Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
CP: I find it mildly shocking that you made your debut at the new Cowles Center in Minneapolis only last Sunday, more than two months after it opened. And here I thought you were a dance aficionado.
RN: It's an embarrassing admission but I've been busy. I must admit that when the Cowles' house lights dim, I'm head over heels. The sightlines, the skyscraping proscenium arch, the wing space, the stage's enormous footprint, it's all better than I'd imagined or dared hope for. I just wish the lobby didn't resemble a HOM showroom. You?
CP: Despite the place's leadership troubles, and the fact that the inside bears no sign that we are in a historic theater, I remain avidly pro-Cowles.
RN: I'm happy that my maiden voyage into downtown's dance palace was for Zenon's fall program.
CP: I found all the pieces by Zenon mildly to entirely thrilling. You?
RN: I adored Mariusz Olszewski's super-sexy "Pink Martini." Even better was the riveting revival of Danny Buraczeski's "Swing Concerto," which might be the most entertaining piece of Minnesota-made choreography, ever.
CP: Zenon veteran Greg Waletski did a klezmer-fueled solo to open "Swing Concerto" that was the perfect appetizer for the joyous energy to come -- even if he was forced to perform in the world's worst pair of pleated khakis.
RN: Leave it to the tragedy that is modern-dance costuming to make Minnesota's fittest man look like, well, me.
CP: As usual, I loved watching Mary Ann Bradley.
RN: Me, too. If someone asked me to name the top three reasons why a person should live in the Twin Cities, I might be tempted to reply "summer weather, the pastrami at Be'wiched Deli and Mary Ann Bradley."
CP: She's been doing no wrong now for how many years? On the newbie side, Scott Mettille totally sold his solo opening of "Pink Martini." He had the audience hooting and hollering.
RN: The whole company killed it, which makes me wish that we could see them more often than a few weekends each fall and spring.
CP: Zenon director Linda Andrews pulled out the stops for this show, presenting two world premieres and putting pert near the whole company onstage for each of the four works. And it was downtown, no less. After seeing so much dance at the Ritz, the Southern and the O'Shaughnessy, it's odd to step outside after a dance show and be on Hennepin Avenue.
RN: It's infinitely better than exiting onto some dreary college campus.
CP: And there's nothing like a post-show drink at the nearby Augies or the Brass Rail.