Arts MN: Northern Spark 2014 and the Green Line Kickoff Party

By Naomi Crocker

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This week, the stars will align to bring us two of the Twin Cities’ most anticipated events of 2014. First, the Metro Transit Green Line officially opens June 14 and will offer free rides for the entire day, as well as into part of the day on Sunday. Second, June 14 will also mark this year’s Northern Spark festival, which will be complete with glowing groups of cyclists, dusk-to-dawn performances, great people-watching, and magic in general. Thus, in honor of these two events, this week’s Arts MN focuses both on happenings that take place along the new light rail route, as well as those that feature the sheer awesomeness of the Twin Cities’ public spaces.

Twelfth Night

Fridays­–Sundays, through June 22 // 6:30pm

Various outdoor locations throughout the Twin Cities 

Twelfth Night

Possibly William Shakespeare’s most farcical and hilarious play, Twelfth Night is truly the original romantic comedy, complete with mistaken identities, hampered wooing, sprees of lunacy, and broken, as well as healed, hearts. Directed by Carin Bratlie and featuring members of the Theatre Pro Rata artistic company, this TPR production will recreate the play’s Coast of Illyria setting at various outdoor locations throughout the Twin Cities. This week’s performances will take place Friday–Sunday at the Lake Phalen Ampitheater, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and in the East Plaza of Union Depot in Saint Paul. Performances are free and open to the public, but as they will take place outdoors, make sure to check the website. Theatre Pro Rata reserves the right to cancel shows in the event of severe weather conditions.

Beer bonus: Take the light rail Green Line to the Union Depot performance at the end of the line and scope out which breweries and beer bars are located along the new route.

One Dance Co. presents RAW

June 14 // 12:00pm–5:00pm

Raymond Avenue Stop, Metro Transit Green Line, Saint Paul, MN


Originally started in Rochester, NY, but now with a Minneapolis chapter courtesy of local dance artist Jenny Sung, One Dance Co. creates intelligent performances that cater to the company motto of “one body, many parts.” This Saturday, in honor of the Green Line opening, audiences will have a chance to see One Dance Co. in action as they perform their new piece, RAW, at the Raymond Avenue station. Starting at noon, One Dance Co. members will perform as moving sculptures before making their way to the Raymond Avenue stop main stage at 3:30pm. The show will continue on to the Lyric at 4:15pm with food and drinks and will conclude with a performance of RAW at 5:00pm. The event is free, however a $15 donation is suggested for those wishing to attend the Lyric portion of the show. For a full list of the day’s events at the Raymond Avenue Station, click here.

Beer bonus: Surly Brewing will have a tent at the light rail Green Line opening—most likely in honor of the fact that their new Minneapolis location is officially set to be built along the route— so we’re fairly sure that there has never been a better excuse to take public transportation.

Curio Dance – Drop the Mic: Let the Sole Shine!

June 13–15 // Friday–Saturday 7:30pm; Sunday, 2:00pm

The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Curio Dance

With grace and precision, Curio Dance blends social dance styles with classical training in modern and ballet. Specifically, this weekend’s series of Drop the Mic! performances (presented by Curio Dance, but featuruing a variety of prominent Twin Cities artists) will showcase performers who will bring light to their soul in contemporary dance blends of Hip Hop, Cuban Orisha, Native American Eagle, Chinese Martial Arts, Acrobatic Yoga, Breaking, Housing, Waacking, Krump and more. As a special treat following the June 13 performance, The Cowles Center will host a talk-back with the artists as part of their Meet the Company: Talk-Back Series. Tickets for the event can be purchased online.

Beer bonus: Taking the light rail back out of downtown Minneapolis? Make sure to check out the newly-opened Burning Brothers Brewing, which is located just off University Avenue near the Green Line’s Fairview station. The brewery was found by those with Celiac, for those with Celiac, so the beer is not only gluten-free, it’s also delicious.


June 14 // 9:01pm–Dawn

Various locations throughout, Minneapolis, MN

Northern Spark 2014

Northern Spark is an annual, one-night, dusk-to-dawn arts festival that lights up the Twin Cities on the second Saturday of June. This year’s theme is “Projecting the City” and was selected by festival organizers as a means of both celebrating and revitalizing Minneapolis:

“All too often the city feels fixed, a stolid entity that we as individuals have little opportunity to affect. We asked dozens of artists to project onto Minneapolis—onto its architecture and its infrastructure—their idea of what the city could be, might aspire to be, never should become. These projections are literal or imaginative and take many forms, from video to dance to music to interactive events. We invite you to participate in this reimagining of the city, whether by performing as a Folkopolis singer, posting a missive into the night, attempting to solve the great Northern Spark murder mystery, visualizing the Minnesota Orchestra play in a new light (or conducting your own gossip orchestra), adjudicating a friendly Write Fight, rebalancing your life on a seesaw, or even projecting yourself on the iconic Gold Medal silos or the Minneapolis skyline.”

Don a necklace of glow sticks and your most reflective outfit, attach to your bike the craziest bike lights you can find, and come join the tens of thousands of people who will gather June 14 to explore, play, enjoy, and learn about our truly wonderful city. Visit the Northern Spark website to see a schedule, view a map, or simply find out more about the featured artists and host sites. Certain events require tickets, which can be purchased online, but otherwise everything is free and open to the public. Better yet, remember that on June 14–15, all bus and LRT rides will also be free!

Beer bonus: Several of the events will offer beer for those 21+. It’s just a matter of poking around and finding which location, and brew, suits you.


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