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Art Hounds: American vernacular dance is alive and kicking

Rhythmically Speaking presents “The Cohort.” Plus, Art Hounds recommend an Iranian cultural festival and music performed in trees.

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Rhythmically Speaking performs at The Southern in Minneapolis
Rhythmically Speaking presents "The Cohort," featuring new works by choreographers from New York, Los Angeles and the Twin Cities.
Courtesy of Bill Cameron

Dancer and choreographer Melissa Clark loves the variety you’ll find at a Rhythmically Speaking performance. Founder Erinn Liebhard brings together choreographers from across the country — and right here in the Twin Cities — to share new work that’s inspired by jazz and American social dances. This weekend Rhythmically Speaking presents “The Cohort” at The Southern Theater in Minneapolis. 

Retired sociology professor Navid Mohseni is excited to attend the Twin Cities first-ever “Iranian Culture Week.” Mohseni says most Americans associate Iran with tense politics, but have little familiarity with its rich cultural traditions. The week will feature the art, music and crafts of local Iranian-Americans, as well as food, travel photography and lectures on Iranian history. It all takes place at ArtSpace Jackson Flats in Minneapolis with an opening reception on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

When ArtReach St. Croix’s Heather Rutledge first heard about the two-day “Music in the Trees” festival, she assumed it was simply a concert in the woods. But the Belwin Conservancy is actually putting musicians up in tree stands to perform a variety of music from around the world. There are also prerecorded music installations you can encounter while walking through the woods. The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.