Art notes

Everybody dance now

Heidi Hauser Jasmin is in her early 60s; Fulton’s Pam Gleason is in her 40s. Both are too old to dance, according to conventional wisdom. Both are kicking that thinking to the curb in “Space – Time,” the spring concert series from the Hauser Dance company.

“My work is real visual, and I use props and specific kinds of elaborate costuming,” Hauser Jasmin says. “Pam is emphasizing time Š emphasizing kind of an idea of rushed, frazzled time in one of her pieces.”

Hauser Jasmin, who is the Hauser company’s artistic director, has spent 35 years as a choreographer, performer and teacher. Gleason was a member of the company in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“Both of us have a sense of humor,” Hauser Jasmin says. “That’s also what brings us together. We try to bring that humor in our choreography because sometimes dance can get to be pretty serious.”

Gleason will be performing “Auld L’Anxiety,” a modern dance piece described as “frantic and off-kilter,” while Hauser Jasmin will be reprising her “Paper or Plastic?” piece – an exploration of the eternal grocery store philosophical dilemma.

“I got a whole ton of bags from Rainbow Foods,” Jasmin explains with a laugh. “Cheap props, they’re called. Kids always love that piece because it gets really crazy. [The bags] end up battling each other at the end.”

Other pieces include “Groovin’,” set to the slinky jazz of late guitarist Charlie Byrd, “Dancing Heads,” set to music by Tuva throat singers, as well as a dance performed to the music of J.S. Bach.

“Even though Bach is Bach, it’s still a piece that’s contemporary,” Hauser Jasmin says. “It’s not dated because I am a modern dancer. I’m not a ballet dancer – not that ballet is dated.”

She says her company, made up of some mature dancers in their 30s and 40s, is also not dated.

“More than ever, dance has gotten to be the kind of thing where people, even in their 40s, still perform. We know a lot more about the body than we did years ago. People are able to do certain things to keep themselves in shape,” Jasmin says. “I’m 62, and I still teach and choreograph. But that’s typical of dancers who really become devoted to their art form.

“I’m performing in this concert a little bit, but not as much as Pam. Pam is amazing, her energy.”

“Space – Time” is at Whittier’s Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet Ave. S., on Friday, June 2 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m.

The following weekend has performances at 8 p.m. on June 10 and a 2 p.m. show on June 11.

Admission is $18. Seniors and children get in for $15.

Admission to the June 3 benefit show with silent auction is $25.

For more information, call 871-9077.

A woman’s best friend

Like many people, Amy Brazil is a lifelong dog owner. Unlike most dog owners, she has raised her canine companions to the level of art, transforming their images into something akin to poochified Fabergé eggs replete with crystal-encrusted leashes and sequin-studded bones. Her doggies at times look like a glamorous cross between Cruella Deville and 1980s hair metal band, Cinderella.

You can see her “Best in Show” exhibit from Saturday, June 3 through July 23 at Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St.

Artwork by Barbara Evan, Alexandra Rozenman, Barbara Gilhooly and Karen Gilbert will also be on display.

The opening reception is Saturday, June 3 from 7 p.m. -10 p.m.

Gallery 360 is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. Call 925-2400 for more information.

Hot fun

The fifth annual Red Hot Art Festival runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, in Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave. S.

The free festival exhibits work from 100 local emerging artists working outside the traditional gallery circuit in the visual, performance and public art arenas. Expect to see everything from balloon sculptures from Stevens Square resident Aaron Prust to the convention-defying “Free Speech Machine” about the intersection of public space, the Internet and free expression, from Monica Sheets and Colleen Walbran.

Furthermore, there’s plenty of opportunity to join in art making; The Bell Museum of Natural History features a bug zoo and nature art. Collaborate on a large-scale mosaic with the Jack Pine Collective or paint on a mural, van or easel supplied by the Fallout Urban Art Center.

Movies will be screened from the interior of a U-Haul trailer while aromas of Eat Street restaurants will fill the park. Dancers and public art performers include Brigitte Koepke, Emily King and Eva Mohn, just to name a few. Musical acts Amanda Smith, Big Surf, Como Ave Jug Band and Dat Giddy Records will perform, among others.

Also on the roster is the Sunrise Cyclery with bike demos. Stevens Square-Loring Heights Neighborhood Gardeners peddle potato stamps and seed art. The Restorative Justice Community Action, Jane Adams School for Democracy, The Belfry Center, Sisters of Camelot and I Love a Parade will also present.

Red Hot Art is offered through a partnership between the Stevens Square Center for the Arts (SSCA) and the Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) and with funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, COMPAS Medtronic Arts Access Program and the State Legislature.

Anna Pratt contributed to this column. Michael Metzger can be reached at mmetzger@mnpubs.com and 436-4369.

art notes

Flower power

Brenna Jones has a hard time not giggling when she talks about The Flower Shop Project's latest production.

The nonprofit group is doing a reworked reprise of their 2001 Fringe Festival extravaganza, &#8220Attack of the Atomic Trash Monster's Bride.” The group describes the play written by Flower Shop members Bethany Hummel and Ruth Virkus as &#8220a satire of the atomic age and homage to Ed Wood[that] tramples a path through the horror movie genre, kicking aside continuity and common sense in pursuit of entertainment.”

The lead character in the satire is Dr. Rod, &#8220the leading scientist in the tri-county area,” who diligently battles the effects of radioactive ooze on a couple of poor souls unlucky enough to bumble into it.

&#8220The acting is very earnest and everything's very patriotic,” Jones says, cracking up. &#8220We're not just fighting the aliens for us, we're fighting them for America!”

The Flower Shop Project is a group of former theater majors who attended the University of Minnesota at Morris together.

&#8220I actually lived in a building above a flower shop and we kind of congregated there,” she recalls. &#8220When we all graduated and ended up in Minneapolis together, we'd always talked about wanting to start a theater company, so we got together and we were like, ‘yes, let's just do it.'”

They were incorporated as a nonprofit last summer, but they had done shows prior to incorporation.

She said they're hoping to get into this year's Fringe, &#8220but we're kind of far down on the waiting list for this spring.”

&#8220Atomic Trash” is their fifth show as a group; all of which have been original productions.

The group is starting to flex its muscles as a nonprofit, says Jones, who serves as the company's president. They've even plunged into the scary, crowded world of fundraising.

&#8220We actually got a great, great turnout from that,” she says. &#8220We made about $1,000. You know, for a little company that's pretty good. That's a whole show for us, practically.”

They're working on grant applications now in hopes of raising even more money for future projects.

F-Sa May 12-13; F-Sa May 19-20; May 26-27 (Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m.) Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St. $12-$15. 859-8949, www.flowershopproject.com.

Stars in bars

When the Nighthawks are described as a bar band, some folks might take offense. &#8220Bar band” has negative connotations of people onstage doing bad covers of good songs, and people offstage doing stupid things after drinking cheap liquor.

The Nighthawks have complete control of the first half of that equation: when they cover a song, they tend to choose blues tunes that will benefit from a rockin' kick in the pants or rock tunes yearning for their blues souls to be uncovered. They don't roll over the blues like some bands that enjoy striking the occasional azure pose (think of the likes of Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones); the Nighthawks make honest, raw blues infused with the power and stomp of roots rock ‘n' roll.

Vocalist-harpist Mark Wenner and guitarist Jimmy Thackery formed the group in Washington, D.C. way back in the early 1970s, but the acclaimed string-bender left the band in the late 1980s (Thackery's &#8220Empty Arms Motel” is a hard-driving blues-rock gem). Wenner carries on the fiery one-night-stand tradition in bars and clubs across the world .

F May 12, 9 p.m. Famous Dave's, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S. $5. 822-9900, www.famousdaves.com.

‘Niagara'

Alex Soth's series of photographs called &#8220Niagara” were taken at the famed honeymoon site with his 8 inch-by-10-inch camera. He captures the thunderous falls, of course, but he also allows us to see nude couples gazing openly at his lens, decrepit and anonymous motels, barren parking lots, and other visual vignettes of loneliness and love.

Soth's &#8220Niagara” is at the Weinstein Gallery, 908 W. 46th St., through May 27. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. You can call 822-1722 or to www.weinstein-gallery.com for more information.

Making it beautiful

&#8220Knock on the Sky” is an evening-length performance piece combining experimental jazz and blues with primordial movement, musical influenced by Japanese folk sounds and live video.

The work is a collaboration between bandleader and pianist Myra Melford, dancer-choreographer Dawn Akemi Saito, Austrian architect Michael Haberz, butoh dance master Oguri, bassist Stomu Takeishi and trumpeter Cuong Vu.

Melford combines her hometown Chicago blues with elements of Eastern European music and the sounds of India.

&#8220At once a dancer, a romantic and a savage suckerpuncher at the benchbeating all hell out of the piano and making it beautiful,” a reviewer in Coda magazine once wrote of Melford.

F-Sa May 12-13, 8 p.m. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. S. $20. 375-7600, www.walkerart.org.