This weekend, Patrick's Cabaret spotlights the talents of Twin Cities bilingual and multilingual artists with Anything But English: A Multilingual Cabaret. Based on Patrick's previous Everything But English cabaret, the showcase features a diverse mix of storytelling, dance, music, and performance.
The Everything But English cabaret set out to present work entirely in other languages from beginning to end. For Anything But English, the focus is on multilingual artists, so there will be even more variety of languages each night. The idea is that English-only audiences, who are used to always having their language presented onstage, will have a chance to experience what it might be like for those who don't speak English.
Scott Artley, performing arts curator at Patrick's Cabaret, says his first step in putting the evening together was to enlist the talents of Alejandra Tobar-Alatriz and Saymoukda Vongsay, two Twin Cities artists who come from multilingual backgrounds.
Working with his two co-hosts, Artley put out a call for performers. Originally both nights were going to have the same lineup, but there was so much interest that he decided to have different performers on each night.
For the show, Tobar-Alatriz will co-host on Friday and Vongsay will co-host show on Saturday. Both of them also will perform.
Alys Ayumi Ogura
Friday night's show will include a piece by Tobar-Alatriz that takes on themes of identity and the body, while Magdalena Kaluza will share her creative writing about her Latina heritage. Loc Tran, a legally blind pianist who has autism, will present classical music from memory, and Javier Morillo will share a story from his childhood. Friday will also include a new dance piece by Chitra Vairavan, and a multidisciplinary performance by Ifrah Mansour, who will also perform Saturday.
On Saturday, Vongsay will present Lao folktales, while the Armenian Dance Ensemble of Minnesota, an intergenerational dance group, will perform traditional pieces. Francisco Benavides and Alex Hathaway will present a new narrative theater piece that seeks to alienate the audience through the obstacle of speech. Alys Ayumi Ogura will present a dance work, called "Don't let... go," that plays with silence, ambiguity, and translation.