Asia Society Texas Center: First Look Festival

The wait is over. After years of anticipation, the Asia Society’s Texas Center opens its elaborate new doors to the Houston community with a First Look Festival. To celebrate the inauguration of the 2.3-acre building site, the center will host a weekend of Asian-themed dance performances, art exhibitions, acrobatics, storytelling and music, along with tours of the 39,000-square-foot architectural masterpiece.

The Texas Center’s block-size Festival Lawn will host the first U.S. performance of Osaka-based Hikeshi Naniwa Tobi, a 14-member troupe that demonstrates traditional firefighting techniques, performing acrobatics atop a 22-foot-tall bamboo ladder. Other highlights include a concert by The Mountain Music Project, featuring Nepalese folk musicians and Appalachian bluegrass performers, an excerpt of The Clever Wife from Houston Grand Opera to Go, and a popular Chinese folktale and Indian classical dance by Shipra Mehrotra.

Art lovers will not want to miss “Treasures of Asian Art: A Rockefeller Legacy,” a 60-masterpiece exhibition traveling from the Asia Society Museum in New York. And artist Lee Ufan’s Relatum — signal, a site-specific work commissioned for the center’s Allen Sculpture Garden, will be unveiled.

Children are more than welcome, and the Center’s Activity Zone will keep them entertained with Taiwanese kites, Vietnamese calligraphy, face painting and dragon puppets. There will be plenty of Asian-themed snacks on hand from the center’s Stone Café, as well as a variety of food trucks. Noon to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow. 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit www.asiasociety.org/texas. Free.
April 14-15, 12-6 p.m., 2012

 
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