Performances & Events

Join us this summer as we celebrate our 10th anniversary with 4 distinct evening performances and additional workshops, all open to the public!  Events are held in The Aerie Dance and Performance Studio at Tofte Lake Center, 2209 Fernberg Road, Ely, MN.  There is parking near the building.  All performances are at 7:00 PM.  A $10 donation is suggested. 

 Grant Cutler & Aby Wolf

Grant Cutler & Aby Wolf

saturday july 14

aby wolf, grant Cutler & The palace ensemble

Join us for an evening of new electro-acoustic works composed by Aby Wolf & Grant Cutler, and performed by Palace Ensemble, a cast of renowned musicians as comfortable in experimentation as virtuosity. Blurring the lines between ambient neo-minimalism, chamber music, and electro-R&B, Palace Ensemble delivers a gateway from near-silent meditation to full harmonic abundance, experienced as a union of sonic dreamstates and coursing, rhythmic waves of unbounded sound. Listen here.

Inspired by the imminent universal need to find footing in an unstable world, these new compositions explore uncertainty, on both a personal and global scale. Through a creative process based in improvisation, and the resulting atypical song structures, “Champagne Confetti” is a practice in embracing uncertainty. Palace Ensemble’s performance realizes the heart of the new work: choosing community to find belonging in the unknown. Banding together as artists and musicians, we prioritize solidarity and communion to generate positive change, uniting through artistic growth.  

 Shapiro & Smith Dance      photo: v paul virtucio

Shapiro & Smith Dance      photo: v paul virtucio

friday August 3

shapiro & smith dance

Enjoy an evening with Joni Smith and the Shapiro & Smith dancers as they share the work in progress from their week-long residency. Shapiro & Smith is celebrating 31 years in the Minneapolis dance scene. Learn more here.  

 Jacqueline Ultan                                          

Jacqueline Ultan                                          

Friday august 10

ottie the mink trio

Ottie the Mink is a Minneapolis-based trio featuring Tim O'Keefe, percussion/oud/duduk & more (Siama’s Congo World Quartet, Mirrorlands, Choro Borealis, Nirmala Rajaseker’s Maithree, Amwaaj) -

 Tim O'Keefe

Tim O'Keefe

Jacqueline Ultan, cello (Jelloslave, The Starfolk, Siama's Congo World Quartet) - 

and Laura Harada, violin (Amwaaj, Samba Meu, Michelle Kinney 6tet, Modern Spark Trio).

 Laura Harada

Laura Harada

The trio plays with the rhythms and sounds of Brazil and the Middle East, blending strings, percussion and winds in their take on traditional tunes and their own original compositions.

Featuring acoustic instruments, the trio explores sonic territory inspired by the north woods, organically developing improvisations into adventurous explorations of sound. 

stuart pimsler dance & theater

...offering Yoga Classes, an Intergenerational Workshop and a Performance of MATINEE all in one week!


yoga: August 13-17 Monday-friday 9:00-10:00 AM

Join SPDT'S Artistic Co-Director Suzanne Costello as she leads us in one-hour classes combining movement from a dance/theater lens with yoga. Classes are open to all levels.

Workshop: August 15 wednesday 5:30-7:00 PM 

SPDT will present an intergenerational movement/theater workshop open to ages from teens to seniors. Participants will be introduced to a warm-up that blends relaxation, yoga, stretching, gestural expression, and more in a supportive atmosphere that requires no previous training.

performance: August 17 friday 7:00 PM

SPDT's Artistic Co-Directors Suzanne Costello & Stuart Pimsler will present excerpts from one of their newest works, MATINEE, which was originally developed at Tofte Lake Center in 2016, and has toured nationally and throughout the state of Minnesota since then.

MATINEE is a dance/theater/film adaptation of American avant-garde novelist Robert Coover’s New Yorker short story, created and co-directed by Artistic Co-Directors Stuart Pimsler and Suzanne Costello in collaboration with filmmaker Andrew Welken.

MATINEE revives the thrilling days of yesteryear when cinema was for millions the chief purveyor of dreams and escapism."- Linda Shapiro, City Pages

“A sumptuous multidisciplinary collaboration” and“a multimedia export that Pimsler can be proud of.” - Rebecca Ritzel, Star Tribune

SPDT’s performance work has garnered national and international critical acclaim for over 35 years. Following the performance, Tofte Lake Center Director Liz Engelman will facilitate SPDT’s signature Talk Piece, an audience-performer conversation.

More information about SPDT here.