Modern dance is like haute couture: Even if you don't really get it, it's cool to look at. And if Suchu Dance's Roseburn, premiering this weekend at the Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, is brain food for the dance set, then it's definitely eye candy for the rest of us. The group's last show, Leisure Studies, featured minimal costumes and set. But Roseburn is lavish, patterned and heavily embellished. Leisure Studies was set entirely to electronic music, while Roseburn grooves to an assortment of rich classical pieces from the likes of Bach and Ravel. Likewise, the movements -- and the emotions -- of Roseburn's 13 dancers are intricate and heavy as they engage in a fictitious competition to achieve "The Perfect Movement."
Don't get what any of this means? Then memorize these phrases, courtesy of Roseburn creator Jennifer Wood, and whisper them to your date: The show's a "cacophony of pattern on pattern," and it transports you to a "vague, unascertainable place in the past" while retaining a "modern contemporary edge." Then thank the Houston Press for getting you laid. Opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 4, and runs through November 13. 2201 Preston. For a full schedule, call 713-529-1819 or visit www.suchudance.org. $10 to 16. -- Julia Ramey
Like Mozart, the Latvian-born Gidon Kremer began studying music at the age of four and was winning international competitions before he was 20. And while Kremer doesn't have an award-winning musical named after him, he, unlike Mozart, has managed to avoid an early, drug-induced and unceremonious demise. A prolific recording artist with more than 100 releases to his name, he enjoys a reputation as one of the most consistent -- and consistently adventurous -- violinists on the international scene. Admired for his bold arrangements and idiosyncratic choices, Kremer brings his youthful Eastern European chamber orchestra, the Kremerata Baltica, to the Cullen Theater this week to perform works by Shostakovich and Schubert. Watch for a new piece, written specifically for Kremer by Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov, titled "Like the Old Organ Grinder." 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 9. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-524-5050 or visit www.dacamera.com. $21 to $36.50. -- Scott Faingold
Hell of a Time
What happens when you combine punk music, the 1980s and a German scientist-philosopher standing trial in hell with Satan as judge and the Marquis de Sade as lead prosecutor? It's either an acid trip gone awry or the latest edgy, theatrical creation from Theatre Illuminata: Wilhelm Reich in Hell. Among others, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan and George Orwell's Anti-Sex League pop in to examine the horror of mankind's plight. The show is being billed as a hybrid musical of original and recorded tunes as well as an '80s throwback. Got that? 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through November 13. Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, 2315 Commerce. For information, call 832-216-3916 or visit www.theatreilluminata.org. $8 to $10. -- Abigail Heller
Ivan the Hysterical
It's almost like a dare: Come up with something, anything, and Todd Boring, Luis Gonzales and MacArthur Antigua -- the performers of the comedy troupe Ivan -- will improvise monologues and scenes based on your simple suggestion. It's all part of the Really Big Show, a biweekly improv showcase at Helios. Can these guys hang with the devious minds of a cocktail-doused audience? Find out at 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 10. 411 Westheimer. For information, call 713-614-3405. $5. -- Steven Devadanam