Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Walker

I went to a dance performance at the Walker Art Center on Sunday. It was a combination of South Indian and Balinese dance with two orchestras, one Indian and one Balinese. I liked it, though I know so little about both traditions that I had trouble figuring out how the two traditions were being used.

My friend and I came early and went through the museum. I have complicated responses to the Walker, since I grew up in the old museum, which no longer exists. The permanent collection is on exhibit right now. I recognized some of the pieces from the 1950s. In some cases I have memories of the artists.

I know my father had trouble buying art, since the Walker was not the super museum it is now and did not have the current financial resources. I look at the works I know he bought, thinking they are so small -- but also often lovely.

I also have memories of the old Guthrie Theater, which is gone, reduced to a green lawn behind the existing Walker; and I have memories of the house where my family lived, another green lawn.

So for me the Walker is haunted by ghosts.

But the dance performance was enjoyable and had no ghosts, though it did have a Monkey King and a Bird King and a ten-headed demon.

The guy playing the demon was Balinese and terrific. He had the most amazing evil stage laugh.


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