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Press Releases Walker Art Center Announces 2013-2014 Performing Arts Season

Program Reflects Increasingly Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Nature of Contemporary Performance


“Music and dance in the Twin Cities at the Walker Art Center continues to not only be the best source for witnessing and experiencing incredible talent from around the world but also remains as one of the top institutions around” —City Pages

Minneapolis, May 17, 2013—The Walker Art Center announces its 2013–2014 performing arts season today, featuring contemporary dance, theater, and music innovators from around the globe and the Twin Cities community. Philip Bither, McGuire Senior Curator, Performing Arts, comments: “The season reflects the increasingly collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of our times, with many projects bringing together theatrical, visual, music and media artists, like filmmaker Sam Green’s verbal/filmic celebration of Buckminster Fuller with live music by indie rock heroes Yo La Tengo, or the world premiere of composer/cellist Erik Friedlander’s American Power, a meditation on energy with art photographer Mitch Epstein, or the Walker commissioned Hospital, a performance installation by Dutch theater innovators Wunderbaum collaborating with the social justice theater makers Los Angeles Poverty Department. We also commissioned three new works that allow leading Minnesota innovators to collaborate with national artistic figures – Aparna Ramaswamy in collaboration with composer/sax great Rudresh Mahanthappa, Uruguayan/NY choreographer Luciana Achugar’s new project utilizing many of the dancers of Zenon Dance Company, and innovative Seattle songsmith Jherek Bishoff’s Composed featuring a host of special guest musical artists including Polica’s lead singer Channy Leaneagh.


Of course, we are also thrilled that the season is punctuated with high profile artists like French dance innovator Jérôme Bel’s acclaimed Disabled Theater (its only U.S. performance outside of New York), a two day celebration of the piano virtuosity of Brad Mehldau, including a rare duo concert with mandolin master Chris Thile (Punch Brothers) and the farewell, final tour of the great Trisha Brown Dance Company. I rarely pick out a single season event as especially exciting, but I have to say that I am ecstatic to open our season with Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s spectacular Life & Times, Episode I, “one of the most exhilarating, freshest theater events I have experienced in years.”

Once again the Walker partners with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series to present artists expanding the definition of classical composition and performance, including Seatle-based producer/composer/musician Jherek Bischoff, “the missing link between the sombre undertones of Ennio Morricone and the unpredictability of John Cale” (New Musical Express), joined by special guests Sondre Lerche, Greg Saunier, Channy Leaneagh, and Ólöf Arnalds at the Fitzgerald Theater on Friday, October 18; Brooklyn-based electronic artist Daniel Lopatin, aka, Oneohtrix Point Never, joined by media artist Nate Boyce for a performance in the Walker’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater on Saturday, November 16; and Brooklyn-based composer/performer Olga Bell (Dirty Projectors, Chairlift) whose world premiere song cyle features a chamber ensemble composed of Twin Cities and Brooklyn musicians with visuals by Alejandro Crawford (MGMT) on Thursday, February 13, 2014. Additionally, the Walker and the SPCO’s Liquid Music series present a new music-visual art commission by the collaborative trio of Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux and Serengeti, dedicated to visual artist Jim Hodges, in conjunction with the Walker’s February 2014 opening of the first comprehensive survey in the U.S. of the work of this contemporary American artist.

Season Preview
Thursday, September 5, 7 pm Free

William and Nadine McGuire Theater

Join Philip Bither, William and Nadine McGuire Senior Curator of Performing Arts, to hear about the music, dance, and theater events that make up the Walker’s exciting new season. A storyteller who holds audiences rapt with his descriptions of discovering new performances each year, Bither explains why every show he presents is his favorite.

WALKER ART CENTER’S 2013–2014 PERFORMING ARTS SEASON

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

($) = ticket prices for Walker Art Center members

SEPTEMBER

THEATER
Nature Theater of Oklahoma
Life and Times: Episode 1

Thursday–Saturday, September 26–28, 7 pm
Thursday, $20 ($18); Friday–Saturday, $28 ($25)

“One of the most unforgettable adventures of my theatergoing experience.” —New York Times, Charles Isherwood

This deeply captivating and uproarious new approach to American theater has toured Europe to great acclaim and now comes home for a Walker debut. Based wholly on a marathon phone conversation detailing the early life memories of an everyday person, the work revels in the stimulating and the silly, the mundane and the absurd—and above all, the unpredictable contradictions of life itself. The text, at once funny, intelligent, and loopingly hypnotic, is sung entirely in a pop-meets-chamber-opera style without cuts or corrections, so one hears every hesitation, incomplete thought, and unconscious verbal habit. Finding a profound and poignant balance between grand and intimate, this audacious (and lengthy) work is rigorously choreographed with Soviet inspiration and takes the next step in the progression of a new theatrical experience.

Support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Theater Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, and Producers’ Council members King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury

OCTOBER

MUSIC/FILM
Sam Green and Yo La Tengo The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller
Friday, October 11, 7 and 9:30 pm
$25 ($20)

“Anyone familiar or unfamiliar with Fuller will be lucky to experience his life’s work through the enthralling interpretation by Green and Yo La Tengo.”—Filmmaker Magazine

Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Sam Green joins venerated indie rock band Yo La Tengo for an engaging and eye-opening “live documentary” on R. Buckminster Fuller, the inventor, architect, futurist, engineer, and author most famously known for his creation of the geodesic dome. As a progenitor of such issues as sustainability and conservation, he was also a proponent of radical societal change through design and architecture. Live music supplies the backdrop for Green’s charismatic in-person cinematic narration as he delves deep into projecting film clips, photographs, letters, and blueprints from Fuller’s immense body of work. Yo La Tengo provides the live soundtrack that resonates between the sonically subtle and richly atmospheric. The piece is a follow-up to Green’s internationally esteemed live film Utopia in Four Movements, presented at the Walker in 2011.

MUSIC
Jherek Bischoff: Composed
With special guests Sondre Lerche, Greg Saunier, Ólöf Arnalds
and Channy Leaneagh and others

Friday, October 18, 8 pm
Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange Street, St Paul $25
Tickets: In person at the Fitzgerald Theater box office and Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1.800.982.2787

“The missing link between the somber undertones of Ennio Morricone and the unpredictability of John Cale.” —NME
“Seattle phenom” (New Yorker) and “pop polymath” (New York Times) Jherek Bischoff is joined by an all-star cast of guest vocalists and instrumentalists, including celebrated Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche, Polica’s beguiling lead singer Channy Leaneagh, Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, Icelandic vocalist/songsmith Ólöf Arnalds, and some of the Twin Cities’ finest classical instrumentalists. This special collaboration blends high and low, contemporary classical pieces, and new contributions to the American songbook. Copresented with the SPCO’S Liquid Music series and in association with Minnesota Public Radio.

MUSIC
CocoRosie
Saturday, October 19, 8 pm
$25 ($22); day of concert $30 ($25)
The Cedar, 416 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis

“They have terrifyingly beautiful voices … their songs inexhaustibly multilayered, fragile, radiant.” —New York Times

The bold and boundless art-folk duo CocoRosie makes a rare Minneapolis appearance with a full ensemble. Sisters Bianca (Coco) and Sierra (Rosie) Casady have developed an international following for their mystical fairy tale world created through elaborate costumes, sets, and uncategorizable music. Shaped by Bianca’s arresting childlike tremor and Sierra’s classically trained operatic voice—often using vintage, toy, and nontraditional instruments—the duo swirls folk, hip-hop, opera, and reggae into evocative pop songs that are playful yet ominous, with hard-hitting truths voiced through twinkling innocence. Sounding “like two little Billie Holidays an octave higher if you were on acid in Tokyo in 1926” (Jim Jarmusch), CocoRosie performs a clublike, all-standing concert, copresented with the Cedar.

NOVEMBER

MUSIC/FILM
Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein
American Power

World Premiere/Walker Commission
Friday, November 1, 8 pm
$20 ($18)

“I have tried to convey in these pictures … the beauty and terror of early 21st-century America, as it clings to past comforts and gropes for a more sensible future.” —Mitch Epstein

Acclaimed contemporary cellist/composer Erik Friedlander collaborates with American photographer Mitch Epstein on a musical, visual, and oral exploration of what Epstein terms “our cultural relationship to energy.” Drawn from Epstein’s series of photographs taken on his 5-year, 25-state investigation of US energy production and consumption, American Power combines a series of new compositions for solo cello that accompany Epstein’s evocative images projected in extremely high resolution. Elegant yet spare, this richly visual and acoustically superb work serves as a metaphorical investigation into the notion of power itself and the overlap of electrical, corporate, civic, religious, environmental, governmental, and artistic power. The evening concludes with a new and poetic short film and music meditation by the collaborators on the impact of Hurricane Sandy. This project follows Friedlander’s artistically successful and popular Walker-commissioned work Block Ice & Propane.

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.

MUSIC
Tim Hecker + Oneohtrix Point Never
Saturday, November 16, 8pm
$20 ($18)

“Few modern performers manipulate sound quite as aggressively or effectively as Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never).” —NPR

Two leading international electronic experimentalists share an aurally adventurous evening of light and shadow that dips deep into drone, ambient, distortion, and beyond. The show begins in near darkness with Hecker’s physical and emotive exploration of noise, dissonance, and melody, described as “foreboding, abstract pieces in which static and sub-bass rumbles open up around slow-moving notes and chords, like fissures in the Earth waiting to swallow them whole.” (New York Times) Closing the night as Oneohtrix Point Never—known for lush and layered pieces formed by sound swatches and electronic washes punctuated with field recordings and sampled loops—joining forces with media artist Nate Boyce and his hallucinatory, computer-generated films for an eye-popping and ear-opening investigation into sound and vision. Copresented with the SPCO’s Liquid Music series.

DANCE
Jérôme Bel/Theater Hora
Disabled Theater

Thursday, November 21–Saturday, November 23, 8 pm
Thursday, $20 ($18); Friday–Saturday, $28 ($24)

“There is a kind of defiance, a challenge to theatrical conventions, but even more so to social ones…. the form of the piece is incredibly simple. Watching it is anything but.” - Culturebot

Through three works over 8 years, acclaimed French conceptual performance star Jérôme Bel has challenged and charmed us. With “Disabled Theater” his deceptively straight-forward theatrical collaboration with Switzerland’s Theater Hora, a Swiss company of disabled actors, his work reaches a new height. Probing troubling questions around identity, discrimination and the narrowness of our own preconceptions, the show features 11 members of Theater Hora, simply being themselves. It’s carefully constructed tension is balanced with humor, life-affirming joy. Sparking both debate and awe across Europe, the work was the sensation at both prominent theater festivals like Avignon and Brussels’ Kunsten-Arts as well as Germany’s 2012 Documenta visual art fair. Frieze praised its “simple, stripped down conceptual clarity” and its “90 minutes of uneasy, preconception-probing estrangement and empathy.” And, for New York Times’ chief visual art critic Roberta Smith it was simply “transcendent art.”

DANCE
Choreographers’ Evening
Curated by Chris Yon and Taryn Griggs

Saturday, November 30, 7 and 9:30 pm
$22 ($18)

“Sometimes, contemporary dance growls and barks at you. Other times, it wags its tail, jumps up in your lap, licks your face, and pees on you a little bit.” —Twin Cities Daily Planet

For more than 40 years, Choreographers’ Evening has served as the major showcase for the Twin Cities’ vital independent dance community. This fast-paced super-sampler of local talent features 10 companies, all with just 7 minutes to unveil their latest work. Tweet your buds, join the party, and help us celebrate the remarkably diverse range of Minnesota dance. Known for their witty and precise choreography, Brooklyn transplants (and husband and wife) Chris Yon and Taryn Griggs team-curate this year’s installment.


DECEMBER

DANCE
HIJACK at 20
redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye

World Premiere/Walker Commission

Thursday–Saturday, December 5–7, 8 pm
Thursday, $20 ($16); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($22)

“The genesis of the Twin Cities’ singular ‘downtown’ dance scene can be traced back at least to HIJACK. The duo—Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder—planted postmodern concerns with movement and performance into a largely ballet-and-modern-dance-oriented community, where their influence has been profound.” —City Pages

Fearless and influential dance duo HIJACK returns to the Walker to celebrate a significant milestone. Not shying from the ugly underbelly of innovation and freely indulging in glitter and smoke-and-mirrors, redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye mixes pure experimentation with a humorous exploration of language, printed matter, and journalistic press and prose tempered by an earnest (and earned) DIY disposition. This timely and cumulative piece celebrates 20 years of duet choreography and features guests Jennifer Arave, Tom Lloyd, Morgan Thorson, and Craig VanTrees, who will perform alongside HIJACK in expanded duets that include found sound and wardrobe. This Walker commission and premiere launches HIJACK’s national celebration tour. 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, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Performance Network (NPN). HIJACK’s redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye is an NPN Creation Fund project created in partnership with the Walker Art Center, Legion Arts (Cedar Rapids), Colorado College (Colorado Springs), and NPN.

JANUARY

Out There 2014: New World Visions
January 9–February 1, 2014

Thursday, $18 ($16); Friday-Saturday, $22 ($18)

Starting its second quarter century with an entirely fresh roster of worldwide, radical innovators, including Holland’s Wunderbaum (with LAPD), Japan’s Kuro Tanino (Niwagekidan Penino), Berlin/France’s Clement Layes (Public in Private), and Argentina’s Lola Arias, the arresting lineup reflects the expansive array of styles and strategies that make up today’s vanguard international performance scene.

THEATER
Wunderbaum and LAPD
Hospital

Thursday–Saturday, January 9–11, 8 pm

“Fresh and original … [Wunderbaum] is political and raw, its actors also rockers.” —Los Angeles Times

The compelling, darkly funny, and timely Hospital by vanguard Dutch theater collective Wunderbaum and LA-based theatrical/social justice innovators LAPD (the Los Angeles Poverty Department) promises to be both a surreal cross-cultural theatrical examination and a “blood trash comedy.” Combining live action and film, the piece is inspired by the Dutch absurdist horror television series The Kingdom by Lars von Trier, American soap operas, the real-life stories of (ex)addicts, and the rough and tumble residents of Skid Row (some of whom appear as performers). This hospital-themed black comedy unfolds in real time onstage, cutting between fantasy and documentary, with multilayered tales on multiple screens as healthcare dependents and providers dance around each other in a macabre nightmare.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Coproduced by Wunderbaum and LAPD in collaboration with REDCAT. Co-commissioned by Rotterdamse Schouwburg with the support by AMMODO and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).

THEATER
Niwagekidan Penino
The Room, Nobody Knows

Thursday, January 16, 8 pm
Friday–Saturday, January 17–18, 7 and 9:30 pm

“Kuro Tanino’s troupe is a one-man psychological trip into the underbelly of our desires.” —Tokyo Stages

The spirit of Out There is alive and well in this demented yet inspired piece by Japan’s Kuro Tanino, a psychotherapist turned director and one of the most original artistic voices in theater today. Equally enigmatic and erotic, The Room, Nobody Knows is a dreamlike, psychologically twisted tale of two brothers and their secret desires. Phallus-laden layers of abstraction fuel this claustrophobic and comically (psycho) analytical work replete with pig faces, plastic heads, and hidden compartments. This quizzical tall tale of people living in close quarters plays out in a meticulously constructed miniature set placed on the McGuire stage. Very limited seating. Performed in Japanese with English surtitles.

Support provided by the Performing Arts Japan program of the Japan Foundation and Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

THEATER
Clément Layes/Public in Private
Allege

Thursday–Saturday, January 23–25, 8 pm

“One you should not miss … cutting edge … Allege is a solo that is constantly evolving … clever and unpretentious.” —Cyprus Mail

Humorous and conceptual, this brilliant and brief solo by Clément Layes mixes performance art, philosophy, and dance with Chaplinesque virtuosity. Balancing a glass of water on his head for the duration of the performance, Layes takes us on a contemplative journey involving habit and expectation, the absurdities of life, and overlooked small moments of beauty. With a background in circus arts, dance, and philosophy, French/German physical theater artist Layes presents a remarkable physical feat and gives us an utterly charming piece that metaphorically mixes visual arts, choreography, and deeper thinking around the daily life of objects.

THEATER
Lola Arias
The Year I Was Born

Thursday–Saturday, January 30–February 1, 8 pm “The experience is soul-crushing; it shakes you to the core…” —La Segunda

Reconstructing scenes from the past in order to understand their future, 11 young people born during the Pinochet dictatorship use photos, letters, tapes, old clothes, and personal stories from their families to uncover erased memories. Political and playful, real and surreal, these intertwined tales that toggle between reality and fiction explore the endless variety of perspectives from Chile’s most complex era. Probing humor, telling truths, and live rock shape this moving piece about the unsteady balance between private lives and national identity.

Support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


FEBRUARY

MUSIC
Olga Bell: Origin/Outcome
with special guests Tom Vek and Angel Deradoorian

World Premiere
Thursday, February 13, 8 pm $20 ($18)

“With a background in classical piano and a love for everything electronic, Bell’s music is her own confection—a world of layered beats, swirling synth textures, and sometimes poppy, sometimes haunting, but always beautiful vocals.” —The Consequence of Sound

From ancient folk traditions to modern club music, Origin/Outcome is a celebration of the hot-blooded human vernacular—the music to which we dance, eat, grieve, and revel. Brooklyn-based composer/performer Olga Bell (Dirty Projectors, Chairlift) unfolds a two-part evening of compelling new sounds that features a chamber ensemble composed of Twin Cities- and Brooklyn-based musicians with dazzling visuals by video artist Alejandro Crawford (MGMT). The evening opens with the world premiere of Bell’s nine-movement song cycle Krai, a richly imagined sonic love letter to her Russian homeland. The night also contains the debut of Nothankyou, the product of Bell’s cross-Atlantic partnership with British musician Tom Vek (called “a marvelous new pop star in the classical mold” by the Guardian), whose self-coined “beat-rock” emphasizes angular compositions that groove. Respected vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Angel Deradoorian (former Dirty Projectors) contributes throughout. Copresented with the SPCO’s Liquid Music series and the American Composers Forum.

DANCE
luciana achugar
Otro Teatro

Walker Commission/World Premiere
Thursday–Saturday, February 27–March 1, 8 pm

Thursday, $20 ($16); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($22)

“Wow. luciana is a trip. From the dark and creepy exorcisms of Puro Deseo to the psychedelic freakout that is Feel … Form, she knows how to make a scene.” —CultureBot

Join the provocatively conceptual and sensual Uruguayan choreographer luciana achugar as she enters the post-apocalyptic yet idiosyncratically beautiful world of Otro Teatro. As she works with her group of New York dancers as well as eight dancers from Zenon Dance Company and a dozen more drawn from our rich dance community, achugar’s raw but rigorously formal aesthetic questions the “civilized” standard of beauty and investigates the origins of theater itself. Inspired by an image of a collapsed theater, the visceral dance metaphorically rebuilds another theater (otro teatro) through ingeniously clever set design and live music by composer Michael Mahalchick. achugar’s short work Molten Substance was a spring 2013 hit for Minneapolis’ Zenon Company …“Hurray for the audacious, calculatingly inappropriate and consistently intelligent work about women taking back power” (Star Tribune). Copresented with the National Performance Network (NPN) and in partnership with Zenon Dance Company.

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 Performance Network (NPN. Otro Teatro is an NPN Creation Fund project created in partnership with the Walker Art Center, New York Live Arts, and NPN.


MARCH

DANCE
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Farewell Theatrical Tour: Works for the Stage 1983–2011

Wednesday–Saturday, March 12–15, 8 pm $45 ($40)

“She took the everyday movement of our pedestrian lives and gave it back to us new.” —The New York Times

While Trisha Brown’s uncontested legacy as a choreographic maverick and the grande dame of postmodern dance will live on for future generations, her company will soon be disbanding, and its 40-year relationship with the Walker will no longer include staged works. Don’t miss the chance to catch highlights from Brown’s catalogue of iconic works by the exquisite dancers she has trained, part of the company’s must-see final tour. The retrospective evening includes performances of I’m going to toss my arms—if you catch them they’re yours (2011; live music by Alvin Curran), one of Brown’s final pieces; the beloved Set and Reset (1983; music by Laurie Anderson), with relaxed, playful choreography accented by black-and-white design and costumes; If you couldn’t see me (1994; music by Robert Rauschenberg) a seductively beautiful female solo never before performed in the Twin Cities; and Astral Convertible (1989; music by John Cage), featuring an interactive sound and light set by Robert Rauschenberg. Copresented with Northrop at the University of Minnesota.

DANCE
Companhia Urbana de Dança
Na Pista and ID: ENTIDADES

Thursday–Saturday, March 27–29, 8 pm
Thursday, $20 ($16); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($22)

“The eight young men in this Brazilian hip-hop group are almost shocking in their individuality and physicality.” —Dance Magazine

Freely mixing urban street styles, social dances, and thought-provoking contemporary vocabulary, the audacious and dynamic Companhia Urbana de Dança unleashes startlingly new forms and a truly moving experience. Composed of eight immensely talented young men from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro on their first US tour, this poetic and explosive company stuns with stamina-testing solos and jaw-dropping group movement that defies the limits of physicality while retaining choreographic rigor. Alternately mesmerizing and rippling with adrenaline and raw energy, these two works conceived and choreographed by director Sonia Destri Lie explore the cultural roots of Brazil and the gritty life stories of the dancers themselves.

Support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a project of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.


APRIL

MUSIC
Intuitive Expression: A Brad Mehldau Celebration
Tuesday, April 8, 8 pm
$38 ($32)

Brad Mehldau Trio
Wednesday, April 9, 8 pm
$32 ($28)
$55 ($50) both performances

“Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau come from different worlds but the same species…At every turn, whatever the song, both musicians played with alert intelligence and deep sensitivity….an exhilarating rush” —New York Times

Recently called “the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years” by the New York Times, Brad Mehldau combines rigorous artistry, ferocious two-handed technique, captivating compositional abilities, eclectic music tastes, and breathtaking improvisational capabilities. Known for his singular, intense live performances this two-day Mehldau celebration offers two distinctly different sides of one of today’s most compelling music makers. The first evening features a U.S. exclusive 2014 engagement of his duo collaboration with Chris Thile, star mandolinist and singer for The Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, and one of the most exciting forces working not just in progressive bluegrass but across the broader folk-pop music realm. The second evening showcases Mehldau’s highly intuitive trio (Larry Grenadier, bass; Jeff Ballard, drums), whose expansive output since the mid-90s often juxtaposes stripped down, emotionally direct ballads with densely packed, abstract compositions.

MUSIC
Burnt Sugar—The Arkestra Chamber
Any World That I’m Welcome To: The Steely Dan Conductions

Saturday, April 26, 8 pm $25 ($22)

“… a fleet-footed big band, sliding and swaggering through galactic R&B, brawny jazz and electric funk like a Sun Ra-size spin on Miles Davis’ On the Corner band.” —Rolling Stone

Burnt Sugar, the 19-member Afrocentric jazz/funk collective, lays claim to and subverts the Steely Dan songbook with curation and conduction by guitar hero Vernon Reid (Living Color). Of the wildly diverse palette and players in the New York ensemble, Arkestra leader Greg Tate says, “Burnt Sugar got the nerve to claim Sly Stone, Morton Feldman, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, and Jean Luc Ponty as progenitors. Our player-ranks include known Irish fiddlers, AACM refugees, Afro-punk rejects, unrepentant be-boppers, feminist rappers, jitterbugging doo-woppers, frankly loud funk-a-teers, and rodeo stars of the digital divide.” Look for heady and deeply funky remakes of Steely Dan classics such as “Pretzel Logic,” “Haitian Divorce,” “Any Major Dude,” “Black Cow,” “Kid Charlemagne,” and others.

MAY

DANCE/MUSIC
Ragamala Dance and Rudresh Mahanthappa
Song of the Jasmine

World Premiere/Walker Commission
Thursday–Sunday, May 15–18
Thursday, 8 pm; Sunday, 2 pm $25 ($22);
Friday–Saturday, 8 pm $30 ($26)

“Aparna Ramaswamy infuses the formal rigor of Bharatanatyam with fluid spontaneity and rock star allure.” —Dance Magazine

Taking inspiration from the transformative Bhakti poetry of medieval South India, Song of the Jasmine is a profound and deeply beautiful combination of innovation and tradition exploring notions of American identity, global citizenship, and the divine. Choreographer/director Aparna Ramaswamy, in collaboration with her choreographic partner and co-artistic director, Ranee Ramaswamy, leads the storied Ragamala Dance in an inspired collaboration with New York’s award-winning jazz saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa. Heralded for his “roving intellect and a bladelike articulation” (New York Times), Mahanthappa heads a new quartet that features Rajna Swaminathan on mridangam (percussion), V. K. Raman on South Indian flute, and Rez Abbasi on guitar. Commissioned by the Walker Art Center and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland).

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. Co-commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland). In honor of Dale Schatzlein (1948–2006) and his important work in dance and jazz in the Twin Cities, additional support is provided by Emily Maltz.

Visual Art –Related Music Commission: S/S/S + Jim Hodges Retrospective Music Experience
New work by the collaborative trio of Serengeti, Son Lux and Sufjan Stevens, inspired by the work of visual artist Jim Hodges, will be released in conjunction with the February 2014 opening of the first comprehensive survey in the U.S. of the work of this contemporary American artist. The touring exhibition, organized by the Walker Art Center and the Dallas Museum of Art, runs at the Walker February 14-May 11, 2014, and will feature musical work that will manifest as a new S/S/S recording, co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center and SPCO’s Liquid Music series.

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

Join In
Besides performances, we also program public workshops, discussions, opening-night celebrations, open rehearsals, and even the chance to perform. Join us for unique experiences offstage. For more information, visit walkerart.org.

Make a Night of It!
Balcony Bar

Meet the artists, talk about the show, and enjoy drinks at happy-hour prices on the upper balcony of the elegant McGuire Theater. Open one hour prior to and after most performances. For details, visit walkerart.org.

SpeakEasy
It’s like a book club for the performing arts—your questions, your answers, risk-free. After the show, head to the Balcony Bar to jump into a discussion or just listen in as others hash it out. Led by Walker tour guides and local choreographers and theater artists, SpeakEasy takes place on Saturdays after every dance and Out There performance.

Accessibility
The Walker is accessible to all visitors. Assistive listening devices, audio description, and ASL interpretation are available for performing arts events. For more information, call 612.375.7564 or e-mail access@walkerart.org.

Free Gallery Admission
Walker gallery admission is free with a paid ticket within one week of performance or screening.

Groups
Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more. Call 612.375.7569 or e-mail groups@walkerart.org.

Students
A limited number of discounted tickets are available for students with a valid ID. Call 612.375.7600.

Members Get More
Walker members always save up to 50% on tickets and are invited to go deeper with Art School before and A Think & A Drink events after select performances. Members also receive advance notice and purchase opportunities for hot tickets, free gallery admission, a 10% discount on shopping and dining, and much more.

To become a member and/or to learn more about the Art School and A Think & A Drink programs, call 612.375.7600 or visit walkerart.org /membership.

Acknowledgments
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; 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.

Nature Theater of Oklahoma

Photo: Reinhard Werner, Burgtheater Wien