Only have a week to put together an evening-length performance?
That's no problem if you happen to be Laurie Van Wieren, who magically pulled off that scenario this weekend at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis, bringing in six dance artists besides herself to create a show.
"Seven," referring to the seven dance collaborators, was high on concept and low on technical precision.
There's no need to worry about elaborate sets and costumes when you've got a group of artists brimming with ideas.
A piece conceived by Anat Shinar, called "The Ballet," summed up the style of the evening.
In the piece, Charles Campbell, a middle-aged man, performed a series of ballet sequences, earnestly but without the form that comes with studying ballet for a lifetime. His attempt was accompanied by Shinar critiquing him and coaching him to do it better.
The piece provided a treatise of sorts for the whole evening: a cheeky rejection of virtuosity as the end-goal of dance.
Deborah Jinza Thayer's work framed the evening, appearing in the beginning, middle and end of the show. Titled "Wall #2," "Wall #1" and "Wall #3," in that order, Jinza Thayer's work featured herself and Pramila Vasudevan grappling with the idea of a giant wall (surely referencing the one our president promises to build).
In the first piece, the two performers, dressed in red and white, respectively, stood at either side of the proscenium arch and walked, with achingly slow tempo, toward each other.
In the second "Wall" piece, Jinza Thayer and Vasudevan slithered their backs against the proscenium wall as if they were trapped and slowly sank down onto the ground as the pop group Human Nature serenaded them.
In "Wall #3," the side wall set them in convulsions.
Each of the wall pieces was paired with a second section created by a different creator than Jinza Thayer. Megan Mayer, Campbell and Vasudevan all offered visually gripping additions to the wall theme, fueled by an undercurrent of rage around current political events.
Holo Lue Choy's solo piece, which she created and performed, provided the most stunning moments.
Investigating gender and sexuality in a piece coated with layers of memory and trauma, Lue Choy shined as a spellbinding dancer and choreographer.
With anger and revolutionary spirit coursing through the mishmash of dances, "Seven" embraced impulse and creativity as something to be cherished, sometimes even beyond technique or precision.
Sheila Regan is a Minneapolis arts writer.