Elements in Translation

Yup, it’s that time again: Elements in Translation. By now you should know that to get a good seat for one of these shows, you definitely have to get there early. I’m generally reduced to standing on the stool behind the concession counter, myself. This is a mesmerizing display of local urban talent: hip-hop, breakin, waacking, house, poppin, tap, african, bellydance, spoken word, singing, and modern dance.

Be there!

Tucker Dryden

Filmmaker Tucker Dryden got into film because it “just seemed like the most natural approach, probably since you have the ability to tell your stories in many different ways and can convey your message without actually having to come right out and say it.  That, and I cannot draw.”  Tucker will be making his first (hopefully of many) appearance at Patrick’s Cabaret this weekend, showing his work “TV/VCR,” the story of two guys who set out to replace their broken TV/VCR combo with one off of Craigslist.  “TV/VCR” is the longest short in a series originally created out of a desire to tell several different stories about the main characters, but with different people playing them each time.  This particular short has actually been sitting on the shelf for quite some time, so it’s great that it’ll finally get an audience!

I’ll leave you with some more words of wisdom from Tucker: “No matter how much praise you can get for a short film, you’ll still get kicked out of a party intended for Randy Quaid.”

Anat Shinar

Anat Shinar has performed at Patrick’s Cabaret many times in the past, beginning in 2003 with Kats Fukasawa, but this weekend is the first time presenting her own work. She is an accomplished dancer and choreographer, having received two Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program grants for her research and choreography on the performance of genocide, how “genocide is represented in art, all kinds of art, theater, dance, film, sculpture, painting and music… how art is used to teach the Holocaust and used to evoke and convey more than just it’s written history.” Focusing on her family’s experiences, she made a 30 minute piece telling their story during the Holocaust, “intermingled stories of those who survived and those you didn’t.”   

A lot of self-reflection was involved in the creative process for this weekend’s piece.  “I spent a lot of time journaling about what it means to me to be an artist, why I want people to see my work and what I want to show them.  I spent time thinking about what it means to looked at, why I want to be looked at and what i want the audience to see.  Some questions I could answer and some I couldn’t.  I took those notes and started making movement from it.” The final product, she hopes, will evoke self-relfection of their own in the audience members.

David Means

David Means has performed with Georgia Stephens and students in his Intermedia Arts program at Metro State, but this will be his first performance at Patrick’s Cabaret. He will be showing the intermedia piece “Leaving Lanai,” about the beauty and complexity of two Hawaiian islands. It uses still photography from the crater and from sites on Lanai and Maui as visual backdrop for graphic score overlays, and as a shifting mosaic for interpreting musical phrases and text materials. “Nature and geographic locations have been one of my many interests as a composer and sound artists,” David said. He has created site-specific projects along rivers, on rural grass runways and natural environments in Minnesota, Germany, France and Holland. “In most of my works I try to link the ambient visual and sound environments of a particular site with cultural and historical information gathered from visits, research and collaborations with local artists.”

So how does one become an intermedia artist? David took an intriguing and twisting path: “As an architecture student in the mid-sixties I was able to study with Buckminster Fuller and participated in John Cage’s first
Musicircus there in 1967. I was drafted to Vietnam, and during two 7-day leaves I was inspired by Christo’s “Wrapped Coastline” in Australia and the natual beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. When I returned to the States, I pursued advanced degrees in Music Composition at Northern Illinois University and studied with Salvatore Martirano, Herbert Brun and Ben Johnston at the University of Illinois. When I moved to Minnesota in 1978 I undertook a number of composition projects that explored extended graphic and sculptural notation in site-specific intermedia installations. Since the mid-1980s I’ve also collaborated with choreographers, video artists and writers on works for stage and non-traditional performance settings.”

Come on over today or tomorrow to experience “the sensation of space and how we experience its vast power to transform our sense of place, movement and sound as it surronds our lives.”

Vickijoan Keck

Storyteller, actress, and poet Vickijoan Keck will be making her debut as a featured performer this Friday, but she is no stranger to Patrick’s Cabaret. She has performed in other people’s works, and has been an audience member many times, since before we were even at this location.

Vickijoan Keck will be presenting ‘A Taste of Archy and Mehitabel’ by Don Marquis, with herself as Mehitabel the alley cat and Lawrence Ripp as Archy the cockroach. A prolific journalist of the 20s and 30s, Don Maquis liked to claim that Archy (the reincarnation of a former Bard) would leap up onto his keys at night and type out stories of him and his friend Mehitabel for Maquis to discover in the morning. Vickijoan liked the piece because of the combination of acting and storytelling it provided, and was drawn to Mehitabel’s combination of dignity and chutzpah “because she is somewhat of a rabble rouser and does not take sh** from anyone.  I’ve always been taught not to rock the boat and do whatever I can to get along with people, so it’s refreshing to play someone who is the opposite of that.” In June 2008 she did Mehitabel as a solo piece for the MN Association of Community Theaters, where she met Larry Ripp, an actor who expressed interest in playing Archy. They collaborated on the piece and reprised in in Stillwater in the fall. Vickijoan said, “We are looking at expanding the work in the future – Marquis wrote a couple of Volumes about Archy and Mehitabel.”

And the most important message to take from this piece? That “no matter what circumstances are in life, one should be ‘toujours gai’ (always happy), and be true to oneself!”

Erinn Liebhard

Hiya, y’all! Sorry about the wait; these were supposed to go up yesterday, but then central Illinois decided to have an ice-storm and the power went down. The good news is  that I returned to my mailbox to find a lot of replies, so I’ll get them up lickety-split.

First off, I hope you’ll welcome a first-time Patrick’s performer, Erinn Liebhard! A regular performer with the jazz dance company Eclectic Edge Ensemble, the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, and various pick-up projects, Erinn just came off of co-producing, choreographing, and dancing in Rhythmically Speaking.  A sold-out jazz choreographer’s collective show held at Minneapolis’ Bedlam Theatre in August 2009, Rhythmically Speaking was “an answer to the quiet but persistent call to get some quality jazz choreography out on the stage in the Twin Cities once more” after the disbanding of JAZZDANCE in 2004. Erinn was enthusiastic about the result, saying that it was “definitely a highlight of my career thus far!” and that there are plans for a similar show in May. Keep your eyes out!

Liebhard also just spent a year studying with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary, Canada, an experience she described as “Incredible. Six hours of dance class a day, almost all jazz or jazz-related styles. I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the dance I love, perform it full time for a couple weeks, and learned a lot about myself as an artist.” She found it hard to leave, but “I don’t write border laws.”

This weekend she will be performing her piece, ‘Cautious Conscience,’ about the relief of sharing what is cooped up inside. The inspiration for the piece came to Erinn when, after a year of warring with herself, she decided to stop keeping a certain secret from someone very important to her. Even though she it was a minor, unimportant secret, the year was very difficult for her, and letting it out made her feel worlds better. Intrigued by these emotions, she decided to explore them through creating choreography, “my favorite response to anything!” She found the content first, and then happened upon a song that spoke to that idea and to her desire to move, so she used to song as a map for her exploration. Along the way, to develop a deeper concept and connection for her perfomers, she also came up with a series of related questions that they wrote and talked about, “using personal experiences as fuel.”

Aesthetic Elevator this weekend!

  22 January 2010
Additional future dates: 23 January 2010
  8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  3010 Minnehaha Ave Minneapolis
Aesthetic Elevator/Open Call Cabaret
tix $8 from the artists $10 at the door


dance by Erin Liebhard

Kats Fukasawa-Butoh

David Means-intermedia art

short film by Tucker Dryden
( for photo click attachment )

dance by Anat Shinar

theater with Vickijoan Keck

Details at patrickscabaret.org

Interview(s) to follow!