The Tokyo-based dance troupe Pappa Tarahumara takes on the Chekhov classic, “Three Sisters” Jan. 31 – Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. at On The Boards. Contemporary twists include a meditation on female identity, coming of age and obsession with youth culture. University of Washington professor and author Sasha Su-Ling Welland will give a free pre-show talk on Jan. 31 at 6:45 p.m. in the Mainstage Lobby – 100 Roy St., (206) 217-9888.
“Shanghai Circus: Incredible! Acrobats of China” make a one-night-only appearance on Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell. The only group of its kind to have played on Broadway, don’t miss these incredible acrobats, jugglers and contortionists who come from more than 2,000 years of Chinese circus traditions. This performance is sold out. At press time, they were looking into the possibility of adding a matinee show. Call or log on to get the latest update: 800-992-TIXX, www.npacf.org.
Portland Taiko has been making a name for itself as one of the more interesting performing groups on the West Coast, known for innovative compositions and instrumentation. Recently, they have been working with Seattle composer/performer Byron Au Yong. They make a rare Puget Sound performance at the Village Theatre in Everett on Feb. 4 – 27 — 10 Wetmore Ave., (425) 257-8600.
Tyva Kyzy (Daughters of Tuva) is a remarkable all-women ensemble that performs the seven styles of Tuvan throat singing, a multiple-tone technique admired for its eerie beauty. Coming from Tuva in the area of Mongolia, their music and singing bring the tradition of a nomadic people to the stage. They make two rare appearances in the area. Jan. 27 at 8 p.m., they play Meany Hall on the UW campus as part of the UW World Series. There will be a free pre-show talk at 7:15 p.m. in the Meany Hall west lobby. There will also be a free public forum on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. For tickets, call (206) 543-4880 or log on to uwworldseries.org Tyva Kyzy makes another appearance at the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center at 200 Madison Ave. N. on Bainbridge Island on Jan. 28. ( 206) 842-8569.
Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) presents a “Long Take On Mizoguchi” – Jan. 26 – Feb. 1, an overdue retrospective look at the career of one of Japan’s greatest directors in film, Kenji Mizoguchi. Even the great director Akira Kurosawa said upon his death, “Japanese film lost its truest creator.” It may seem odd, but I would strongly recommend the films of Mizoguchi as required viewing to all artists. His way of framing a shot and painterly way with the camera can take one’s breath away. It’s no surprise then to find out the director, in his youth, studied oil painting. But the work goes beyond mere visual beauty to plumb the depths of the human soul in his depiction and empathy with human imperfection. The series opens with “Ugetsu” Jan. 26 – Feb. 1,“Sansho The Bailiff” right behind it Jan. 29 – 30, “The Life Of Oharu” Feb. 5 – 6, “Utamaro And His Five Women” Feb. 12 – 13.
There really isn’t much in the way of intelligent programming for kids when it comes to short films, so the folks at Northwest Film Forum should also be applauded for presenting “Cinema K – Children’s Film Festival” from Jan. 27 – Feb. 4. This series of short films will be packaged into various programs. Some things to look out for: David Chai’s “Fumi And The Bad Luck Foot,” Cha-Pawl’s “Lon Po Po,” local filmmaker .J. Chiro’s “Little Red Riding Hood” (also in the NW Asian Am. Film
Festival), and Christina Hoglund’s “The Zhang Empresses” which tells the tale of four young girls in Sweden adopted as babies who journey back to China to see the orphanage where they began their lives. NWFF is at 1515 12th Ave., (800) 838-3006 or nwfilmforum.org.
SAM Gallery has two new shows. First up is “Here And Now,” a group show that focuses on the recent work of eight Seattle artists. Of special interest is the inclusion of Elizabeth Jameson and Junko Yamamoto. Jameson, one of the founding members of the all-girl band known as the Buttersprites, is also an accomplished artist who had a one-person show at the UW’s Henry Gallery. Besides her work in the show, she will also create a site-specific installation titled “Thin Red Line” for the gallery’s University Street installation space. Junko Yamamoto is a Cornish graduate whose work has grown with every show. She remains one of the best of a younger group of abstract artists working in this city whose work deserves wider recognition. On view till Feb. 10. The gallery’s series, “In Focus – Seattle Galleries at SAM Gallery” features a group show of artists from the collective, SOIL. Included in this show which runs from Feb. 1 – 28 is the work of Etsuko Ichikawa, Saya Moriyasu and Yuki Nakamura – 1220 Third Ave., (206) 434-1101.
The work of Boyd Sugiki is included in a Pilchuck Glass Exhibition through Jan. 28 at William Traver Gallery in Seattle, 110 Union St. #200, www.travergallery.com.
The work of Timea Tihanyi is included in a four-person show at Davidson Contemporary in the Tashiro/Kaplan Building through Jan. 27, (206) 624-7684.
“Modern Cave Paintings” is a show of Jason Matsune’s prints of landscapes printed on canvas. Through Jan. 27. Gallery 110 at 110 S. Washington, (206) 624-9336.
“Disturbia” features new installation works and take-home art by Amy Lin all dealing with this theme. On view through Feb. 3. Shift Studio at 306 S. Washington, #105 in the Tashio Kaplan Bldg., [email protected].
“Home: Where We Came From, Where We’re Going” incorporates the stories of Katrina survivors with art and photographs of post-Katrina New Orleans created by the survivors and artist/curator Emilia Muller-Ginorio. Through Jan. 25. M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery, Seattle Central Community College, (206) 344-4379. www.seattlecentral.edu/artgallery.
As part of the Free First Saturdays program for family activities, Feb. 3 the Seattle Asian Art Museum presents “Dance With The Lions,” a chance to celebrate Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of The Boar. Christina Kwong will teach traditional Chinese art techniques and there will be a Chinese Lion Dance with Mak Fai – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. In the Alvord Board Room and Fuller Garden Court, 1400 E. Prospect, (206) 654-3100.
The Burke Museum on the UW campus presents a pair of connected shows together. “Vanished Kingdoms: The Wulsin Photos of China, Tibet, & Mongolia, 1921 – 25” presents rare images of that part of Asia along with “Sacred Portraits – Eleven Tibetan Thangkas” (large painted portraits on cloth from the Museum’s own collection). Both shows on view until Feb. 4. “Explorers And Scientists in China’s Borderlands, 1880 – 1950” is a special weekend symposium on the subject with lectures, films & exhibits, Jan. 19 – 21. Don’t miss the Marshall Islands Cultural Celebration on Jan. 27 from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Museum. Come celebrate the native arts of the Marshall Islands with weaving demonstrations, performances, handicraft sales and a talk by President Note. N.E. 45th & 17th N.E., (206) 543-5590.
Zen Priest Richard Kirsten Daiensai and Calligrapher Chiyo Sanada show their work at Two Vaults Gallery through January – 602 S. Fawcett in Tacoma, (253) 759-6233.
Thai American poet Pimone Triplett journeys from the University of Oregon to read from her poetry on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Also reading is Andrew Feld. Seattle-raised writer and poet Paisley Rekdal will read from a new volume of poetry on the University of Pittsburgh Press on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. For lovers of poetry, these readings shouldn’t be missed. At Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 2414 N. 45th in Wallingford, (206) 633-0811 or [email protected].
James Yee, the U.S. Army chaplain who was charged with espionage, reads from his memoir, “For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire” (Public Affairs) on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at Bellevue Regional Library. Presented by Bellevue Friends of The Library and Bellevue Reads, 1111 110th Ave. N.E. in Bellevue, (425) 450-1765.
UW professor and author Sasha Su-Ling Welland reads from “A Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Sisters” (Rowan & Littlefield) on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Welland tells the stories of two modern women growing up in China at the turn of the century. One went on to study medicine in the United States and the other became a well-known writer in China. Welland is the granddaughter of the sister who came to the States. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way N.E., (206) 634-3400.
Elliot Bay Book Company has the following readings in their on-going series: ReAct Theatre will perform plays from “365 Days/365 Plays,” the ambitious theatre project by Suzan-Lori Parks from Jan. 15 – 21 daily (www.365seattle.com). Isabel Stirling reads from “Zen Pioneer: The Life And Works of Ruth Fuller Sasaki” (Shoemaker & Hoard) on Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Sasaki helped bring the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the West. Sigrid Nunez reads from “The Last of Her Kind” (new in paper, Picador) on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. This fascinating book tells the story of the relationship of two women from different backgrounds who meet again years later when one of them is convicted of murder. Ellis Avery, a contributor to our own Pacific Reader, makes her fiction debut with “The Teahouse Fire” (Riverhead), an intriguing story that looks at the tea ceremony and the early exchanges between East and West. She reads Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. All readings at Elliott Bay Book Co. in Pioneer Square, 101 S. Main, (206) 624-6600.
Film & Video
“China Blue” by Micha Peled is a documentary that takes us behind the scenes of our global economy and looks at workers in a factory that produces jeans for the world. Shot clandestinely, the film presents a moving portrait of the daily lives of anonymous young workers who make our clothes. Jan. 26 – Feb. 1. Grand Illusion Cinema, 1403 N.E. 50th, (206) 523-3935.
“Magic Lantern” is a series of screenings and talks curated and hosted by film critic Robert Horton that uses the Frye Art Museum’s exhibitions and collections as the impetus for discussions of film-related topics. On Jan. 27 at 2 p.m., Horton takes on “Masters of Sound in Cinema: Kurosawa and Bresson” as it relates to the current installation, “Klompen” by Trimpin – 704 Terry, (206) 622-9250 or www.fryemuseum.org.