and astonishing technical ability. The eclectic evening of new jazz, improv-electronics, and synth-funk is informed by Taborn’s early years in the ‘80s music scene in Minneapolis and his later decades as sideman and band leader on international jazz circuits. Featuring Junk Magic (Dave King, drums, Erik Fratzke, bass, Chris Speed, tenor saxophone, and Mat Maneri, viola); Taborn’s Trio (Gerald Cleaver, drums, and Thomas Morgan, bass); and austerely beautiful solo piano works from his lauded 2011 ECM release Avenging Angel.


Elevator Repair Service THEATER

Fondly, Collette Richland written by Sybil Kempson

Thursday–Saturday, May 16–18, 8 pm

Thursday, $18 ($15); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($22)

Preview Performances/Walker Commission

“ERS … stands out, not only for its humor and intelligence, but for its defiant theatricality.” —Artforum

Elevator Repair Service, creators of the six-hour GATZ sensation, return to the Walker with a preview performance of their latest play, an exciting large-scale production written by a rising star in the New York experimental theater scene, playwright Sibyl Kempson. As a serene domestic scene gradually unravels, mysterious offstage forces and an unexpected guest become entwined in a surreal homage to Jane Bowles, Mary Shelley, and a cadre of other influences. ERS’ signature physical/comic performance style and Kempson’s inimitable approach to writing are complemented by a live score played by longtime ERS member and Kempson collaborator Mike Iveson. The result is a lush, engaging, strange, and beautiful trip into unknown mental and physical spaces.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Walker Channel

Watch live webcasts of Walker programs, such as Making Music and Talking Dance lectures, and mine archives that include podcasts, remarks by hundreds of contemporary artists from a variety of disciplines, panel discussions involving critics and audiences, artist talks and musical and literary performance by some of today’s leading voices. Visit channel.walkerart.org

Online Conversations

After the show, join a conversation about it online, where you’ll also find articles, reviews, and interesting facts about each event. Visit the Walker Facebook page and blogs.walkerart.org

A Think and a Drink

Join other Walker members for this exclusive event that brings together curators and artists before a performance to socialize over light snacks and a drink at our cash bar. Limited space and discounted tickets available. Make a reservation at membership@walkerart.org or 612.375.7655


Meet at the back of the Balcony Bar after every Saturday dance and Out There performance for an informal dialogue with a Walker tour guild and a local choreographer or theater artist. Think book club with a performance. Jump into the discussion or just listen in as other hash it out after the show. Your questions. Your answers. Risk-free.

Balcony Bar

The upper balcony of the McGuire Theater is the place to meet the artist, talk about the show and enjoy a drink and snacks. Open one hour prior and after most performances. For details, visit walkerart.org

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for the Walker Art Center’s 2012-13 performing arts season are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.

Performing Arts Supporters

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.

Producers’ Council

Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Russell Cowles; Sage Cowles; Robert and Katherine Goodale; 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.; Josine Peters; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson.

Miguel Gutierrez

Photo: © Alex Escalante