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Pond Hockey, Snow Sculpting, Figure Skating: This Week’s Best Events

Subzero temps hit just in time for these iconic winter events.

11:40 AM CST on January 15, 2024

World Snow Sculpting Championship

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond. 

WEDNESDAY 1.17

The Barbarians

Trylon Cinema

In the wake of 1982’s Conan the Barbarian, filmmakers began casting bodybuilders in their movies in hopes of discovering the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. And with that in mind we get The Barbarians, a 1987 fantasy flick that boldly asks the question: “What if there were two Conans?” What you get are beefy identical twins David and Peter Paul, who are just having a good time and are happy to be in a movie. Here they play Kutchek and Gore, two cheerful arena fighters who escape their slave master and set out on a quest to free Canary, the leader of a peaceful artists’ tribe, from the grips of evil tyrant Kadar (a scenery chewing Richard Lynch). Get ready for 90 minutes of nearly naked dudes, Amazonian women rocking '80s aerobics wear, and an unfortunate twin-on-twin kiss you can never unsee. $10. 7 p.m. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster 

World Snow Sculpting Championship

Downtown Stillwater

No snow? No problem—the World Snow Sculpting Championship is makin’ their own, and bringing teams from around the world to compete at the Lowell Park Gazebo. The fun officially kicks off on Wednesday morning (after two days of “snow stomping” by event sponsors and teams), when host Dave Dahl will introduce the event, sculptors will pick up their tools and start working, and you… well, you’re invited to the Water Street Inn’s Bloody Mary bar. That evening, there’s a formal event to introduce the teams, and they’ll sculpt through Saturday, when a winner will be announced at the “world’s coolest block party.” In between, you can watch the sculptors at work, and there’s an indoor market at Water Street and a hospitality tent with food and spirits. Find the full event rundown here. Free. 201 Water St. N., Stillwater. Through Sunday—Em Cassel

U.S. Pond hockey Championships

THURSDAY 1.18

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

Lake Nokomis

We got a late start on winter this year, but the latest updates from the Pond Hockey crew confirm that we went subzero just in time to keep things on schedule. So once again, the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships take place in the dead of winter on a frozen lake, with teams battling it out for the right to put their name on the Golden Shovel. This ain’t no rinky-dink tourney: Folks from all over the U.S. and Canada flock here for 10 days of team games in a variety of divisions. There’s a division for folks over 50, one for players who are newish to ice hockey, and one for seasoned athletes dealing with injuries. Folks are welcome to watch games, with areas for open skating, a warming tent, and a beer garden keeping the party going between matches. For complete game schedules and more info, visit uspondhockey.com. Free. 5001 Lake Nokomis Parkway W., Minneapolis. January 18-28—Jessica Armbruster

Tetsuya Yamada: Listening

Walker Art Center

This winter, as performers from around the world head to the Walker for its annual Out There Series, the galleries will be staying local, showcasing the work of ceramicist Tetsuya Yamada. For this survey, the Japan-born, Minnesota-residing U of M prof will share over 65 pieces, including drawings, notes, and many, many everyday examples of ceramics—plates, vases, coffee mugs, and more. The title of the exhibition, “Listening,” refers to the instinctual choices an artist makes along the way to creating something. “The process might take me to places I didn’t imagine initially,” he explains. “This is the fundamental of studio practice for me.” There will be an opening reception this Thursday, January 18, with free admission from 5 to 9 p.m. and an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. (Stop by the Main Lobby Desk for tickets.) ​​725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through July 7—Jessica Armbruster

Tetsuya YamadaWalker Art Center

FRIDAY 1.19

Vijay Iyer Trio

Dakota

Vijay Iyer is the kind of 21st century improvised music performer you can’t sum up in a blurb. His corpus demands something more formal—a CV, or a testimonial, something like that. I’m not teasing—Iyer is one of the finest examples of the new breed of musician, equally at home in the academy or the club, committed to an overarching vision that hews to no particular style. He’s done the trad thing, he’s done the jazz with electronics thing, he’s done all manner of unclassifiable in-between things. Most recently, Iyer, Arooj Aftab, and Shahzad Ismaily recorded Love in Exile, which made ripples outside of the typical jazz/improv circles; the three musicians played a sold-out show at the Cedar in October. For tonight’s performance, which was originally scheduled for November 2022, he’s performing with bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Jeremy Dutton. $30-$40. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Brownbody on ice.Thai Phan-Quang

SATURDAY 1.20

Springboard on Ice

Springboard for the Arts

While many event organizers are waiting for the lakes to freeze, Springboard’s mini ice rink provides a sure thing. This winter, the St. Paul arts org will host a variety of events that are completely free and open to the public. Brownbody, a local performance group that showcases Black ice artists, will perform at each event, followed by free ice skating lessons and open skate times. Sign the safety waiver online, bring your skates, or rent a pair for, you guessed it, free. This Saturday, Flava Cafe will be stopping by with free hot treats, and Brownbody will host a film screening and panel talk next week at 5 p.m., January 27. 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, January 20-27, plus Sunday, February 4. 262 University Ave. W., St. Paul. Through February 4—Jessica Armbruster

Travis Scott

Xcel Energy Center

"What if a guy with no real personality desperately wanted to be Kanye West?" is Travis Scott’s one and only bit, but it’s a surprisingly entertaining one. Scott released his latest epic punchline to that setup, UTOPIA, last year, a typically overstuffed affair with a truly impressive guest list (Drake of course, but also Beyoncé) and no real identity at its core, unless somehow you catch a glimpse into Travis’s soul from lines like “I like a bi girl on a bi-cycle.” And it’s sadly unsurprising that his music doesn’t address last year’s Astroland Festival disaster, where 10 died and many more were injured. But as sensory amusement parks go, UTOPIA is, well, amusing. Since its release, Scott has kept staying active, showing up with some high-profile Playboi Carti productions. Opening is Teezo Touchdown, who makes a few emo noises on UTOPIA. $44.50 and up. 8 p.m. 199 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Midwinter Celebration

Franconia Sculpture Park

Folks, we love Franconia Sculpture Park, don’t we? And each year, to keep the 50-acre artistic wonderland fiscally hummin’, organizers throw an old-fashioned Scandinavian Yule celebration. That means: tarot reading, snacks, NA beverages, live tunes from instrumental surf-rock trio the Swongos, bonfires, and lantern-lit sculpture walks. We don’t know a ton about this event, considering it debuted just last year, but here’s hoping the delightful horse-man creature depicted in promotional materials a) exists; b) makes some sort of appearance. $40 donation. 4-7 p.m. 29836 St. Croix Trail N., Shafer; find more info here.—Jay Boller

SUNDAY 1.21

Jazz Matinee Series

Cloudland 

What’s more punk rock than turning a punk club into an afternoon jazz hangout? (Literally speaking, keeping it a punk club and playing punk music inside… but you get our point.) Newish venue Cloudland is already taking some fun, freewheelin’ artistic swings, like movie screenings (catch a doc on Minnesota hardcore this Tuesday) and the aforementioned jazz hangs. Appearing this Sunday inside the 150-capacity room: A set from local jazz dudes Steve Kenny and Jake Baldwin, followed by a second set by local power trio '58 Belvedere. And another thing! Given this website’s firm editorial stance on concerts running far too late, it’s important to support the terrific idea of musical entertainment taking place during non-witching hours. $15. 2 p.m. 3533 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

L-R: Amelia Biewald, 'Cumulonimbus I (Anvil)'; Daniel Buettner, 'I’ve Been Cutting My Teenagers Hair For Seven Months'

ONGOING

Winter Warmup

U.S. Bank Stadium 

Back in 2020, we made a pretty convincing—though logistically slight—case for bringing back the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The need has never been greater. Consider this column from reliably great Strib columnist Jennifer Brooks. In it, she waxes nostalgic for the era of the Rollerdome, when Twin Cities families could zip around the Dome’s ol’ concrete concourses on the cheap. A true hoot! Then, Brooks revealed the pricing for U.S. Bank Stadium’s so-called Winter Warm-Up skating/running hours—$15 fuckin’ dollars after fees! Through Ticketmaster! At the risk of editorializing, what absolute money-grubbing, deranged horseshit. Brooks notes that state and Minneapolis taxpayers collectively coughed up about half the cost to build the (already crumbling) $1 billion shrine to concussions and dead birds, which is still, somehow, laughably billed as “The People’s Stadium” by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Minnesota’s all-time greatest photo proves more prophetic by the year. In any case, scooting around the stadium might be fun if you can afford it. $15. 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through January 25—Jay Boller

Double Deuce

Rosalux Gallery

When Rosalux hosted its first group show in 2002, it wasn’t planning on it becoming “a thing.” But now, 22 years later, it’s still going strong as an annual event. According to the invite, the south Minneapolis gallery has survived a lot of unexpected stuff over the years, including a meth lab explosion, multiple recessions, a global pandemic, and a driver-free car ramming into the back door. Dang! For “Double Deuce,” the enduring space will showcase its 18 members, with new pieces from Terrence Payne, Areca Roe, Laura Stack, Ute Bertog, Dan Buettner, Hend Al-Mansour, and many others. Check it out this weekend at the opening reception this Saturday, January 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. or during open hours Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. 315 W. 48th St., Minneapolis. Through January 28—Jessica Armbruster

The Fifteenth Film Noir Series: Neo-Noir

Trylon & The Heights

Noir is a pretty expansive genre to begin with, and neo-noir can be even more capacious. The 18 films that make the Trylon’s 15th annual noir festival seem chosen to highlight this genre’s elasticity. The series began last night with William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., which continues through Tuesday, and wraps up on February 29 (oh hey, 2024 is a leap year) with the unconventional Steve Martin musical Pennies From Heaven. The other selections stretch back to 1967 for the New Hollywood jumpstarter Bonnie and Clyde and Seijun Suzuki’s avant-yakuza flick Branded to Kill; the most recent film is Bi Gan’s slow cinema landmark Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Chinatown, maybe the most perfect neo-noir of ’em all, and the Coen Brothers’ Irish gangster flick, Miller’s Crossing, will show at the Heights. Don’t miss Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday (British gangsters are so grubby). Or Kathryn Bigelow’s sci-fi tale of police brutality, Strange Days. Or—dammit I knew I shouldn’t have started making recommendations, now it’s hard to stop. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; find times, dates, prices, and more info here. Through February 29—Keith Harris

Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s 

Walker Art Center

What does subversive art look like when the artist knows the government is watching? For a sampling of the creativity that arises under oppressive circumstances, take a cruise through “Multiple Realities,” an exhibition spanning two decades of work by artists from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The collection, not commonly seen in the U.S., includes underground club photography, found objects turned into statements, witty scribbles, and images from performances with heavy nods to queer life, ironic humor, political dissonance, and, perhaps most important here, interpretative deniability. The exhibition opens on Friday with a Walker After Hours Party, followed by a free opening-day talk with pop-up performances in the galleries on Saturday. For a complete schedule of related events, check online. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through March 10, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

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