Monday, November 30, 2009

Lake Calhoun in November

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saturday, Nov. 7 – Hordes of humanity circling Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun on a glorious afternoon lend an illusion of strolling the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco! A bald eagle, large as a fire hydrant, held court above the south side of the lake, tieing up traffic.

Sunday, Nov. 8 – November in Minneapolis, and nightime runners circling Lake Calhoun are shirtless! Very warm out there, and very quiet.

Friday, Nov. 13 – I love that I can own exclusively for 75 minutes the luscious and quiet Minnesota mist that shrouds Lake Calhoun tonight! Gorgeous!

Tuesday, Nov. 17 – Kissed by another November day of sun!

Friday, Nov. 20 – A season suspended against itself! Yet another day of warm light, perfect for circling Lake Calhoun to frame up the structure of a performance review. Yet...1 in 10 Minnesota kids is hungry every day; 91,000 mortgage foreclosures in our state; sick people will be denied care at our county hospital; and people's fortunes, families, and souls are stressed. My task today: absorb the light and unleash compassion.

Saturday, Nov. 21 – Several times I have run into Dick Maw of Dick Maw Fine Art, Elk River, Minnesota, who holds court with his artwork on the west side of Lake Calhoun. He also keeps a place in Mineral Wells, Texas, just outside Ft. Worth.

Monday, Nov. 23 – Scenes of the day: The giant bald eagle held court on the north end of Lake Calhoun today. The IDS Crystal Court in downtown Minneapolis has its holiday decor in place. Given 51º temps, the ice-skating rink next to downtown St. Paul's Landmark Center is nowhere near frozen, but the Saint Paul Hotel has its holiday finery in place!

Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Steel-gray shadows and a brisk-brrr, northwest wind skimmed the surface of Lake Calhoun today. Scores of Canadian geese anchored in the southwest bay. Hordes of crows rested in the southern woods leading to Lake Harriet. The main dock, set loose two weeks ago to drift for the winter, rests several yards offshore at the northwest corner. Water level down noticeably in the last two weeks. No bald eagle today.

Thursday, Nov. 26 – Morning at Lake Calhoun. Intensely quiet. Small groupings of ducks replaced yesterday's geese. Stumps from trees removed yesterday. 7-foot emergency rescue boards at intervals, lashed to signs reading "Keep Off Dangerous Ice Not Safe." Dog walkers: some really do look like their dogs. Runners: some have trouble breathing in good air of life, others troubled exhaling used life, and some have perfect balance of both.

Saturday, Nov. 28 – White light to the west and south meets and mixes with blue light to the east and north over Lake Calhoun. So does warm sun and cool air. Busy! Proficient roller skater to one less so: "I am glad to see you again." Dick Maw and his artwork in residence on west side. Crows heard not seen in Lakewood Cemetery woods on southeast side. Seagulls maintain staked claim to floating dock. New puppies strain at leashes; old dogs amble with slow gait. Silent, stoic faces of an extended family unit surely belie their inner enthusiasm and excitement for each other and the day. Trees with golden leaves still shimmer with joy against the sky - all others bare. Wake of two lone ducks slices glass surface of north side where surrounding buildings reflect their full height. Distant smoke suggests large fire in north Minneapolis. This suspension of real winter is like the quilt of a Sunday afternoon before Monday morning.

Sunday, Nov. 29 – Rained last night. Dark, steel-gray and gentle waves on Lake Calhoun under quiet, heavy clouds. Cool, but not too. Could be snow clouds if temp drops.

Monday, Nov. 30 – Bright sun filtering through high layers of white clouds, layered with a bit of blue. Calm silver waves on western Lake Calhoun today. Dick Maw and artwork in residence on west side. 100+ geese at rest and chatting quietly in the southwest bay. Unusual clarity for the lines, settings, and landscaping of the manses lining the south side. Very unusual train whistle from somewhere in western Linden Hills to the southwest; cannot picture the location of those tracks. Snow fence and new lamp posts installed today around new parking bays on south side. Last evening, a stranger responded to my comment to a Facebook friend asking whether I had ever taken the ferry from Boston to Provincetown, as my name is familiar and she has a picture that looks like me. Replied that I have never been to Boston or P-Town but would like to, but did we meet in New Delhi in 1986 because her name also is familiar? She has never been to Delhi, but would like to. Golden leaves have all left the circle of the lake. Waves lapping in continuously on east side. Two ducks at the north side - same as made the wake two days ago? - approached within three feet, on land, totally unimpressed by the presence of humans. Chill, but not cold. November = 30 days x 3.1 miles = 93 miles.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review: Zenon Dance Company at the Ritz Theater

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Given the depth and breadth of dance-making in the Twin Cities, one expects and takes for granted that dances choreographed here for the concert stage usually will be good, if not very good. So it has been since the start of the current performance season in September. What has been remarkable to my eye over the last three months, however, is the absence of truly compelling choreography: work that cannot – should not – be missed and might need to be seen to be believed.

The 27th fall concerts of Minnesota's Zenon Dance Company, which opened at the Ritz Theater, Nov. 19, crystallized this dawning realization but did not prompt it. The programs of Ananya Dance Theatre, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Ballet of the Dolls, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, Arena Dances, and Zenon certainly have displayed strong choreographic competence and generally strong dancing with much to like, particularly the dancing. All, however, left me wanting – je ne sais quoi.

That may simply reflect the cycle of the creative zeitgeist – or the current settings on my perceptual filters.

Zenon's show opened with the premiere of "The Laws of Falling Bodies," a contemporary work for seven dancers by Sydney Skybetter and his first commission for the company. I was anxious to see his work for the first time, even if the music for this dance was an electronic score by Jonny Greenwood instead of the more elegiac sounding selections (e.g., Dvorák, Schumann, Arvo Part) I had read about for some of Skybetter's earlier creations. The man can create visually and emotionally arresting dances (see his website), especially "Near Abroad" from 2008. Unfortunately, "Falling Bodies" is not one of them, particularly in its first four minutes. The work appears at first to be a study of people using each other and saving themselves from each other, all while trying to distance themselves from each other. Over time, it evolves into a picture of people holding up the most fragile or endangered among them, but one wonders why we should care and where the rest of the story went.

With a Master's Degree in dance performance and choreography from New York University, and performance credits with the likes of Christopher Williams, Larry Keigwin, Kun-Yang Lin, Gus Solomons jr, and others, Skybetter's is one of the most interesting emergent voices at work these days. Zenon's artistic director, Linda Andrews, would do very well to invite him back to secure another new work – perhaps a half-evening effort for the 2011 opening of the Minnesota Shubert Center.

Skybetter and his company will perform in January at Joyce SoHo and the Skirball Center during the APAP Conference in New York.

A second premiere, "Filament," is a solo work created by Emilie Plauché Flink, artistic associate of Minnesota's Black Label Movement. The dance begins in silence, then is joined by the electronic strings of "Luna" from the "Touch It" CD by the Minneapolis-based Jelloslave. Although the movement has a minimalist feel, the impact of its expression by Tamara Ober was anything but as she threw herself about the stage, at times appearing to pedal an invisible bicycle while supine. Mary Ann Bradley will dance the role Nov. 27-29.

Flink's artistic pedigree includes a BFA degree in dance from the Juilliard School, 11 years of performance with the Limón Dance Company, and performances for Annabelle Gamson and Martha Clark. She also worked briefly for the Minnesota Crafts Council, an undertaking that helped inspire her to create sculpture and furniture from found/cast-off objects.

This latter impulse no doubt provided a seed for the metallic-looking set piece for "Filament," designed by Annie Katsura Rollins. Part oversized beehive, and part cave lined with brass, Aztec dishware, the set lived in shadows and invested the proceedings with a cocoon-like refuge.

In Mitch Albom's 2004 book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," Eddie, the principal character, encounters five individuals after dying in an accident in his old age. One of these is Marguerite, his long-dead wife, who when he sees her is handing out chocolates at a wedding "for the bitter and the sweet." Eddie, who had loved her from the moment they met and never cared for anyone else as much, tells her how much he has missed her. "Lost love," she consoles him, "is still love."

A similar theme is at work in a third Zenon premiere, "Here, now that you are gone..." Set in three sections to music by Charlie Byrd, Toots Thielemans, and Stéphane Grappelli, the jazz duet, danced beautifully and buoyantly by Gregory Waletski and Bradley, recalls "his" love and the instances of their life together. According to program notes, as he is drawn into his memories he must decide either to remain in the past or to continue on.

The choreography by Judith James Ries, a former principal dancer for Danny Buraczeski's JAZZDANCE, acquaints us with the memory in the first segment, sands off any rough edges that may have informed the past relationship in the second, and leaves us to wonder in the third whether the memory or Waletski will let go first. Ultimately, Bradley, as the memory, exits stage right while Waletski remains in reverie stage left. My bet: he continues on but does not move on.

In addition to teaching at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, Hamline University, and Zenon Dance School, one of Ries's next projects will be creating choreography for Park Square Theatre's 2010 production of "Rock and Roll."

Two repertory works completed the Zenon program.

"Not From Texas," looking like three pieces of cotton candy at the Texas State Fair, entertains without audience effort. Amazingly for Zenon, however, on Nov. 20 the four men appeared to mark the opening quartet with little authentic personality in what should have been a raucous stemwinder to Lyle Lovett's "Long Tall Texan." The succeeding sections, also to Lovett, looked more taut and together, especially the middle duet by Bradley and Waletski. The wife-husband team of Megan McClellan and Brian Sostek provided the whimsical choreography that debuted earlier this year.

"Booba," an odd set of excerpts from a 2008 work by Andrea Miller, closed the show, first with a showcase for six dancers, followed by a duet of Bryan Godbout and Leslie O'Neill. Although the most structurally strong part of the evening, the group work lacked interest, particularly the pseudo-shimmying across the stage to the rhythmic music by Balkan Beat Box. Godbout and O'Neill provided a picture-pleasing finish to the most colorful (costume-wise) and brightly lit dance of the evening.

Zenon Dance Company's 27th fall concerts will continue, Fri-Sun, Nov. 27-29, at the Ritz Theater, 345 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis. For tickets call 612.436.1129.


Baseball's MVP

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Congratulations to #7, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer! The Baseball Writers Association of America gave 27 of 28 first-place votes to Mauer, 26, in designating him the Most Valuable Player in baseball's American League.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Park Square Theatre's next stage includes a second stage

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Whatever damage the recession has visited upon nonprofit arts organizations, the effects appear to have passed over the Park Square Theatre, based in downtown St. Paul's Hamm Building, located at Seventh Place and St. Peter Street. With a current annual operating budget of approximately $1.8 million, Park Square claims to produce more shows than any theater in the Twin Cities except The Guthrie and Children's Theatre.

The company – which believes that "every year you're not growing you're shrinking" –  has raised $1 million toward a Next Stage capital campaign goal of $4.2 million. Beginning in July 2010, these funds will result in new seats, carpeting, and wall coverings in the 340-seat mainstage auditorium, along with energy efficient lights and new production equipment.

Michael-jon Pease, Park Square's director of external relations, outlined the intents and purposes of the capital drive for 28 actors and others who attended a Nov. 23 reception and tour in the Hamm Building.

The  campaign results from an 18-month planning process aimed at organizational transformation. In addition to renovating the mainstage facility, the campaign will provide $1.5 million for a new, second theater with 140 seats situated around three sides of a thrust stage on the lower level of the Hamm Building; $1 million to build organizational capacity over seven years; $500,000 for working capital; and $500,000 for an artistic capital fund that will underwrite the new productions made possible by the operation of two theaters.

The second theater is projected to open in November 2011, and will include an art gallery and lounge.

The Next Stage expansion seeks to increase the range of work presented, from nine to 18 annual productions, providing opportunities for larger, more diverse, and younger audiences to experience more diverse and challenging plays. Annual attendance is projected to grow from the current 53,000 people to 86,000. Much of that growth, 15,000 annually, will occur among student attendees, bringing the annual number of teens served to 40,000 – one of the largest student segments of any theater in the U.S.

The larger operation will allow Park Square to employ more than its current level of 100 artists annually with improved wages and a greater selection of roles. Half of the productions in the second theater will involve collaborations of two-to-three years' duration with other theater companies.

Staffing will increase from the present 11 positions to 14 or 15.

Of the theater's more than 3,000 subscribers, 42% have been with the company for five years or more. Ticket pricing will be the same for both theater spaces.

Park Square Theatre was founded in 1974 and moved into the Hamm Building in 1995. The building also is home to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Artists Quarter jazz club, Great Waters Restaurant, and the Meritage Restaurant.

Park Square Theatre's production of "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol," directed by Richard Cook, will run Dec. 3-20. For tickets call 651.291.7005 or visit The theater's lobby gallery currently displays original, abstract landscape paintings by Kate Pearce.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

More "stimulus" funds on way to Minnesota arts groups

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota State Arts Board and the Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest have re-granted $361,200 to twenty-one Minnesota arts organizations to help preserve jobs that are threatened by the current economic downturn. The grantees were selected from a pool of 153 eligible applicants.

The grants are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act / Minnesota Arts Jobs grant program. Funding for the program was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, through the National Endowment for the Arts.

That economic stimulus package, passed by Congress earlier this year, included $50 million for the arts. In April, the NEA awarded 63 grants from that package, totalling $19.8 million, to state and regional agencies. In that round, the MSAB received $316,000 and Arts Midwest received $514,400. Arts Midwest allocated its funds throughout its nine-state region, and pooled its Minnesota funds with those of the MSAB.

The 21 Minnesota organizations receiving stimulus grants include the Lake Region Arts Council, Fergus Falls, $3,000; Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Waseca, $10,000; Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, $15,000; Commonweal Theatre, Lanesboro, $11,600; Cornucopia Art Center, Lanesboro, $13,000; Dakota Valley Symphony, Burnsville, $25,000; FutureBuilders in Support of Trollwood, Morhead, $25,000; Holmes Center, Detroit Lakes, $25,000; Juxtaposition, Inc., Minneapolis, $25,000; Kulture Klub Collaborative, Minneapolis, $19,000; Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association, Minneapolis, $12,000; Minnesota Ballet, Duluth, $18,000; Minnesota Chorale, Minneapolis, $16,000; Nautilus Music-Theater, St. Paul, $24,000; Nordic Culture Clubs, Moorhead, $18,000; One Voice Mixed Chorus, St. Paul, $24,000; Rochester Repertory Theatre, Rochester, $12,000; Saint Francis Music Center, Little Falls, $12,000; Sounds of Hope, Ltd., St. Paul, $12,600; Zenon Dance Company, Minneapolis, $16,000; and Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Minneapolis, $25,000.

Disclosure: Gary Peterson was a member of one of two panels convened by the MSAB to review 153 applications and to recommend grants for authorization by the MSAB.

In July, 26 other Minnesota arts organizations received stimulus grants directly from the NEA totalling $1,025,000. In total, Minnesota organizations received 2.8% of the $50 million arts stimulus package. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tell them how to spend the arts and cultural heritage money

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota State Arts Board, and Minnesota Humanities Center invite public input for a 10-year plan and 25-year framework for how to use money made available through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Input will be solicited at November listening sessions in Rochester, Minneapolis, and Marshall, and via an online survey.

Listening sessions will take place Monday, Nov. 16, 5pm-7pm, at the Heinz Center on the campus of the Rochester Community and Technical College, 851 30th Avenue SE, Rochester; Tuesday, Nov. 17, 5pm-7pm, at East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis; and Wednesday, Nov. 18, 5pm-7pm, at Charter Hall on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University, 1501 State Street South, Marshall.

Earlier sessions were held in St. Paul, Chisholm and Fergus Falls. 

Members of a planning committee, drawn from 13 history, arts, cultural, and library organizations, will develop a spending plan for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The committee met Nov. 10 in Little Falls, and will meet again on Dec. 9 in Minneapolis and on Jan. 5 at a location to be determined. Its plan will be reported to the legislature by Jan. 15. 


Twin Cities dance and performance notes for November

Minneapolis, Minnesota

For a 27th consecutive year, Zenon Dance Company will present a fall season of dance in the Twin Cities. New and existing work will be displayed over two weekends, Nov. 19-29, at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis.

In his first commission for Zenon, New York dancemaker Sydney Skybetter provides one of the program's three premieres, "The Laws of Falling Bodies," a modern work for the full-company set to music by Jonny Greenwood.

Mary Ann Bradley and Greg Waletski will dance "Here, now that you are gone," a new jazz duet by Judith James Ries, a Minneapolis-based protégé of jazz master Danny Buraczeski. The duet is set to music by Charlie Byrd, Toots Thielemans, and Stéphane Grappelli.

Emilie Plauché Flink, co-artistic director of Black Label Movement in Minneapolis, offers a new, untitled solo set to cello music composed by Michelle Kinney and recorded by the ensemble Jello Slave. Tamara Ober and Bradley will perform the work on alternate weekends.

The program also will include two revivals. "Not From Texas," a light and entertaining hoedown by Megan McClellan and Brian Sostek set to music by Lyle Lovett, and "Booba (Doll)," an Andrea Miller work to Balkan Beat Box.

The Ritz Theater is located at 345 - 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis. Performances: Nov. 19-21 and 27-28 at 8pm, Nov. 22 and 29 at 7pm. For tickets call: 612.436.1129.

• • • • •

Led by directors Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands, TU Dance will open its sixth season with three performances of four contemporary works, Nov. 20-22, at The O'Shaughnessy in St. Paul. The program will feature the first full staging since 1992 of "Dance With Army Blankets," a work commissioned from Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith by the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble.

Uri Sands will offer up two premieres: "Sense(ability) Sketch III - Earth" and an untitled duet for himself and Marciano Silva dos Santos. An earlier work, "Tones of Adney," inspired by the shifting states of a Minnesota lake, will round out the bill.

The O'Shaughnessy is located on the campus of St. Catherine's University, Cleveland and Randolph Aves., St. Paul. Performances: Nov. 20-21 at 8pm and Nov. 22 at 2pm. For tickets call 651.690.6700.

• • • • •

The Walker Art Center's annual Choreographers' Evening, curated by Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad, will take place in Minneapolis at the Walker's McGuire Theater, Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7pm and 9:30pm. Follow the link for the program line-up. For tickets call 612.375.7600 or online at

• • • • •

In something of a family affair, the Lakeville City Ballet will present its annual, full-length production of "The Nutcracker" on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 28-29, at the Lakeville South High School Theater.

Artistic Director Denise Vogt provides the choreography for the production that includes spouse Rick Vogt (returning from dance retirement) in the role of Drosselmeyer, daughter Tianna, and son Anthony in the role of the Nutcracker.

In addition to students from the Ballet Royale Minnesota academy, guest artists will include Leah Gallas and Ricardo Graziano from the Tulsa Ballet (Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier) and Eve Schulte and Nicolas Lincoln from the James Sewell Ballet (Snow Queen and King).

The Lakeville South High School Theater is located at 21135 Jacquard Avenue, Lakeville, east of I-35 on Highway 70. Performances: Nov. 28 at 2pm and 6pm, and Nov. 29 at 1:30pm. Tickets available at the door, or in advance online at (click the "Programs" tab).

• • • • •

After 10+ years of planning and fundraising, ground will be broken for construction of the Minnesota Shubert Center in Minneapolis, Thursday, Nov. 19. The public is invited for remarks and the groundbreaking ceremony in the parking lot between the Hennepin Center for the Arts and the Shubert Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave., 12:30pm-1:15pm. A reception will follow in the Hennepin Center, 1:15pm-2:30pm. RSVP for the reception to 612.465.0231.

• • • • •

One of the largest dance floors in Minnesota, the historic Withrow Ballroom & Event Center will re-open late this month in Hugo/Stillwater, under the ownership of Paul Bergman. The 15,000 sq ft facility, established in 1928, has been shut down for a year. The opening weekend entertainment will include the Rockin' Hollywoods (50s dancing music), Friday, Nov. 27, 8:30pm-12:30am; Raggs featuring Todd Olson on lead vocals/sax/flute (classic rock-n-roll), Saturday, Nov. 28, 8pm-Midnight; and the acoustic slide guitar duo of the Dough Bros: Paul Mayasich and Andy Dee (country, blues, R and B, rockabilly, rock-n-roll), Sunday, Nov. 29, 3pm-7pm.

The Withrow Ballroom is located at 12169 Keystone Avenue North, Hugo, just northwest of Stillwater, Minnesota. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 651.439.5123.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Country's Phil Vassar singing at Burnsville PAC

Burnsville, Minnesota

To promote the release of his fourth album, "Prayer Of A Common Man," Phil Vassar has been traveling the country to perform in Wilmington, Tampa, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Cleveland, and many more. The tour will bring him to the main stage of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7:30pm.

After growing up poor in his native Virginia and scoring a track scholarship to James Madison University, the country singer, songwriter, and pianist worked his way up in Nashville, beginning his career co-writing songs with country legends like Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Collin Raye, and Alan Jackson. Since releasing his debut album in 2000, he has charted 18 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Charts, including two at number one.

The Burnsville Performing Arts Center is located at 12600 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville, just off I-35W at the US-13 exit. Tickets available in-person at the BPAC box office, Tue-Fri, 11am-6pm & Sat, 10am-2pm. For more information: 952.895.4680.

ARENA Dances at The Lab Theater

Minneapolis, Minnesota

ARENA Dances by Mathew Janczewski will present its Short Fall series of modern dance performances at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis, Nov. 12-15. The program will feature three premiere works: "Huddle," a quartet for men; "Everything Reflects," a duet; and a solo by Janczewski. Two repertory works also are on deck: "Short Fall" and "I need you now to abandon me."

In addition to Janczewski, the ARENA dancers include Gabriel Anderson, Julie Brant McBride, Heather Klopchin, Stephanie Laager, Stephen Schroeder, Duncan Schultz, Sarah Steichen, and Galen Treuer.

The Lab Theater is located at 700 North 1st Street in Minneapolis. Tickets online at Performances: Nov. 12-13 & 14 at 8pm; Nov. 14 at 5pm; Nov. 15 at 7pm.

Taking five with Dave Brubeck at The Dakota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

While one expects that Dave Brubeck and his quartet would sell out multiple performances at The Dakota Jazz Club after performing for 58 years on the world's music stages, that the legendary pianist still has it going on musically may be assumed, subject to verification. Seeing, and hearing, confirmed the faith of Twin Cities fans gathered in Minneapolis, Nov. 4, for the last of six shows over three evenings.

Holding court at the Dakota's Steinway, the 89-year-old Brubeck made playing with one hand sound like three or four, as he did in a solo containing echoes of "Sweet Georgia Brown" that morphed into interludes for bassist Michael Moore and drummer Randy Jones. This followed an opening mix featuring solos for Moore and saxophonist Bobby Militello.

Each piece mesmerized more than the last in a set that continued without interruption for nearly 100 minutes. "Over the Rainbow" opened with Brubeck on keyboard, gave way to a transcendant flute rendition by Militello, and closed with piano and flute together. In Brubeck's "Dziekuje," composed during a 1958 tour of Poland, the opening homage to Chopin evolved into a wailing sax before resolving to a finish by the group.

For an aficianado of jazz music and dance, the quartet's concluding, 2009 version of "Take Five" missed only one element: the presence of the jazz choreographer Danny Buraczeski, who created the definitive dance expression of Brubeck's classic in his 1980 work "Fission."

A boisterous and affectionate applause brought Brubeck back for whimsical solo encores, beginning with "I'm tired and I wanna go home." The audience – whose members included the Minnesota Orchestra's Osmo Vänskä, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra's Bill Schrickel, and veteran arts administrator Jon Lewis –  then joined in to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and to hum along with "Lullabye."

In a verbal valedictory, Brubeck said, "I always enjoy our concerts here, and I hope to see you all again sometime."

Brubeck will be presented with a Kennedy Center Honors medallion at a Dec. 5 dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The other honorees will include the soprano/mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry and rock-and-roll artist Bruce Springsteen, both of whom have performed in the Twin Cities in recent years. President Obama will host a White House reception for the honorees on Dec. 6, before the telecast gala from the Kennedy Center.

Performers at The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant in coming months will include Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Nov. 10-11; The Bad Plus, Dec. 25-27; Mark O'Connor, Jan. 20; and Ahmad Jamal, late Feb.