DO THE WARLPIRI. Among Australia's aboriginal people, dances are divined in dreamtime, as revealed by the ancestral heroes who created these forms for the individual clans to hold in sacred trust. Some dances are epic stories which can take as long as two weeks to perform in their entirety.
Tonight's performance Dancers of the Dreaming will include music and dance from the Warlpiri tribe of the Tanami Desert region. This troupe of 30 will perform "public-sacred" dances outdoors in the UA Fine Arts courtyard, southeast corner of Speedway and Park Avenue.
Pre-show performances from 6 to 7:45 p.m. will feature didjeridu "dream pipe" demonstrations, and American Indian dance. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, available at the Centennial Hall box office, Dillard's and TCC. Call 6213341 for information.
SHOOT THE MOON. No need to hope for a tornado or fall through a looking glass to experience the enchantment of Wonderland and Oz. Somewhere in between, the Valley of the Moon players merge Tugley Wood with the Yellow Brick Road to create a new adventure for children of all ages. Explore the Valley of the Moon today through Sunday, April 23, with shows every half-hour from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 7-12, with proceeds benefiting the ongoing restoration of this historic site. Admission is free for members and munchkins under 7. The Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road, is north of Prince Road and east of Tucson Boulevard. Call 323-1331 for information.
SCREEN SCENE. On March 22, 1895, France's Lumiere brothers projected the first film to a mystified private audience. One hundred years later, the impact of cinema as a medium for entertainment, education and even indoctrination continues to profoundly affect our lives. The 1995 Arizona International Film Festival opens at 8 tonight at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway, with "a gala evening reception" (complimentary buffet and beverages) and premiere screening of My Family, "an exploration of modern immigration and the multi-generational experience of a modern Mexican-American family," by Mexican filmmaker Gregory Nava (of El Norte fame). Actor Edwardo Lopez Rojas (Romero) will lead a post-screening discussion. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Single adult admission is $4, $2 for kids under 12, $3 for matinees and $5 for double features. Film and video screenings, independent production workshops and lectures focusing on historical and cultural criticism will continue through April 30 at The Screening Room, UA Gallagher Theater, Crossroads Festival and the Loft Cinema. Call 628-1737 or 622-2262 for event information; or stop by The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St., and pick up a complete schedule of events.
EUREKA! "Over half of those graduating with bachelor degrees in science and engineering in this country are foreign students. In Arizona especially, we have difficulty attracting women and minorities to these programs," says Flandrau Science Center's Michael Midkiff. To excite the minds of future scientists, this traveling show of hands-on science exhibits from Seattle's Pacific Science Center lands on the UA mall, north side of Hawthorne Street at Cherry Avenue, today through June 4. Presented by the Flandrau Science Center and Kitt Peak National Observatory, the carnival's goal is to raise public awareness of science during a time when American students are losing ground in the fields of science, engineering and mathematics. Says Midkiff, "the emphasis is on fun rather than education--to touch, feel, explore and discover." Check out the green bottled lightning, "anti-gravity" mirror, bicycle-wheel gyro, laser spirograph, whisper disher and air cannon, to name a few attractions under the big tent.
Admission is $3, $2 for kids 13 and under, with group rates available by calling 621-4515. Carnival hours are 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday.
WAILA GALA. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with the down-to-earth "chicken scratch" music at the Arizona Historical Society's Waila Festival. Grab a partner (not a problem with the nearly 5,000 people who annually attend) and dance in the streets from 5 to 11 p.m. in this Tohono O'odham cultural celebration. O'odham painters, traditional dressmakers, potters and basketmakers will display and sell their wares, as well as a variety of traditional foods like squash and cheese, popovers and tepary beans.
Button accordion and snare drum, twirling skirts and cowboy boots, and the smoky scent of roasted corn meld into the carnivalesque atmosphere of this free annual event. Parking is available, with the festival centered around Second Street between Tyndall and Park avenues. Call 628-5774 for information.
PIPE DREAMS. Bwiya-Toli takes its name from the Yaqui legend of the desert rat who brought music to all mankind. Practically a legend itself, the band has haunted Tucson community benefit stages since 1979. Today's six-member ensemble, the largest incarnation to date, debuts at 8 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tonight's concert has an Andean focus, featuring the rustic, indigenous sounds of quena and zampona (cane flute and panpipes), but will also include regional folk songs from Mexico and original compositions. We hear the impassioned "Tata Indi," a lyrical ballad accompanied solely by the harmony of panpipes, is not to be missed. Says band director Jacobo Ramirez, "We've put a lot of ourselves into this particular concert. Many of the band members have recently faced the loss of loved ones, and we've dedicated this concert to them."
Advance tickets are $8, available at Hear's Music, Bentley's, Antigone Books, Loco Records, Piney Hollow and Goodtime Music, or by calling 327-4809. Tickets will be $10 at the door. Students, TFTM and KXCI members receive a $1 discount off all tickets.
VIGIL AGAINST VIOLENCE. A violent crime is committed every 16 seconds in America, a fact attested to by the frightening increase in homicides reported in our own community this year. Tonight's 6 o'clock candlelight vigil for parents of murdered children and survivors of homicide victims attaches the human faces to those chilling statistics, and commemorates National Crime Victims Rights Week (April 23 through 29). Show support for the families and friends of those who have died by violence and learn about needed improvements as community leaders and survivors of domestic violence, rape and homicide victims address our tolerance to violent crimes. Join this united effort at Children's Memorial Park, 4851 N. 15th Place, at Rillito River Parkway. Call 740-5729 for information.
BOOGIE KNIGHTS. Apparently when disco died, they didn't bury it deep enough. This most unlikely of recyclable fads has resurfaced, and its resurrection is made complete every Monday night as the Boogie Knights take over the stage at the Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. This is simply one of the best live shows around (if you're not too proud to admit that "Boogie Oogie Oogie" is fun). Complete with Afro-doos, open-collared rayon duds, gold chains and bell-bottoms, the four-member band belts out '70s covers you'll remember even if you don't have any logical reason to. Lead singer "Calvin" has a high-voltage energy and comedic rapport that make it impossible for your feet to stand still. Expect a full house, and arrive early if you don't want to wait outside through the opening set.
Admission is $5 at the door and ID is required. Call 629-9211 for information.
BIRTHDAY BASH. Nestled northwest of Ina and Oracle roads, Tohono Chul ("Desert Corner") Park is one of those Tucson treasures residents can rediscover at their leisure. As the park celebrates its tenth birthday this week, it's an ideal time to reappraise the foresight of park benefactors Richard and Jean Wilson, who were steadfast in their decision to preserve the estate's natural resources rather than follow the trend to "improve" the property with a mall or apartment complex. In 1985 the park was formally dedicated as a not-for-profit park open to the public free of charge.
Get an overview of the park's 37 acres with a 10 a.m. "Walk in the Park" tour. Or transplant a piece of the park to your own home tonight at 7 p.m., as landscape designer Jeff Trent explains the principles of xeriscape and offers appropriate planting solutions. His lecture is $2 for non-members. Grounds are open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. Call 742-6455 for information.
NOVEL EXPERIENCE. The only thing better than a good story is a good story well told. Tonight at 8 p.m., hear two master storytellers read from their works in the Modern Languages Building auditorium on the UA campus. Jewell Parker Rhodes will read from her award winning novel, Voodoo Dreams:
Damballah has stayed with me...When I fall asleep now, I can see him waiting in my dreams, surrounded by hyacinths and roses. I have no idea whether I'll go to Heaven or Guinea...Life is a spiral....
The generations are overlapping. Women hand sight down through the generations.
One generation will get it right.
Equally captivating is the poetry of Jim Simmerman in his new book Moon Go Away, I Don't Love You No More, with morsels like this from "Vesperal":
Though the thought of it flares/ like a candle touched to the brittle parchment of night,
you do not kneel down, nor look away;/ and you hold your tongue, for now, spoon-tight.
Readings are free and open to the public. Call 321-7760 for information.
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