Groovalicious Summer

Minnesotan’s are experts at packing in every possible outdoor event into a 3 month span. It must be our 6+ months of hibernation that prepares us for this summer extravaganza of food, fun, sun and art. I’m thrilled at the amount of dance and music activities and events going on that’ll put more than a little bounce in your step— this summer is full of ways to get your groove on indoors and out.

Before you dive in, I also want to mention that this summer we’ll be featuring 5 guest bloggers who will also have choreography in our August production Groovers & Makers (more info below), including Karla Grotting, Cathy Wind, Jennifer Glaws, Jolene Konkel, and Jeffrey Peterson. Topics will vary wildly and come from as far as Poland… can’t wait!


13th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival
This weekend—don’t miss! For all you Minneapolitan’s, take any opportunity you can to get over to downtown St. Paul this summer. It truly is a beautiful city to hang around and enjoy the architecture, river and parks. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is taking place in the lovely Mears park this weekend. Might I suggest a bike ride down Summit Ave en route?

June 23 – 25, 2011
Mears Park, Downtown St. Paul and all around St. Paul

Ordway’s Summer Dance
Every Thursday evening this summer, the Ordway brings back the popular Summer Dance series with food, drink, free dance lessons and music in the shadow of the beautiful Landmark Center across from Rice Park. Our friend Kenna Sarge taught West African dance with music by the New Primitives last Thursday.

A few dates of interest:

June 30 – Salsa
6:00pm – Latin Social Dance Instruction: Manuel & Carmen Rubio
7:15pm – Band: Salsa del Soul
July 21 – Polka
6:00pm – Polka Dance Instruction: Stan and Darlene Wandersee
7:15pm – Band: Craig Ebel & DyVersaCo
July 28 – Irish
6:00pm – Irish Dance Instruction: Rince na Chroi
7:15pm – Band: The Belfast Cowboys
August 4 – Classic R&B/Soul
6:00pm – Step Dance Instruction: Kevin Johnson
7:15pm – Band: Power

Every Thusday all summer
Food and drink at 5:30pm; basic dance lessons with professional dance companies at 6:00pm; live, local bands with dancing starting at 7:15pm.
Landmark Center plaza, Downtown St. Paul

Photo by Melissa Gaul
VIDEO Boogie Wonderland at Summer Dance in 2010

Eclectic Edge Ensemble – “Send in the Jazz”

“Send in the Jazz,” will be an explosion of live music, dance and collaborations with talented local artists. Led by our friend Karis Sloss, Eclectic Edge Ensemble will be creating a new piece in collaboration with local composer Michael Rossetto, and working with three guest choreographers, Zoe Sealy, Molly Breen and Judith James Reis. What a great lineup of talent!

July 14 – 16 @ 8pm
July 17 @ 2pm
$15 adv. / $17 door
Ritz Theatre, 345 13th Ave NE, Mpls, MN 55413

Momentum: New Dance Works
A Walker Art Center program

We’re glad the Walker is recognizing the explosively rhythmic talent in the Twin Cities by featuring our friends Kaleena Miller and Kenna Sarge in this series supporting up and coming local artists in the dance world.

July 14 – 23, 2011
Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave S, Mpls

Kaleena Miller (and Chris Yon)
July 14 @ 7:30pm, July 15, 16 @ 8pm
Inspired by her father’s journey into the depths of Alzheimer’s, Kaleena Miller explores the aural and visual interpretation of the disease as a percussive dance piece set to live music. Utilizing a more modern, urban sensibility on the traditional views of tap dance, her variance of sonic and visual aesthetics creates a dense and dark percussive sound that leaves the audience affected, yet hopeful.

Kenna Sarge (and Mad King Thomas)
July 21 @ 7:30pm, July 22, 23 @ 8pm
Shared Language
Kenna Cottman (aka Kenna Sarge) is widely known for her West African and hip-hop fusion techniques. With Shared Language, she considers conflict in her own cultural identity, collaborating with Senegalese griot (storyteller/musician) Backa Niang to combine oral language traditions with a new movement vocabulary derived from Senegalese sabar dance, Guinée djembe dance, and a more contemporary take on her own style.

Photo of Kaleena Miller by Cameron Wittig, courtesy the Walker Art Center

Summer Music Festival at Northrop

There’s a free, outdoor summer music series taking place at the University of Minnesota that features well-known local musicians alongside U of M student bands as a way to support the U’s talent. Only in its 2nd year, this eclectic festival has something for everyone. We recommend Charanga Tropical’s noon performance:

July 27 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Northrup Plaza, UMN

Jazz Week Summer Intensive with Karis Sloss, Karla Grotting and Friends
It’s difficult to get this many talented teachers all in the same place at the same time, so take advantage of this rare opportunity in the Twin Cities: the Jazz Week Summer Intensive offering classes in jazz technique, style and history of jazz music and dance. This will be an engaging, challenging and affordable workshop featuring master classes in Jazz for Musical Theater, Body Percussion, Tap, African dance, Yoga and Hip-Hop. This year features two tracts: professional/pre-professional for int/adv level dancers, and dance educators.

Karis Sloss – Jazz
Karla Grotting – Jazz
Joe Chvala – Percussive tap
Kaleena Miller – Percussive tap
Kenna Sarge – West African
Linda Talcott-Lee – Jazz for musical theater
Amy Sackett – Hip-hop
Allison Doughty Marquesen – Yoga + body care

August 1-5, 11am – 4pm
$225 ($200 before July 1)
Zenon Dance Studios at Hennepin Center for the Arts 201

Uptown Art Fair
The Uptown Art Fair is a feast for the senses representing just about any art form you can imagine. Rhythmically Speaking will be representing this summer at the Uptown Art Fair, and you can catch lots of other great performances along with visual arts.

August 5 – 7, 2011
Old Chicago stage, Uptown, Mpls

August 5:
4pm Minneami Salsa
5pm Urban Cadence (fine jazz/r&b/Funk)

August 6:
12pm – Social Dance Studio (hip hop/salsa/belly dance fusion)
4pm – Batucada do Norte (drums)
5pm – Rhythmically Speaking (Jazz/Rhythm Based Movement)

August 7, 2011
1pm – Riverside Swing Band (Swing Band)

Voice of Culture Drum and Dance @ Caponi Art Park
What do you get when you put together a wooded amphitheater, sculpture, blankets, locally-made gelato from Ring Mountain Creamery, and West African dance by Voice of Culture Drum and Dance? A truly magical experience. If you’ve been to Caponi Art Park’s Theater in the Woods, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Dedicated to the study of West African arts and culture, Voice of Culture Drum and Dance presents performance that is both rich in cultural history and relevant to contemporary generations, from ancient African song and dance to modern Afro-Hip-Hop. Joined by Duniya Drum and Dance, the performance will feature special guest artists Fodé Seydou Bangoura and Backa Niang.  Together with Voice of Culture, directed by Kenna Sarge, this collection of artists combines a vast knowledge of West African music to create an unforgettable performance.

Sunday, August 7, 6:30 p.m.   (Rain date: Sunday, August 14)
FREE! $4 per person suggested donation
Caponi Art Park’s Theater in the Woods, 1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123 (it’s not that far, really)

Photo by Sean Smuda

The Strange + Liebhard New Music and Dance Ensemble present
Railing Forward (+ Other Works), a Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011 Production
Rhythmically Speaking’s own Erinn Liebhard is collaborating with local composer Dameum Strange to present an ambitious Fringe Festival performance. Layered with a live, lush 13-piece orchestra delivering cinematic, original music for a troupe of talented dancers and embellished with accents of spoken word, beat-boxing and photography by Michele Spaise, Railing Forward will be a veritable feast for the senses. Stemming from Strange’s interest in the legend of John Henry, Railing Forward muses on the developments of locomotion and communication and their affect on personal interactions.

August 4 at 5:30pm
August 6 at 4:00pm
August 8 at 7:00pm
August 11 at 7:00pm
August 14 at 2:30pm
$12 plus a $4 Fringe button
Intermedia Arts, 2822 S Lyndale Ave, Mpls

Rhythmically Speaking presents… Groovers & Makers
Local forces in rhythm-based dance

The one and only annual event that started Rhythmically Speaking brings Twin Cities choreographic forces in rhythm-based dance together under one roof for an evening of distinctive artistry and entertainment. This annual showcase is a stew of movement art that is rhythmic and emotionally charged, engaging and interactive, challenging and witty, and everything in between; just ask our audiences.

2011 Choreographers:
Emily Broeker
Jennifer Glaws
Karla Grotting
Jolene Konkel
Carrie Lande
Erinn Liebhard
Jeffrey Peterson
Julie Warder
Cathy Wind and Ellen Keane

August 25 – 27 @ 8pm
August 27 @ 5pm
$18 – 20
Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave S, Mpls  (yes, it’s here!)

Photo by Jillian Denae Photography


New Orleans Dance Festival
Local jazz maven and Rhythmically Speaking Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard will be in New Orleans this week at the New Orleans Dance Festival (so cool). I’m hoping she’ll find a few minutes in between classes to blog about her experiences.  Some info to keep you abreast of great travel-dance-learning opportunities around the world:

15th Annual New Orleans Dance Festival 2011
the Congolese, Haitian, Cuban, New Orleans connection
June 25 – July 2, 2011

The New Orleans Dance Festival brings together internationally renowned guest artists to share with NODF participants the significance of their rituals, the symbolism of their dance movements, the message of their songs.  Now in its 15th year, the New Orleans Dance Festival offers participants classes that trace the migration of movement/rhythm from the Congo to Haiti and Cuba then to New Orleans where the uniquely New Orleans heritage traditions, such as Jazz, Brass Band and second-line dancing,  Mardi Gras Indians chants and moves, and the Calenda and Bamboula dance/rhythms were nurtured at the historic site of Congo Square.

Groove on,
Heather + Erinn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s