Dances at the Lake

Two nights: The Lake Harriet Rose Garden is already stunning this time of year. Now imagine it filled with twirling dancers — almost too much grace for one place. Inspired by a sister dance festival held on the Duluth LakeWalk, Dances at the Lake features more than a dozen dance organizations, including youth ensembles, on each of two nights. Founded by the Christopher Watson Dance Company, the fest is in its 14th year. This year’s dancers come from four states, including Twin Cities-based Anda Flamenco, Curio Dance, Kinetic Evolutions and Ray Terrill Dance Group. Watson says the free outdoor event is “demystifying. People who might not ever buy a ticket to watch dance in a theater come across it in a public space where they’re already comfortable and love it.” Blankets, portable lawn chairs and picnic baskets welcome. (7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Lake Harriet Rose Garden, 4124 Roseway Road off E. Lake Harriet Boulevard, Mpls. Free.)

Kristin Tillotson

Ragamala Party

Saturday: To celebrate its 23rd birthday, Ragamala Dance is partnering with the Cedar Cultural Center to bring DJ Rekha (born Rekha Malhotra), the “Ambassador of Bhangra,” as she was called by the New York Times, to Minneapolis. She’ll be heating up the dance floor with a night of fusion, mixing electronica with sounds of the Punjab (rooted in culture from northwestern India and northeastern Pakistan). Born in London, Malhotra is based in New York, where she produces a weekly radio show and runs her own label, in addition to giving lectures and teaching workshops on hip-hop, politics and South Asian arts. Ragamala’s Ashwini Ramaswamy says that both DJ Rekha and the dance troupe explore cultural roots with the experience of being Indian American. (8 p.m. Sat.; Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. $18-$20. 612-338-2674,

Sheila regan