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Artsminded: Cold winds blowing in spring

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columns River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Even though it's still below zero and ice formations decorate our windows daily, it seems more likely each day that spring is on its way.

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With the melting of winter comes St. Patrick's Day with its green radiance, leprechauns in little felted green hats with curled up toes and dances that bring us back to life.

The Irish embrace their jigs, reels, horn pipe and set dances with near religious zeal. If you have seen them, young and old alike, in vivid costume performing intricate synchronized line dances you're probably zealous too.

You may be inspired to join them, put your world weary body on the line, and let those rhythms and melodies course through your veins and muscles.

Dance is among the most exciting of the arts. To remain curled up and hunched over for any length of time is anathema to dance form.

Even for the spectator it holds the power to awaken the hibernating spirit. Fortunately the dance opportunities we need are here, or soon coming this way. March 13-16 brings the much anticipated annual UWRF dance theatre concerts. They are diverse and include contemporary, international, ethnic and new interactive technology, created and performed by students and faculty.

On March 16 the River Falls Community Barn Dance at the Renaissance Academy offers an evening of dancing (with instruction) to the music of The Grit Pickers.

On Sunday, March 17, River Falls plans for another fun filled party on Main St. that includes bed racing, live music and plenty of wild costumes, dazzling hair and delicious potato soup.

For Irish dance it may be necessary to draw a wider circle of locations, especially in St. Paul. Wherever, however, there'll be plenty of kicking up of heels, hopefully yours included.

The UWRF dance team came out kicking and placed first at the WOW Factor National Competition Feb. 9 in Minneapolis. Hurray!

Other events:

--Continuing through March 6, UWRF: Glass Legacies at Gallery 101, Kleinpell Fine Arts Center (KFA).

--Continuing through March 17, The Phipps Center for the Arts Main Galleries Exhibition. For upcoming dance performances and other offerings visit The Phipps.

--Thursdays, Feb. 28 and March 7, Wednesday, March 6, Fridays and Saturdays, March 1,2,8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., UWRF University Theatre presents Twilight of the Golds at the Syse Theatre, KFA. Adults $10, seniors $8, students $5. Call 715-425-3114 for more information.

--The following free UWRF concerts, at Abbott Concert Hall, KFA unless noted:

Sunday, March 3, 3 p.m.: St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra at Hastings, Minn. High School.

Friday, March 8, 10:30 a.m. and noon, Young Persons' Concert and at 7:30 p.m., St Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra Outreach Concert.

Tuesday, March 12, 7:30 p.m., Faculty Recital features clarinetist, Patrick O'Keefe.

Thursday, March 14, 7:30 p.m., Band Concert.

Monday, March 18, 7:30 p.m., St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra. Tickets at door.

Thursday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., Commissioned Composer Concert.

--Friday, March 8, 4-8 p.m., Opening reception at Gallery 120, 120 N. Main: High School Art Exhibition with food provided by high school culinary arts students.

--Tuesday, March 12, 5-7 p.m., Fourth annual Bowls For Hope to benefit Pierce and St. Croix counties' Free Clinic, at UWRF University Center Riverview Ballroom. Adult admission $20, children 12 and under $5, includes a soup supper provided by local restaurants, live music and loads of handmade pottery from which every attendee may choose a piece to take home. For more information visit Bowls For Hope

--Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m., UWRF Wyman Series presents "How Do We Define American?" with Speaker Jose Vargas at the University Center Riverview Ballroom

--Wednesday through Saturday, March 13-16, 7:30 p.m., UWRF Annual Dance Theatre Concert at Blanche Davis Theatre, KFA. Call 715-425-3114 for tickets.

--Saturday, March 16, 7 p.m., Community Barn Dance with the Grit Pickers at Renaissance Academy. Adults $5, children 12 and under $2.50. Visit RFC for more information.

--Call for quilts by March 11 for River Falls Public Library Exhibit, Main and Union. Call 715-425-0905 for more information. Volunteers needed for set-up.

--Application deadline: Franconia Sculpture Park, Iron Artist and Iron Intern: March 30. Email johnhock@franconia.org for more information.

Call for artists:

--CAB's 18th annual Art on the Kinni, juried art fair, September 7. Application deadline moved to April 30. Visit RFC for more information.

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