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Deepwinter Bonfire Brings Dozens of Musicians, DJs, and Break Dance Crews Together for Improvised Show at McNally Smith and History Theatre

Coloring Time

In the dead of winter on January 28, 2012, a diverse group of dynamic, progressive musicians and other artists from around the Twin Cities will gather at Deepwinter Bonfire, held at McNally Smith College of Music and the History Theatre. Headlining the show is Coloring Time, a group with a flexible line-up that includes:

  • Peter Pisano (Peter Wolf Crier)
  • No Bird Sing
  • Chastity Brown
  • Aby Wolf
  • Kristoff Krane
  • Casey O’Brien (Face Candy)
  • John Keston
  • Michelle Kinney (Jelloslave, Mississippi Peace) and others.

The night will also feature Galactic Soul Arkestra, founded by Toki Wright, Mayda, Mally, Luis Ortega and others. Improvestra, a new McNally Smith-based multi-generational and conducted-improvisation orchestra, will perform again for the first time since its fall debut. The atrium space of the theater will also be the setting for performances by VJ/video artist Oliver Grudem, dancers from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and the expert break dance crew, The Twin Cities B-Boy Dance Collective.

Deepwinter Bonfire will be held at the McNally Smith College of Music and the History Theatre (19 East Exchange Street East, St. Paul, MN, 55101 and Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with Improvestra performing at 6:00, Galactic Soul Arkestra at 8, and Coloring Time (with special guests) at 9. Dancers, DJs, and VJs will perform throughout in the McNally Smith atrium, with food and drinks available. Admission is free with a student ID, and $5 for the public.

“Collaborative improvisation is an incredibly important art form for this day and age,” says Chris Cunningham, Director of Creative Partnerships at McNally Smith and artistic director of Improvestra. “It goes against the way we interact with media today — digitally and alone. The spirit of Deepwinter Bonfire is one of being in the moment, connecting with others on an artistic level, and creating improvised music, words, video, songs, and dance, together in that moment.”

All three featured groups are less than a year old, but have strong histories of promoting collaborative improvisation as an art form. “We look forward to the unknowable aspects of these shows,” adds Joe Horton, a founding member of Coloring Time. “The audience, just by being there, is as much a performer as the musicians. Each show is unique not only by our improvisation, but by the audience’s presence and involvement — that’s often the most powerful part of the show.”