Belated Kinesis

Hey y’all! Wish I could be here this weekend, but my big sis is graduating! I hope you all enjoyed the awesome Noche Hispana Seis and the equally fantabulous Artwurst this past month. Here’s a delayed interview tidbit from Sarah LaRose Holland, curator of our ever-popular Kinetic Kitchen series:

1. How has Kinetic Kitchen as an event changed since it first started?
I don’t think the Kinetic Kitchen has changed all that much as an event really. The series was started as a way to bring choreographers together to share their dances and it continues to do just that. The location of the series has changed, and the support from Patrick’s Cabaret has really helped to allow the series to thrive and continue. The actual event itself I think is the same intent as it was since the series was first formed.

2. Do you have a vision of where it’s going in the future?
In the future, I would like to be able to provide more Kinetic Kitchen shows per year. There is a high demand from artists with interest to show work. I’ve had a waiting list since last fall, and when more shows come available they will fill up quickly. I would like to be able to provide more Kinetic Kitchen shows each year to allow access to more artists.

3. Your favorite thing about it?
My favorite thing about the Kinetic Kitchen is bringing together choreographers and audience. The series has developed it’s own niche in the community. I enjoy when the show opens and the dances are first seen by audiences. Both the performers and the audiences are very excited for the opportunity to show work and to see the work. I also enjoy introducing the performers in the show to eachother. It’s important to me that artists engage with the people they share the stage with.

Kinetic Kitchen Interview with Karis Sloss

Karis Sloss

1. What is it that you love most about the artistic work you do, and why?

I have wanted to choreograph since I was very young. My inspiration has always come from music. When I hear a great piece of music I am just flooded with movement ideas. I feel my work lives in the jazz genre of movement with breaths of other genres. I love the artistic work I do because I feel that it is accessible to audiences. I try to be eclectic in my pieces, so that they are completely different from each other. Audience members can usually find at least one piece that they can feel or relate to.

2. How is performing at Patrick’s Cabaret different from doing so at other venues?

This will be the first time we perform at Patrick’s and I am very excited to be a part of Kinetic Kitchen. I am excited to be a part of a collection of work along with other talented choreographers. It is different performing as a part of Kinetic Kitchen because in this production I am working only as the director and choreographer; I am not having to worry about everything else that goes into producing, as I do in our other productions.

3. What would you say are the major influences on your work?

I think that major influences in my choreography has to be music. Music is my number one influence with a close second being my company. They are so dedicated and present in all of our rehearsals. Putting chopreography on them and seeing how they respond and their passion is truly inspiring. Then I have to tip my hat to all of the choreographers who continue to have a huge influence on me: Jack Cole, Ben Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Garth Fagen, Zoe Sealy, Lewis Whitlock and Daniel Buraczeski.

4.What is one thing about yourself, your work, your philosophy, whatever, that you think should definitely make it into the blog post?

My philosophy in life is keep your dreams close, clear and keep pushing forward, don’t wait for them to happen, make it happen. I am lucky to have the dancers, composers, designers that give so much time, energy to my labor of love EEE. EEE is a close family. When you are lucky to find a group of dancers who are so passionate and dedicated everything else just falls into place. I want them to know how much I appreciate them, and I want to treat them with repect and gratitude. Any successes that EEE has goes to them.

I Cannot Believe I Forgot to Wear My ‘I Heart Trekkies’ T-shirt to This

Arturo Miles, the guest-curator of the Somewhat Sci-fi Variety Show, is a frood who knows where his towel is.

Totes foshola.

I mean, wow. Just…wow. The energy, and the inventiveness, and the technique, the infinite diversity in infinite combinations, and just how damn fun it all was–wow. If there is ever a superlatives shortage, it will probably be from people carelessly using them all up to describe this show. The room was packed both nights, with Saturday becoming standing room only very quickly. (I’m short enough that Ferengi would tower over me, so I had to stand on the counter to see.) Normally my modus operandi now would be to deride and scorn those of you who could not make it, mocking the empty voids your lives must be, but honestly? I actually feel too bad for you to rub salt in the wound this time. This show kicked ass, took names, translated those names into Klingon, and pushed them through a stargate.

In a related story, I’ve decided that all of the dancers were secretly Replicators. Only entities made up of millions of individual units synchronized together perfectly could possibly move in the freakishly amazing ways they did. This fits in well with my theory that Tyler Jensen of last week’s Flaming Cabaret–he made the amazing film Garage Sale–is secretly Dr. Carson Beckett.

Recap:

Laura Rad: Amazing, laugh-out-out funny, true hilariousness with perfect comic timing. Because even in the future, 13-year-olds and Justin Timberlake will not be any more mature.

Anne Johnson/Nora Figl: Beautiful voices, great sense of fun, great nostalgic theme songs that really brought back the memories. And thank you for not doing the Enterprise theme–Star Trek themes are not meant to have lyrics. They’re just not.

Erin Shepard: Crap, I think the superlative shortage has just hit! Nooo! And just when I was going to go on about how her alien dance was so utterly kickass and mindblowing and sweet and fan-freaking-tastic!

Dancin’ Dave: Nice pants, man. Seriously, though, I wish my Disney-obsessed friends had been there to see hsi robotic take on Aladdin. Especially the angry kitten part. Wow. And how does he even get his legs to go that high? (Oh, right, Replicators. I forgot.)

Arturo Miles/J-sun/Daylight/Sequel: I haven’t read Dune in several years, but this dance brought all its sheer awesomeness and glory just rushing back. The dancing, the lights, the dancing, the mix, the dancing–these people officially now own my soul.

Madeline Howie: No, it’s the superlative shortage again! Just like in Spaceballs, except with superlatives and not air! Noooo! Okay, new superlatives, I’ve got to think: Fantabulous. Tremendous. Unbelievable. Whew, that was close.

Powder Puff Boys: Because I have run out of superlatives, I’m doing the most stereotypical Trekkie thing ever and translating ‘good’ into Klingon. Look, if I could find a website that did Bajoran I would do that, okay? Here goes: QaQ. Very QaQ.

Arturo Miles and Co: Look, y’all just kicked ass, okay? Repeatedly. Don’t make me go look up a Romulan translator.

And now for some background info on Arturo Miles himself:

He has always studied dance and visual art ever since he was a child. After studying dance in the metro area and becoming involved with the hip-hop company and producing shows, he’s entered a phase that incorporates all that he’s done in the past. Dance and art, he says, are a direct connection to the deeper sides of your self; through them we tell our stories and remind people of their emotional side. “When dancing, at that moment in time-nothing else matters.”

He’s guest currated at Patrick’s for almost two years now. He produced The Somewhat 80s Variety Show, a mix of comedy improv, singin, breakin, comedy modern, and lip sync, all with a unique interpretation of the 80’s. He also curated Elements in Translation, a mix of hip-hop dance form, breakin, modern dance, spoken word, and singing, which is about to hit its fourth run featuring local choreographers, musicians, and artists. And he’s also performed with the Three Dances Company during their fundraising events.

A big sci-fi fan, particularly of the Dune series, Miles discovered that many of the artists he had been working with were as well, as thus the idea of the Somewhat Sci-fi Variety show was born. Following the same set-up as his Somewhat 80s Variety Show, it interpretated sci-fi through a variety of mediums, including hip-hop, which Miles says has become “a global movement, and the newest style of dance/art. I love the dance music and scene. It’s a huge part of who I am as an artist.”

In conclusion, Arturo Miles says, “I’m all about variety, and the power of numbers. I’ve been fortunate enough to have an amazing community of artists to work with in the Twin Cities area. We are just getting started. I hope to bring a new level of entertainment to our already amazing art scene.”

To which I can only add:

Live long and prosper!

Sarah LaRose Holland

O Noble Readers of This Blog, I beseech thee, please extend your forgiveness to your most humble servant for my exgregious overuse of my laptop’s Copy-Paste function. Truly, I give far too easily into temptation, especially with a final performance due in Acting tomorrow and with Sarah LaRose Holland’s eloquent, editing-unnecessary responses to my e-mail interview sitting right within reach. Lo! I am weak, and offer less resistance than a fat kid doth to cake, or so 50 Cent would have us believe.

Anyhow, there shall be in the future another Kinetic Kitchen, and I swear on the soul of Gene Roddenberry, I will endeavor to actually write an article that time.

Behold, the fruits of my sin, the unedited e-mail interview:

1. What is it that you love most about the artistic work you do, and why?

 

As the presenter of the Kinetic Kitchen, I enjoy providing opportunity for choreographers to showcase their work. The series brings together artists that may or may not know each other and provides a vehicle for performing their work. It’s a great way for an artist to focus on the creation of their dances, and I take care of the nuts and bolts of helping them get their art onto the stage. This is very satisfying, helping choreographers get their work out in front of audiences.

2. How is performing at Patrick’s Cabaret different from doing so at other venues?

 

The Cabaret has a unique ambience and performance space. It’s very cozy and intimate. It’s not your typical black box performance space. The Cabaret has been a very good fit for the dance series. Interest in and support for the Kinetic Kitchen dance series has grown tremendously since relocating the dance series to Patrick’s Cabaret. The Cabaret also does a lot to help make presenting dance easier for me by allowing me to showcase the Kinetic Kitchen as a Guest Curator. The Cabaret allows me as a presenter to focus on presenting, similar to how the Kinetic Kitchen allows choreographers to focus on being choreographers. It’s a very good fit all around. Patrick Scully has also helped on a personal level to advise me as a presenter and has supported my dance series both personally and professionally. That personal connection with Patrick is also a very big reason why I so enjoy having the Kinetic Kitchen at Patrick’s Cabaret.

3. What would you say are the major influences on your work?

 

As a dance presenter, I’d say the big influences have been other venues that have allowed me opportunity to discover that I could start to showcase other people’s work. Christopher Watson has given me many opportunities over the years to help facilitate dance performances with multiple choreographers on the bill. He gave me the chance to organize some “2 Flights Up!” performances at his old dance school in the Calhoun Building in Uptown Minneapolis. Christopher also allowed me the chance to organize some of the outdoor “Dances at the Lakes Festival” held each summer in the Lake Harriet Rose Garden in Minneapolis. During my 7 year position as Artistic Director of Riverbend Dance Arts in Hastings, I also learned a lot about obtaining funding for performances and facilitating those events with the dance school and guest artists. Then I’ve also had the opportunity to realize the benefits of performing in shared performances through my professional career as a dancer and choreographer. When I first came up with the idea to start the Kinetic Kitchen, I contacted Laurie Van Wieren to find out if we could talk about her experiences as a Dance Presenter. She was very generous with sharing her ideas and experiences as Curator of “9 x 22: A Dance Lab”. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten the chance to collaborate and grow with the Dancers-Presenters Circle (DPC). Our most visible collaborations have been working together to compile a week of dance each year in celebration of National Dance Week in the twin cities.

4.What is one thing about yourself, your work, your philosophy, whatever, that you think should definitely make it into the blog post?

The Kinetic Kitchen is a dance series based in Minneapolis that showcases many styles of dance and movement. The series is based at Patrick’s Cabaret and performances are held about 3 times per year. There are usually 4 choreographers showcased in each Kinetic Kitchen. I also present a dance series for youth called the Kinetic Playground. This series takes place annually at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley. Annual Playgrounds are held in January. For more information about either of these series, please visit http://www.mnartists.org/sarah_larose or contact Sarah LaRose-Holland at sarahlarose@hotmail.com Both the Kinetic Kitchen and Kinetic Playground were founded by Sarah in 2004. Kinetic Kitchen and Kinetic Playground events have been hosted at Patrick’s Cabaret, the Mounds Theatre, Varsity Theater, Old Arizona and the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

 

Kohl Miner

Okay, this is going to be a short post for two reasons:

1. It was a short e-mail interview. I was trying to catch up on the blog, and so I limited myself to the most basic of questions.

2. There is no way I can concentrate with the enthusiastically cheering Obama people outside my window, intriguing me more with every passing second as to what I’m missing.

Therefore, other than a passing observation that the incomparable Kohl Miner bears a striking resemblance to Q (the dazzling, puckish omnipotent thorn-in-the-side to Captain Picard) I shall do no original work here at all, and instead give you a slap-dash Copy-Paste of the interview. Please forgive me. It’s the first election I’ve gotten to vote in, and so much is riding on it, and I feel like I’m going to burst.

1. What is it that you love most about the artistic work you do, and why?

I love the story telling aspect of my work. I dig hearing laughter. I love the rehearsal process. I like the juxtaposition thing that happens in my story telling. Comedy is such an incredible teaching tool and it’s so incredibly healing. I am totally into being an entertainer. Though most of my writing is semi-autobiographical, there are pieces that have no basis in my reality. “Dreams of Cheerleading” [from the last Out Rage Us] is one of those pieces.

2. How is performing at Patrick’s Cabaret and/or Out Rage Us different from doing so at other venues?

The audiences at Patrick’s have always been incredibly supportive. It has always been one of my favorite places to perform.

3. What would you say are the major influences on your work?

Cheech and Chong, AIM, marijuana, early David Bowie, Monty Python, early Saturday Night Live and my grandmother

A Long Overdue Recap

John Gustav-Wrathall: Oh, wow. What a perfect way to start the evening. Gustav-Wrathall’s animations captured beautifully the confused and magical logic of dreams. I especially loved the tesselation-like clusters of white-winged and black-winged angels. (Plus any dream with David Duchovny is a good dream. Although I confess that I wish Gillian Anderson had been there too. Mmm, Gillian Anderson.)

Tara Innman: I really, really wish I’d known earlier that she was performing; I completely missed the opportunity to interview her for you guys. This woman is a fantastic writer. She was spell-binding, drawing us into an utterly believable world of a small girl sent away from home for a year.

Witherspoon Trio: I think I can sum up their performance in three words: ridiculously, ridiculously talented. Not only did they completely blow us all away with their first few performances of classical works, but then they played this absolutely amazing piece of their own composition. It was stunning. I’m going to stop typing now before my head explodes with jealousy.

Laura Littleford: Oh my. Hi-freaking-larious. But more–it was just so funny and true and real and beautiful all at the same time, and she tells it so well–one little change of inflection on a word and a seemingly innocuous sentence could have the audience cracking up, or sighing in remembrance of how sweet love can be.

Wendy Brown-Baez:  Cuba and Jerusalem, bursting with life and history and humanity, seemed to erupt into the room. Others, about pain and grief and loss, sunk their hooks into us, touched something deep inside. The energy and empathy of her poems was infectious, and it got us all.

Joan Calof: Watching her recite with zest her hilarious poems and songs, eyes glinting and heels tapping, at one point challenging us to “put up our dukes” and at another leading us in a sing-along, you want to say that she’s the kind of person for whom the word ‘feisty’ was invented–but you hold your tongue, because you have a sneaking suspicion that she might find it offensive, and you might find yourself being eviscerated in scathing verse. 🙂 She had chapbooks for sale, too, so you didn’t have to just rely on memory of her awesomeness.

So, basically, if you didn’t come: Na na na na! You missed an exciting cultural and spiritual experience!

Plus you missed some new snacks. We had biscotti. They were yummiferous. Oh, and those really good granola bars with the nuts and cranberries. And Fiber One, which may not sound appealing to you, but I seriously got addicted to those over the summer. There were others, but those were the best, in my opinion.

A Recap and a Good Cause

Well, the turnout tonight was admittedly a bit on the dismal side, which is a pity seeing as the performers were (in my opinion) even more spectacular than the night before. Quick recap:

Nancy Donoval: Oh. My. GOD. She has an informal and welcoming style you can’t help but sit back and enjoy. And she told a beautiful story, funny and sad and everything in between, that just drew me in like a black hole.

Andrea Stern: At the risk of repeating myself, oh. My. GOD. Okay, I thought the stuff I’d listened to online was good–that was nothing. She blew that out of the water. I was mesmerized just watching her pluck the strings; if you had told me that her hands had gained sentience and were doing it all on their own, I probably would’ve believed you.

Dean Seal: Heresy is fun! 🙂 Well, I already knew that. But Dean Seal brought a lot of cool new facets of Biblical characters to life through the readings of his plays. I particularly liked the one about Miriam of Magdala.

Kay Kirscht: Mmm, more awesome stories. I could get used to this. Everything she said was infused with such warmth and feeling that I felt like I was a little kid again, sitting cross-legged on the floor with my friends, waiting for the nice librarian lady to tell us another story.

Axial Age: Utterly, utterly kick-ass. The movie was chilling and haunting and mysterious; its grasp of the power of images and movement amazing. And the music just continued the awesomeness, surging back and forth between different emotions, swirling around and around inside my head.

In conclusion, I hereby sentence those of you who did not go to a lifetime of regret. The pain will never fade.

Also, Nancy Donoval needs your help. She has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, a federally-recognized disability that makes it very hard for her to find safe housing. She is currently working on making an apartment safe, but this is a major strain on her finances. Please help out: we all need this paragon of awesome to continue telling stories. No donation is too small (or too big)! You can find more information, and/or donate online through the following address:

http://web.mac.com/nancydonoval/iWeb/SafeHomeForNancy/Donate.html

Or if the Internet’s not really your thing (though if so, why are you reading a blog?), you can send a check made out to Nancy Donoval, or cash, money orders, and in her words “lottery tickets, wooden nickels, and shiny, lucky pennies” to:

Nancy Donoval, 2415 24th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55406