Walker Art Center

Walker Stage

Season — Walker Stage

Performing Arts
Season

Season 2016–17

Performing Arts Season Reveal Party

  • Thursday, July 14
  • 5:30 pm
  • Free
  • Garden Terrace Room & Terraces

Join Philip Bither, McGuire Director and Senior Curator of Performing Arts, as he unveils the 2016–2017 Performing Arts season and shares stories about bringing the best in international contemporary performance to the Walker. Get the scoop at this inside/outside celebration. Program Highlights Happy Hour, 5:30–7 pm Season Announcement by Philip Bither, 6 pm Live Music by Guitarist John King and DJ…

Season 2016–17

Dance, Performance

Alessandro Sciarroni

Photo: Alessandro Sciarroni

“A stripped-down reflection on the art of juggling as a metaphor for the fragile nature of the human condition.”

—Camden Review

UNTITLED_I will be there when you die

  • Friday–Saturday, September 23–24
  • 8 pm
  • $25 ($20 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

A transformative new figure in contemporary dance, visual/performance artist Alessandro Sciarroni elevates the art of juggling to breathtakingly sculpted movement in this meditation on the passing of time. In a spellbinding human exercise, four master jugglers respond to increasingly complicated demands of gravity, effort, and endurance.

Season 2016–17

Music

Colin Stetson

Photo: courtesy the artist

“Both traditional and playful, timeless and of the moment.”

—PopMatters

SORROW: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony

  • Friday, September 30
  • 8 pm
  • $25 ($20 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Virtuosic composer/saxophonist Colin Stetson reimagines Henryk Górecki’s iconic Symphony No. 3 (best known from the 1992 Nonesuch Symphony of Sorrowful Songs recording), a heartbreaking modern masterpiece with an unexpected and expansive sonic palate. Stetson draws on a uniquely constructed all-star ensemble that employs electric guitars, synthesizers, drums, and woodwinds to create transformative…

Season 2016–17

Music

Amir ElSaffar

Photo: Vincent Beaume

“Among the most promising figures in jazz today.”

—Chicago Tribune

Rivers of Sound

  • Saturday, October 15
  • 8 pm
  • $25 ($20 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Revered composer/trumpeter Amir ElSaffar fuses elements of traditional Middle Eastern modal music and American jazz to create a mesmerizing sonic hybrid that moves into a free state of uninhibited musical exploration. His diverse and virtuosic 17-piece pan-Arabic ensemble features Middle Eastern masters as well as US jazz stars, including guitarist Miles Okazaki, drummer Nasheet Waits, and…

Season 2016–17

Dance

Pavel Zuštiak

Photo: Scott Shaw

“Plunges headlong into questions about what is ‘beautiful’ by interrogating sources like Plato, Pope Benedict XVI, and of course, the dancing body.”

—Time Out New York

Custodians of Beauty

  • Thursday–Saturday, October 20–22
  • 8 pm
  • $22 ($17.60 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Bessie Award–winning choreographer/director Pavel Zuštiak and his Palissimo Company examine beauty and its intrinsic relationship with art through minimalist movement, sensuous abstraction, and potent stage imagery. Drawn from a dark Eastern European dance-theater aesthetic, this richly postmodern dance/live music event casts the human body as a sculptural form, an emotional trigger, or a political…

Jérôme Bel: Bookend Festival

Jérôme Bel: Bookend Festival

Dance, Performance

Jérôme Bel

Photo: Herman Sorgeloos

GALA

  • Tuesday–Wednesday, November 1–2
  • 8 pm
  • $22 ($17.60 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Celebrate Minnesota’s own diverse community as radical dancemaster Jérôme Bel gleefully and convincingly makes the case that all bodies and movement are meaningful and joyous when danced with conviction and viewed with an open spirit.

Jérôme Bel: Bookend Festival

Dance, Performance

Photo: courtesy the artist

Talking Dance/Screening with Jérôme Bel

  • Thursday, November 3
  • 8 pm
  • Free
  • Walker Cinema

Get a sense of provocative Parisian choreographer-philosopher Jérôme Bel’s humor, heart, and theory during the artist’s conversation with Walker senior performing arts curator Philip Bither. The evening includes a screening of Bel’s moving short film on classical corps de ballet dancer Véronique Doisneau.

Jérôme Bel: Bookend Festival

Dance, Performance

Jérôme Bel

Photo: Herman Sorgeloos

  • Friday, November 4
  • 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

The festival concludes with a rare showing of one of Jérôme Bel’s earliest and most controversial works. Four performers deconstruct the theatrics of dance with minimal movement, nudity, and shadow. Contains adult content.

Season 2016–17

Dance

Choreographers’ Evening

Photo: Gene Pittman, ©Walker Art Center

Curated by Rosy Simas

  • Saturday, November 26
  • 7 pm and 9:30 pm
  • $25 ($20 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Over the course of 40-plus years, the Walker’s Choreographers’ Evening has offered an exciting range of Minnesota dance reflective of each choreographer/guest curator who frames the evening through a specific lens. This year’s curator, Rosy Simas, selected particular works that “complement each other, dances that reflect the times we live in, and dances that I think will create thought-provoking…

Season 2016–17

Music

David Lang with musicians of the SPCO and visuals by Suzanne Bocanegra

Photo: courtesy Suzanne Bocanegra and Bang on a Can.

“Lang, once a post-minimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.”

—New Yorker

darker

  • Saturday, December 3
  • 8 pm
  • $20 ($15 Walker members)
  • Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, MN 55102

As much a hypnotic sonic/visual object as it is a piece of music, darker weaves its intricate solo lines into a delicate and subtly emotional fabric. Created by Pulitzer Prize–winner David Lang, one of America’s preeminent composers and cofounder of Bang on a Can All-Stars, the piece is performed by the accomplished musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Mischa Santora, and…

Season 2016–17

Dance

Karen Sherman

Photo: Gene Pittman, ©Walker Art Center

“Sherman is one of the most daring and insightful artists working in our community, and she creates work that is not only relevant to our time but memorable.”

—City Pages

Soft Goods

  • Thursday–Saturday, December 8–10
  • 8 pm
  • $22 ($17.60 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Minneapolis-based artist Karen Sherman lays bare the behind-the-scenes intricacies of a dance performance in this evocative and insightful examination of work, life, and loss. Soft Goods illuminates the choreographic elegance of manual labor, the loneliness of theaters, the spectral beauty of a lighting focus, and the human hand behind all stage art. Created with and performed by an ensemble of 10…

Out There 2017

Out There 2017

Performance

Andrew Schneider

Photo: courtesy Maria Baranova

“Inventive … astounding … continually finds new ways to challenge and engage its viewers, to surprise and mystify us.”

—New York Times

YOUARENOWHERE

  • Wednesday–Saturday, January 4–7
  • 2 pm and 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

A not-to-be missed smash hit from New York’s downtown theater world, this rapid-fire, high-tech existential meditation teleports from physics lecture to pop culture and personal revelation while dissecting quantum mechanics, parallel universes, missed connections, and AA recovery steps. Using an array of electrifying visual and aural effects to produce a shifting landscape of sensory overload, Andrew…

Out There 2017

Dance, Performance

Faye Driscoll

Photo: courtesy Maria Baranova

“Faye Driscoll is a postmillennium, postmodern wild woman. A wild woman with a scrupulous sense of form that she tweaks into eye-opening weirdness. Ferocious, hilarious, and disturbing.”

—Village Voice

Thank You for Coming: Play

  • Thursday–Saturday, January 12–14
  • 8 pm
  • $25 ($20 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Following the wildly popular Attendance in February 2016, Bessie Award–winning choreographer/director Faye Driscoll returns with the second part of her Thank You for Coming trilogy. Playful, irreverent, and rigorous, Play focuses on the consumption and fabrication of personal stories that help make our lives coherent. The choreography examines the lingering gaps and glitches (both physically and…

Out There 2017

Performance

Okwui Okpokwasili

Photo: courtesy Peter Born

“Okpokwasili is quite simply a virtuoso, an exquisite singer, speaker, writer, mover, a siren who draws us to danger.”

—Chicago Tribune

Poor People’s TV Room

  • Thursday–Saturday, January 19–21
  • 8 pm
  • $25 ($20 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Known for her intensely powerful performances, Bessie Award–winning Okwui Okpokwasili (featured in Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room) considers the collective amnesia around the Nigerian women’s resistance movements of the past century. With collaborator Peter Born, she mixes ritualistic and hallucinogenic movement, song, video, and text, creating a dystopian narrative in which characters slip through the…

Out There 2017

Theater

Philipe Quesne/Vivarium Studios

Photo: courtesy Pierre Grosbois

“A great, humorous, and deeply human, touching work.”

—Der Standard (Vienna)

La Mélancolie des Dragons

  • Thursday–Saturday, January 26–28
  • 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

A hatchback has stalled in a beautiful snowy forest, stranding six metal-heads on their quest to build a hard rock–themed amusement park in protest of cheap consumerism. This deeply surreal fairy tale uses disarming wit and hints of magical realism—with the help of 1980s rock and medieval recorders—to celebrate the absurdity, joy, and wonder of human existence. La Mélancolie des Dragons promises a…

Season 2016–17

Dance

Batsheva Dance Company

Photo: Maxim Waratt

“Batsheva proves again and again that they are one of the greatest companies on the planet and one of the coolest as well.”

—Limelight Magazine

Decadance 2017

  • Tuesday, January 24
  • 7:30 pm
  • $55, $45, $35 ($44, $36, $28 Walker members)
  • Northrop, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

In this high-octane retrospective, Ohad Naharin brilliantly remixes excerpts from his 25-year catalogue of work, including a number of new pieces not yet seen in the United States. The performance showcases the signature physicality, creativity, and precision for which his Batsheva Dance Company is world-renowned. With dashes of comedy, scintillating storytelling, and musical scores that sample…

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Dance

Maria Hassabi

Photo: Thomas Poravas, courtesy the artist

“[Hassabi’s work] endlessly rewards attention, creating a sort of spectacle of intimacy both generous and radical.”

—Artforum

STAGING

  • February 8-12, February 14-19
  • Free with gallery admission
  • Walker Art Center

Occupying a space between live performance and visual art, artist/choreographer Maria Hassabi’s work explores stillness and sustained motion. Her sculptural movement installations examine the tension between the human form and the artistic object. These magnetic performances of looped, long-form choreography will be performed by Simon Courchel, Jessie Gold, Hristoula Harakas, Maria Hassabi, Kennis…

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Music, Dance

Photo: Don Pollard, courtesy of the Merce Cunningham Trust, all rights restricted.

Walker Cunningham Events

  • February 8-9, March 30-April 2, April 6-9
  • Times vary by date
  • Free with gallery admission
  • Perlman Gallery

The gallery comes alive with movement and sound as dancers from the final Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC)­­—Dylan Crossman, Silas Riener, Jamie Scott, Melissa Toogood—perform Events, Cunningham’s unique choreographic form made for performances in unconventional spaces. Arranged and staged by former MCDC dancer Andrea Weber, these 30-minute sequences drawn from four decades of Cunningham’s work…

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Dance

CCN-Ballet de Lorraine

Photo: Laurent Philippe

“The whole experience, music and dancing was an exhilarating rush.”

—Washington Post

  • Thursday, February 16
  • 7:30 pm
  • $55, $45, $35 ($44, $36, $28 Walker members)
  • Northrop, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

The acclaimed CCN-Ballet de Lorraine celebrates Merce Cunningham’s legacy with a rare chance to see two of his groundbreaking works. The evening features the dramatic, Walker-commissioned Fabrications and the “organized chaos” of Sounddance, performed at a high velocity from start to finish to a thundering electronic score by David Tudor. The program also includes Devoted, a new ballet by the young…

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Music

David Behrman, Joan La Barbara, John King, George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Gordon Mumma, Zeena Parkins, Radiohead’s Philip Selway, and Christian Wolff

Photo: courtesy of the John Cage Trust

“Cunningham made room for music, and the composers created music that made room for movement. An invitation always went out to listen.”

—Los Angeles Times

Music for Merce: A Two-Night Celebration

  • Thursday–Friday, February 23–24
  • 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members); $50 for both nights
  • McGuire Theater

Cunningham and longtime partner/composer John Cage were renowned for their legendary collaborations with the most significant experimental musicians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Join us to celebrate this remarkable legacy over two historic evenings with a festival of music and sound performances curated by composer/guitarist John King. Featured with King are electronic music…

Season 2016–17

Music

Mbongwana Star

Photo: Renaud Barret

“Listening to it feels like arriving in a bustling, unfamiliar city, a very long way from home: a gripping mix of excitement, apprehension, and sensory overload.”

—The Guardian (UK)

Mbongwana Star with ZULUZULUU

  • Friday, March 3
  • 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members)
  • Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis

Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mbongwana Star features a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of change (mbongwana) and led by Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza, two founders of Congolese supergroup Staff Benda Bilili. Along with maverick Parisian producer Doctor L (Tony Allen), the band creates a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings…

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Dance

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener with Charles Atlas

Photo: courtesy the artists

“A venture this artistically successful should be seen as a valediction to that part of their careers (with Cunningham) of these two supremely talented men.”

—New York Times

Tesseract

  • Thursday–Saturday, March 16–18
  • 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener were two of the most stunning performers in the final iteration of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. In a groundbreaking co-commission with Experimental and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), the Walker pairs them with longtime Cunningham collaborator and visual/media artist Charles Atlas. The thrilling result is a live dance/technology hybrid featuring seven…

Season 2016–17

Music

Kneebody + Daedalus

Photo: Chris Clinton

“A powerful fusion of abstract hip-hop and modern jazz, and at its highest points you can’t really even tell where Kneebody ends and Daedelus begins.”

—Pitchfork

Kneebody+Daedelus=Kneedelus

  • Friday, March 24
  • 8 pm
  • $28 ($22.40 Walker members)
  • Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis

Kindred sonic explorers share a mind-melding evening of new sounds and inspired collaboration. Grammy-nominated quintet Kneebody delivers explosive rock energy paralleled with high-level chamber ensemble playing, and highly wrought compositions balanced with no-holds-barred improvising. LA’s deep electronic master Daedelus (Alfred Darlington) is an inventor, a creator of aural labyrinths combining…

Season 2016–17

Music

Roomful of Teeth With special guest Nick Zammuto (The Books)

Photo: Bonica Ayala

“Experimentation may be this group’s calling card, but its essence is pure joy.”

—Boston Globe

Roomful of Teeth and Nick Zammuto: Self_one

  • Wednesday, April 5
  • 7:30 pm
  • $30 ($25 Walker members)
  • Aria, 105 N. First St., Minneapolis

Grammy Award–winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and sonic experimentalist Nick Zammuto (The Books), known for his “dexterous musicianship and catchy pop writing” (Pitchfork), assemble a custom-built vocal/sonic new commissioned work titled Self_one. The ensemble will also perform a diverse range of repertory pieces, including the Minnesota premiere of Partita for 8 Voices, group member Caroline Shaw…

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Merce Cunningham: Common Time Performances

Dance

Beth Gill

Photo: Alex Escalante

“It’s difficult to convey in words how Gill’s work is both crystalline and earthy, spare, yet complex.”

—ArtsJournal

New Work

  • Friday–Saturday, May 5–6
  • 8 pm
  • $22 ($17.60 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Known for her exacting rigor and mesmerizing precision, Bessie Award–winner Beth Gill makes choreography that is spare yet playful, stark yet beautiful. In Brand New Sidewalk, Gill teams up with composer Jon Moniaci and lighting designer Thomas Dunn to create a sparse and elegant diptych born of questioning the value of formalism in dance. This evocative new piece for four dancers explores themes…

Season 2016–17

Music

Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse

Photo: Tracy Collins

“With strains of Parker and Coltrane, Bartók, and the musics of the Middle East and China … [Natal Eclipse’s performance] was something beautiful, indeed essential.”

—The Nation

  • Friday, May 12
  • 8 pm
  • $32 ($25.60 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Composer/bandleader/saxophonist Steve Coleman, hailed as “one of the most rigorously conceptual thinkers in improvised music” (New York Times), heads a new hybrid chamber-jazz ensemble that explores the very foundations of group improvisation and spontaneous composition. Coleman’s eight-member all-star ensemble includes Matt Mitchell (piano), Greg Chudzik (bass), Maria Grand (tenor saxophone), Rane Moore…

Season 2016–17

Music, Performance

Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio)

Photo: Jonathan Weiner

“Adebimpe hasn’t lost his appreciation for the visual arts, or his drive to express himself in realms other than music.”

—Stereogum Digest

A Warm Weather Ghost

  • Thursday–Saturday, May 18–20
  • 8 pm
  • $30 ($25 Walker members)
  • McGuire Theater

Frontman and artistic ace of the eclectic indie rock band TV on the Radio, Tunde Adebimpe creates a universe of song, story, and animation. Conceived of as a hero’s narrative pushed through a psychedelic fever dream, the surreal A Warm Weather Ghost unravels and bewilders. Be captivated as a crew of guest musicians and vocalists, narration, and large-scale projected visual art and animation by…