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'Truthful' performance art makes them move in downtown Minneapolis

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Aki Shibata
Aki Shibata practiced "truthful dancing" on Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis last week as part of "Don't You Feel It, Too?"
Marianne Combs | MPR News

For the last eight years on summer Monday nights, about a dozen people have put on headphones and danced down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Why?

Marcus Young calls it "truthful dancing." He and a few friends came up with the idea back in 2008 during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Young calls himself a behavioral artist. He says they wanted to find a way to combat all the tension and negativity surrounding the police presence and protests.

"We were playful mischievous dancers," he says.

Young and his friends moved their dancing to Nicollet Mall, a high traffic pedestrian zone in downtown Minneapolis. Each week they gather at Peavey Plaza, where they warm up and welcome newcomers. Then they set off down the mall, sometimes in pairs but mostly on their own, dancing to music only they can hear.

Young says even after eight years he's still not sure exactly what they're doing, but it contains elements of performance art, exercise, spiritual practice and social disruption. He says anyone can join them.

Listen to the story to hear more from Young about "truthful dancing" and the music that moves him.