Polka Heartland

Polka—the style of dance music that originated in central Europe—has a best friend in Wisconsin, which adopted it as the official state dance. Throw in some mugs of beer, squeeze boxes, and the ‘Beer Barrel Polka,’ and it’s all eye-rolling kitsch. Filmmaker/photographer Dick Blau went beyond the stereotypes to nab the joie de vivre in ‘Polka Heartland,’ an exhibit of 30 incandescent photos that ran in early 2015 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

Ann Christenson, Milwaukee Magazine