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March 1, 2004 // UPDATED 9:21 am - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

'Colin Rusch's Guide to Modern Dance'

Are you mystified by modern dance? Does the very thought of attending a dance program cause you to break out in hives or a cold sweat? Do dancers give you goose bumps? Are you allergic to the moves? If so, you're not alone.

These symptoms are common: studies show that one theatergoer in every row is turned off, annoyed, disappointed or flummoxed by too-dense tangos or rumbas that just don't seem to make any sense. You're not sure if you're supposed to be mesmerized or bored by this athletic flurry of arms and legs.

What kind of story is this? You wonder. If you often find yourself on the edge of your theater seat when faced with a dance performance, not because you're enthralled, but because you already want to go, you might be a candidate for "Colin Rusch's Guide to Modern Dance."

Dance-phobes, this is a performance for those who just don't instinctively "understand" contemporary dance moves. Despite the sound of it, Colin's "Guide" isn't a stuffy textbook with charted diagrams and bulleted principles about the boogie-woogie. Dancer/choreographer Rusch is a human encyclopedia, but with synopses of his own dance education -- including keen sketches of influential mentors and silly anecdotes from his students -- Rusch unleashes a funny, thoughtful and educational dance that builds your dance-viewer self-esteem.

Get ready to say goodbye to those pesky panic attacks and enjoy the show -- part of the Red Eye's 12th Annual New Work Festival, Isolated Acts 2004.

Mar. 6-7, Saturday, 8 p.m. and Sunday, 7 p.m.

Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St.

$7-$12. 870-0309.

'Open Water'

Here's another component of the Red Eye's New Work Festival.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is . . . is that me? "Open Water" is a reflection of the gene pool. Step through the looking glass; do you get a glimpse of yourself, or your mom? All I have to do is turn my head quickly in front of the mirror and I morph into my mom's body. Look, Ma, it's you!

Besides a striking resemblance, I move like my mom -- the way I tilt my head, get distressed or even concentrate, conjures the physics of my mom's movements and body language.

It's these recurring traits that the Dylan Skybrook Company portrays in their dance, "Open Water." About the familiar actions that compel us through biological lines; in a group of six, they reveal the funny science of our habits and routines.

Thursday-Friday, Mar. 4-5, 8 p.m.

Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St.

$7-$12. 870-0309.

Calls for artists

Perhaps you noticed the "all dressed-up" walls in your 2003 Fringe Festival travels? Venues hosting performances also exhibited visual works from local painters, sculptors and other-media artists. The fourth annual "Visible Fringe" will run August 6-15 this year and is an excellent opportunity for local artists to display their work before thespians from across the Metro-area. Self-taught and nonmainstream artists are especially encouraged to apply.

Visible Fringe artists have a reserved spot on the Web site, in Visible Fringe posters and a special section of the Fringe Festival program.

Applications are due April 1 and are available at www.fringefestival.org. Print, complete and send yours along with the $15 entry fee to Yuri Arajs at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, 528 Hennepin Ave. S, Ste. 503, Minneapolis, MN 55403. Artists will be notified Saturday, May 1.

Uptown's Soo Visual Arts Center (SooVAC) is also soliciting artwork for an upcoming untitled, no-theme, juried show. SooVac is looking for work from all artists in any stage of their career, in any medium, from anywhere, on any subject.

Now that's artistic license!

Applications are available at SooVAC, 2642 Lyndale Ave. S. The deadline is March 24, 6 p.m., and the application fee is $20. Check with SooVAC for submission guidelines, 871-2263.

Anna Pratt can be reached at annapratt@artlover.com.