Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring!

Small Dances closed on March 9 after 10 performances, which were shared by over two hundred and fifty people in eight homes and two studio spaces. Thanks to all who took part in this wintertime experiment-- hosting shows,  making food, spreading the word, contributing text, and attending our performances. We're very grateful!

--laura & co.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

We Need A Party For The Winter

My collaborator Erika keeps insisting that I picked a great winter for this project. In the Twin Cities we've had an impressive number of snow emergencies, and an equally impressive number of school days missed due to sub-zero temperatures. At our shows last week, I overheard lots of discussion of general winter fatigue. It's partially the Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also that it's harder to drive and walk around. And winter has a way of bringing lots of difficult emotional crap to the surface-- the stuff that's easier to forget about when we're riding bikes around the lake in the sunshine.

Lazer, Tom & Erika rehearse for our show in Whittier

We need a party for the winter

That's a lot of what I'm interested in with this project. I wanted an excuse to get people in a room together, to drink wine and eat cookies and share stories about how the winter months are treating us. We had such fantastic shows last week! We were at an apartment building in Whittier with an impressive spread of food, and then at a home in the Merriam Park neighborhood of St. Paul, where the piece was performed next to a real fire, and we ate chili with the audience afterwards. Then on Sunday we performed a private show for a cookbook author and a poet, and their fourteen guests. We all ate soup and bread together, and had lots of post-show discussion. On Monday we had an indoor picnic on some astroturf at the Ivy Building! So, basically lots of lovely people, amazing food, and community building. 

Astroturf for our potluck picnic at The Hive in the Ivy Building

I like performance that feels like a party, and I think this show does. We've been lucky to have been joined by wonderful, warm audiences, and to have performed in some gorgeous spaces. And we get to share 5 more public shows! We'd love to see you at one of them:

Sunday, February 23-- at my just-moved-out-of home in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul                                      
Tuesday, February 25-- at Omega House in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis

Wednesday, February 26-- at another great home space in Whittier

Saturday, March 1-- at a home in the Central neighborhood of South Minneapolis

Sunday, March 9-- at Skewed Visions in the Casket Arts Building of northeast Minneapolis

You can read more about the show on the City Pages blog, and more about the performers (such great ones!) over here

I wish you a very happy & warm February!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Small Dances On Art Hounds!

Listen to this week's episode of Art Hounds to hear more about the show! You can find the episode over here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Performance Reservations!

Performances begin two weeks from Thursday! RSVP's for the show opened up yesterday.

Performances are as follows:

Thursday, February 13               House show, Whittier, Minneapolis.

Saturday, February 15                House show, Merriam Park, St. Paul. 

Monday, February 17                 The Hive, Ivy Building for the Arts, Seward, Minneapolis.
                                                       with Karen Townsend and her accordion

Sunday, February 23                   House show, Cathedral Hill, St. Paul.

Tuesday, February 25                Omega House, Whittier, Minneapolis. *

Wednesday, February 26          House show, Whittier, Minneapolis. *

Saturday, March 1                         House show, South Minneapolis. *

Monday, March 3                           House show, Powderhorn, Minneapolis. ** (PRIVATE)
                                                         with Karen Townsend and her accordion

Sunday, March 9                             Skewed Visions, Casket Arts Building, NE Minneapolis.
                                                           with Karen Townsend and her accordion

*   House has a cat!
** House has a dog!

All shows, unless noted, are open to the public. Pick a performance and RSVP by emailing Seating is very limited! With your email RSVP, the exact location of each show will be emailed to you a day or two before the performance.

All shows are pay-as-able, with a suggested donation of $10-$20.

We're getting vary excited to share this performance with you!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Your Wintertime Survival Plan

Here are some of the responses we've heard when we asking people about their wintertime survival plan:

I'm going to smother myself in cabbage and beer. And Exercise.

Join the YWCA for the pool and hot tub. Buy a space heater. Stop being so hard on myself. 

Dance party catharsis. 
Wear unseasonally flamboyant clothing. 
Take multiple hot showers per day. 
Have multiple lovers. 
Accept that I will be less productive because so much energy is spent on just not freezing to death. 

Savory waffles, dreaming big, pet snuggling, coffee, and sex. 

Enjoy the sunshine, bake often, bundle up and walk, ice skate, take Vitamin D, hibernate under blankets on the couch, complain about the cold. 

Jiu Jitsu, basketball games on cable, reading books, watching movies, fucking with motorcycles.

Eat good food, cook good food, take in art of all kinds.  Exercise.  Love on my wife and pets.

Keep in touch with friends. Take a lot of vitamin D and exercise a ton.

Plan out opportunities to be with loving, supportive people- especially my family. 
Be careful about the books I read and movies I watch in the depths of winter because really dark and pessimistic media just gets to me. 

Vitamin D, but now they're saying vitamin supplements are ineffective at best, but my expensive little placebos are …fun?

Hibernate. Eat whatever I want, whenever I want it. Go to bed after dinner time. Sleep in in the morning. Spend time outside every day. Knit. 

Be outside often. Remember that the sun is still the sun. Read books. Write letters. Spend time preparing luscious meals. Create imaginary spaces. 

Warm beverages, whiskey, hot sex, dancing, social time, and my super puffy coat.

Walk the dog. Go to dance. MPR.

Play in the snow with my kids. Get full spectrum lightbulbs.  Make bread.

Enjoy that winter forces me to examine and feel things that I might forget about when I’m continually frolicking outside surrounded by green things.

Keep busy. Take lots of naps. Yoga. Coffee. Finish working on the basement. 

Walk my golden retriever every morning no matter how cold it is.

Stay warm! In other news, our performance dates have been posted! Shows start February 13.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Warmth. Questions. Show dates.

If you live in Minnesota, I don't have to tell you that it's cold-- really cold. I wish you a winter season of time-passing hobbies, because it might be a long one. It's a good winter to make and share living room dances! Our first performance (February 10) is a little over a month away, or you can catch a preview of the show in my own living room on January 21 (RSVP to I'll also be posting preview photos and clips on this blog over the next month. Look for a complete list of show dates and locations next week.

We are still crown-sourcing text for the piece, though I admit to failing miserably when it comes to posting weekly questions. Below is the full list of questions-- you can answer here (anonymously!), or email your responses to SmallArtMN[at]gmail[dot]com.

Stay warm!


1) What is your wintertime survival plan?

2) Have you resolved to do something in particular this year?

3) What’s difficult about being human?

4) Are you like your parents and/or siblings? If so, how?

5) What’s something that has brought you an unusual or surprising amount of joy?

6) Who do you admire? Why?

7) What is something that makes you uncomfortable and/or scared

8) What is of great comfort to you? OR-- what’s a book you read over and over (or a song or album you listen to over and over)?

9) What’s something you failed at?

10) What’s something you’re proud of?

11) What's most surprising about your life so far?

12) What's on your mind?