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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS

Kenna Sarge and the Battlecats

This shared program featured works by Kenna Sarge and the Battlecats at the Southern in January, cutting a swath through African, contemporary modern, and hip-hop dance forms that had the audience (including many teenagers) bouncing in their seats. Sarge's "Dedicated to Guinea" started the program off with traditional West African dance and drumming by the Voice of Culture Drum and Dance, a charismatic group of children and young adults who performed with multi-rhythmic exuberance that looked both improvised and tightly choreographed. The almost mystic connection between drumming and dancing in West African culture was embodied by a group of young women who alternated seamlessly between the two forms, often fusing them with startling virtuosity. Later, Sarge layered West African and modern dance in a searing duet exploring the appropriation of the N-word. Three works by the Battlecats, choreographed by J-Sun Noer, expanded and recontextualized hip hop, rendering it rawer, more flamboyant, more contemplative. In his solo "Remembering" Noer contrasted hyperactivity and repose, playing with signature positions (e.g. pretzeling legs) in a meditative way. At his most volatile, he makes you want to get inside his lanky, Eminem-like body, just to feel the alternating current that surges so eloquently through it. In "The Uncarved Block" Noer and seven exuberant Battlecats mixed vaudeville, animal moves, fake fights, and Looney Tunes animation. Their intricately orchestrated bodies merged with beat boxer Carnage's live musical score in a supple and nervy homage to the highly inflected language of hip hop.

BEST ACOUSTIC PERFORMER Spirits of the Red City

BEST ACTOR Patrick Bailey

BEST ACTRESS Mo Perry

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE Eclipse Records

BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY John Gordon

BEST ART GALLERY First Amendment Arts

BEST BAND NAME Chickadee Mountain Martyrs

BEST BLUES ARTIST Willie Murphy

BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR Never Trust a Thin Cook, by Eric Dregni

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Morgan Thorson

BEST CLUB DJ Mike 2600

BEST COLUMNIST Garrison Keillor

BEST COMEDY Funny Money at Old Log Theater

BEST COMEDY CLUB Acme Comedy Co.

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL) Gay Witch Abortion and Knife World on the Mississippi River

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING) Beyoncé

BEST CONCERT VENUE 7th St. Entry

BEST COUNTRY MUSIC VENUE Lee's Liquor Lounge

BEST DANCE CLUB First Avenue

BEST DANCE NIGHT Get Cryphy at First Avenue's Record Room

BEST DANCER The mass in En Masse

BEST DIRECTOR Michelle Hensley

BEST DRAMA The Whipping Man at Penumbra Theatre

BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY David Campbell

BEST HIP-HOP ARTIST P.O.S.

BEST IMPROV COMEDY THEATER ComedySportz

BEST JAZZ ARTIST David King

BEST JAZZ CLUB The Turf Club's Clown Lounge on Mondays

BEST JUKEBOX Sauce Spirits and Sound Bar

BEST LARGE THEATER Children's Theatre Company

BEST LIVE ARTIST Mark Mallman

BEST LOCAL ALBUM OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS A Badly Broken Code by Dessa

BEST LOCAL BAND MADE GOOD Solid Gold

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COMPILATION Minnesota Beatle Project, Vol. 1

BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL Rhymesayers Entertainment

BEST MIDNIGHT MOVIE The Room at Uptown Theatre

BEST MOVIE THEATER Riverview Theater

BEST MUSEUM Minneapolis Institute of Arts

BEST MUSEUM EXHIBITION "The Louvre and the Masterpiece," Minneapolis Institute of Arts

BEST MUSICAL Caroline, or Change at Guthrie Theater

BEST NEW BAND Rogue Valley

BEST OLD BAND The Twilight Hours

BEST OPEN MIC Acme's Caught in the Act

BEST PLACE TO LEARN TO DANCE Zenon Dance Company and School

BEST PLACE TO MAKE LIKE REMBRANDT The Art Academy

BEST R&B ARTIST Mayda

BEST RADIO STATION Radio K (104.5 FM, 100.7 FM, 106.5 FM, 770 AM)

BEST ROCK BAND Gay Witch Abortion

BEST ROCK CLUB Triple Rock Social Club

BEST SLAM POETRY EVENT SlamMN Erotic Slam

BEST SMALL THEATER Ten Thousand Things

BEST SONGWRITER Dessa

BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST Paul Allen, KFAN-AM 1130

BEST STAGE DESIGN Joel Sass, the Jungle Theater

BEST STORYTELLING EVENT Two Chairs Telling

BEST STRIP CLUB Sinners

BEST TV NEWSCASTER Don Shelby

BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR Randy Shaver

BEST TV WEATHERPERSON Paul Douglas

BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE) Maggie Morrison

BEST VOCALIST (MALE) Peter Miller