Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Dominic Walsh's New Film, The Walking Dead Escape Tour and More
Choreographer Dominic Walsh (far right) oversees the filming of a scene in Malta Kano, TX
Houston choreographer Dominic Walsh, a 2011 Houston Press 100 Creatives, makes his first foray into dance for film with Malta Kano, TX, which receives its premiere screening on Friday at the Asia Society Texas Center. Welsh, who co-conceived the project with frequent collaborator Belgian artist Frédérique de Montblanche, couldn't completely make the break from having a live audience for the project. The screening at Asia Society Texas Center is followed by a live performance by Sakal and Luciano that will be filmed and added to the final version of the project.
The narrative film reunites Japanese ballerina Hana Sakal and Italian dancer Domenico Luciano, last seen together in Walsh's 2012's Uzume.
French director of photography Romain Ferrand and Belgian composer Loup Mormont also collaborated on the project. ("I'm the token American in the bunch," Walsh jokes.) The storyline was inspired by the novel The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami and follows a man who is in transition.
See the premiere of Malta Kano, TX at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/Texas. $25.
Grammy Award winner trumpeter Chris Botti
Photo by LeAnn Mueller
Grammy Award winning trumpeter Chris Botti was 12 years old when he first heard Miles Davis play "My Funny Valentine." The experience made an impression on the young Botti, and was the catalyst for a life-long exploration of melody that has become a driving force in Botti's musical career. On Friday, the Houston Symphony, led by conductor Stuart Chafetz, join the Grammy Award winner in An Evening with Chris Botti. Along with the orchestra, Botti will perform selections from his chart-topping jazz albums, including his latest release, Impressions.
See An Evening with Chris Botti at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $40 to $135.
The Walking Dead Escape Tour
The popular television show The Walking Dead depicts how brutal life would become in the event that zombies rose up to devour the living. It's fun to watch, but apparently just watching isn't enough. Some Walking Dead followers want to test their ability to survive in similar situations, and on Saturday they can do just that at the Walking Dead Escape Tour.
"The notion of a zombie apocalypse seems unrealistic at first thought, but how farfetched is it really?" said publicity director June Alian via email. "Why wouldn't you want to test your capability to survive?" The idea was launched two years ago at the San Diego Comic Con, and has been such a smash hit that it's been taken on the road.
Players enter the obstacle course either as a survivor or as a walker, the latter receiving make-up and coaching on how to accurately portray and simulate the deadly zombie menace from the show. Survivors have to outrun, evade and/or sneak past the zombies without being caught and eaten. VIP tickets allow you to enter the course as both a survivor and zombie, with backstage access and swag thrown in. (There are ticket discounts available for military personnel, no doubt because our brave enlisted men and women will be on the front line against any future zombie invasions and need the practice.)
Walk among the dead at 6 p.m. Reliant Stadium, 2510 Westridge. For information, call 832-667-1400 or visit thewalkingdeadescape.com. $75 to $150 for participants, $20 for spectators.
It's all about teens at TeenBookCon, a free, all-day event on Saturday for fans of young adult fiction. Authors and illustrators from England (Printz award winner Marcus Sedgwick), Canada (Svetlana Chmakova) and America (Melissa de la Cruz, Ann Brashares, Jenny Han and more than 20 others) converge at the Con to meet their teen fans. Co-founder Lisa Stultz tells us the Con gives young fans the opportunity to "ask [authors and illustrators] questions and interact with them in a way that is pretty common for adults, but hasn't really been an option for teens before."
Highlights of the day include the "rare chance to meet Marcus Sedgwick, since he is so infrequently on our side of the Atlantic," says Stultz. "Oh, and Lauren Myracle's book ttyl is turning 10 years old, so we're throwing a fabulous 10th birthday party for a select group of teens who come to TeenBookCon." Stultz calls the opportunity to see so many fantastic authors who are at the top of the YA field, all in one day and all for free, a "not-to-be-missed [opportunity]."
The day is filled with meet-and-greet sessions, panel discussions, speakers (Laurie Halse Anderson and Matt de la Pena), prize drawings, shopping (courtesy of Blue Willow Bookshop), activities (henna tattoos, a bring-your-own-camera photo booth, crafts) and, at the end of the day, a mass signing session by all of the attending authors. There's also ample opportunity for teens to meet other like-minded readers (busloads of youths from Rockport, Beaumont and beyond have attended previous Cons.)
Organizers say adult fans of young adult fiction are welcome at the Con, but seating and spots in signing lines will go to teens first.
Meet your favorite young adult authors at TeenBookCon, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Alief Taylor High School, 7555 Howell-Sugarland Road. For information, call 281-988-3500 or visit teenbookcon.org. Free.
There are just six spots up for grabs on the Meta-Four Houston slam poetry team, and teens from around the city will do their best to snag one at the Space City Grand Slam happening this Saturday at Discovery Green. The teens - poets, writers, rappers - have already been through the preliminary competitions and each will perform his or her best written work at the Slam. The six teens with the highest scores become the Meta-Four Houston team and go on to the Annual Brave New Voices International Festival. Expect explosive performances.
The slamming starts at 6:30 p.m. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For information, visit witshouston.org. Free.
Gutarist George Heathco, cellist Daniel Saenz and soprano Misha Penton perfom ravens & radishes.
Photo by Dave Nickerson
On Sunday fairy tales are turned inside out in Divergence Vocal Theater's new operatic song cycle, ravens & radishes. Poems by soprano Misha Penton, Divergence Vocal Theater's artistic director, were set to music by electric guitarist George Heathco for the project. "Each poem is a female character's introspective monologue, Penton tells us. "For instance, I reinterpreted the wicked male magician in Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen as a sorceress; she shatters her magic mirror and its fragments swirl out into the world, lodging in our hearts as tiny shards of evil we all carry (whether we acknowledge it or not)."
Penton, who worked with Heathco on a project in 2011, admits she has a favorite among the songs. "My favorite movement of the song cycle is sheep's clothing, a new version of Little Red Riding Hood. I sing it from the perspective of [the] She-Wolf, who methodically hunts children [playing] in the forest."
Cellist Daniel Saenz and dancer Meg Brooker join Penton and Heathco on stage for a combination concert/digital EP release/music video premiere.
Experience Divergence Vocal Theater's ravens & radishes at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 4411 Montrose. For information, call 832-590-0467 or visit divergencevocaltheater.org. $15 to $30.
Jef with One F contributed to this post.
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