Art Hounds: The Lowest Pair in Bemidji and Hmong films

'Crime and Punishment'
Nastya (Nadia Honary) pictured with a masked audience member during 'Crime and Punishment' by Live Action Set.
Bill Cameron | Courtesy of Live Action Set

This week Art Hounds take us to a concert in Bemidji, a Hmong film festival in St. Paul and an immersive theatrical performance of Crime and Punishment in Minneapolis.

Laura Seter is looking forward to taking in the folk music of The Lowest Pair at the Rail River Folk School in Bemidji. Seter says their stark music fits perfectly with the surrounding landscape, and she can't wait to hear their soulful music performed in the former 1920s fruit warehouse, whose walls are made from old-growth Douglas fir.

Kathy Mouacheupao plans to attend both nights of The Qhia Dab Neeg (Storytelling) Film Festival at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. The festival will feature 14 short films, as well as appearances by several of the directors. This year's theme is "Hmong Now," and will include films about Hmong identity, immigrant stories, and the wars that spurred their migration. Muoacheupao says it's a particularly important time for the Hmong community, which is marking its 40th anniversary in the United States.

Betsy Maloney recommends you wear comfortable clothing if you're going to check out Live Action Set's production of "Crime and Punishment." The immersive theatrical experience takes place in the Soap Factory's basement, and participants will be asked to wear masks and remain silent, as they wander from room to room and encounter different scenes. Based on Dostoevsky's novel, the production is dark and sometimes disturbing. Maloney loves how Live Action Set incorporates dance, movement and even smells into the piece.

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