Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: Shows that forge connections across the table — and across oceans 

a group of performers pose for a photo
Ananya Dance Theatre, whose “Michhil Amra: We Are the Procession!” plays Friday and Saturday at The O’Shaughnessy at Saint Catherine University in St. Paul.
Courtesy Ananya Dance Theatre

Queen Drea of St. Paul describes herself as a sound alchemist. She loves the innovative, community-centered performances of Ananya Dance Theatre.

The theme for this fall’s performance is processionals, which can both celebrate life and disrupt its flow when they take the form of protests.

Ananya Dance Theater investigated its theme by performing several processionals in the Twin Cities this summer; Queen Drea had the opportunity to be involved with one during the George Floyd memorial service in May. She looks forward to seeing how that idea has developed into a staged dance show, marked by interruption, innovation and liberation.  

Queen Drea appreciates that Ananya Dance Theatre’s works involve a confluence of artists alongside the dancers, adding, “Every year, I go, and there's just something unexpected.” 

“Michhil Amra: We Are the Procession!” plays Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at The O'Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.  

Zoe Cinel, curator at Rochester Art Center, recently saw a striking exhibit in Winona. “Googled Earth: Through a Looking Glass” is the work of artists Patrick Lichty of Winona State University and Negin Ehtesabian, who lives in Iran.

The artists, who are married, have never been able to visit each other’s home countries. As they await visas, they use Google Maps and virtual reality to share their homes. This exhibit shares that experience with viewers through a combination of mixed media and virtual reality.

One pair of mixed media prints by Ehtesabian, for example, hang facing each other on walls, depicting images and symbols from the U.S. and Iran, respectively.

Cinel was particularly intrigued by a series of tapestries created using imagery from the geography where both artists have lived. She says the nontraditional approach to a traditional craft looks like “if glitch art had a baby with a rug.”

Overall, Cinel appreciated the personal, colorful show that “speaks about borders and humans at the same time.” 

“Googled Earth: Through a Looking Glass” is up until Oct. 4 at the Watkins Gallery at Winona State University. 

Sarah Agnew
Sarah Agnew, director of Sod House Theater's “Table”
Courtesy of the Jungle Theater

David DeBlieck teaches dance in the theater department of the College of St Benedict and St John’s University. He loves the work of Sod House Theater, a Twin Cities-based company whose traveling annual productions invite audiences to engage with the space around them.

Their current show “Table” integrates dinner — created by local chefs from local ingredients — and a show.

Directed by Sarah Agnew, whose traveling food-centered shows have included “Arla Mae’s Booyah Wagon,” the show is performed by an all-female cast who also serve as wait staff for the meal.

It’s an interactive show served up in courses, and DeBlieck looks forward to gathering with friends at the Hallock performance Saturday to enjoy time around a table. 

“Table” runs through Oct. 1 in various communities across the state, including in Crookston, Minn., Sept. 21 in Waseca, Minn., Sept. 28, and in Rochester, Minn., Oct. 1. Please note that some performances have sold out. 

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
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