Art Hounds: Misterman, Niicugni, and five young black men and fatherhood

The hounds hunt down an eerie portrait of a mentally ill Irish evangelist, a meditation on the natural world that's informed by Alaskan Native culture, and a performance piece about being young, black and an unintended father.

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"Niicugni" is the title of a work by Minneapolis choreographer Emily Johnson and her company Catalyst. Dancer and dance follower Judith Brin Ingber discovered "Niicugni" is a term that comes from the Yupik people of Alaska, to whom Johnson is ancestrally connected. It means "listen." "Niicugni" premieres at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on Sunday, April 21, at 7pm. Judith says expect magnificently mysterious soundscapes and a troupe of dancers in a movement exploration of our connection to each other and the earth.

Philip Bither, curator for performing arts at the Walker Art Center, has followed and supported the career of Bay Area spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph for many years now. Philip saw Joseph's piece, "Word Becomes Flesh," years ago when it was a solo show and was very moved by its exploration of African-American fatherhood. It's now been turned into a work for five young black performers, greatly intensifying its power and impact. At Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, April 18-20.

If you like theater that surprises, proselytizes, and is disorienting and delightful at the same time, Rachel Buchberger says go see "Misterman." Rachel, a proud member of the Twin Cities-based Prairie Fire Lady Choir, says the one-man Frank Theatre production, starring John Catron, is a tour-de-force character study of a small town Irish evangelist who's a little mad, in the head. At the Southern Theater in Minneapolis through April 28.

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