Jun 19, 2020

This week’s Daily Inspirations highlight variety of Northrop artists

While I’ve been working remotely and away from Northrop, each week has brought new challenges, new insights, and new ideas, requiring that my colleagues and I continue building on everything we learn. We remain committed to helping you stay safe and connected, and to increasing racial justice at Northrop. Nine of us at Northrop are learning more about both of these topics by participating this week in a virtual conference hosted by Dance/USA.

At the end of last week, we learned that the University of Minnesota will reopen for in-person instruction in the fall semester, and that Governor Tim Walz has also approved reopening of entertainment venues for audiences of up to 250 people. Northrop’s cross-departmental reopening committee has been working to create protocols and practices to maximize the safety of our staff, artists, and guests as we prepare to reopen our building. In doing this work, we are reminded of the importance of caring for one another and of the sacrifice of front-line workers. Thanks to Miami City Ballet for commissioning and producing A Dance for Heroes as “an expression of the generosity and bravery of all of our essential workers who have worked with uncompromising courage and grace throughout this crisis.”  

I've been thinking a lot about my former colleagues at Hubbard Street lately (Taryn Kaschock Russell is hosting amazing conversations and online intensives for youth through 92Y, Quinn Wharton is internet famous now...) and I enjoyed many elements of the company’s virtual season finale Hubbard Street Unbound. This week we shared an excerpt from Rena Butler’s This, That, and the Third. “The origin of this piece came from the idea of code-switching,” says Rena Butler, "… [the opening section] has each dancer in a square box, and they're just trying to break out of it and find freedom and find a voice—beyond the barriers or confines that are outlined by outside forces."

We enjoyed listening to Northrop Organ Committee member Nils Halker’s composition Partita on St. Clement, included in a collection of organ recordings he has been posting online for his church community. On the topic of music, did you know that many of our ballet orchestra members also play for the Minnesota Opera? Their digital opera series is well underway; you still have a week to start watching all five operatic offerings, and over a month to finish them all.

We’re delighted to play co-host tonight for the online premiere of Martha Graham Dance Company’s Immediate Tragedy, created in response to the dual tragedies of the pandemic and the continued murders of Black people at the hands of police. You can watch online at 6:00 pm on Northrop’s Facebook Page.

And finally, we invite you to join us in enjoying Dance Theatre of Harlem’s virtual ballet series. This week the company has been hosting conversations about Robert Garlands ballet Return, which Northrop audiences enjoyed in 2015. Today on Instagram Live you can learn an excerpt of the movement, and the online premiere is Sat, Jun 20 at 7:00 pm via YouTube.

I wish you a Happy Juneteenth, and hope we’ll see you again next week for more inspiration.

World Premiere: A Dance For Heroes

Quinn-tessential dance scenes: Dirty Dancing

Partita on "St Clement" — Nils Halker

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