Genius? The MacArthur Foundation thinks so. Dance royalty? Well, the French government knighted him. Paul Taylor, the reigning king of modern dance, will grace Houston with his presence this weekend. The choreographer has 119 dances under his belt, and he shows no signs of relinquishing the keys to the castle. Having been awarded every honor available to a choreographer, including the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 1993, Taylor has easily assumed Martha Graham's post as the living icon of modern dance. Known for both his lush, kinetically charged dances and his period pieces celebrating American culture, Taylor has packed three fine examples into his Houston itinerary. Airs, the oldest piece on the program, brings Handel's score to life with complex patterns of simple movements. Promethean Fire, set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach, showcases Taylor's ability to manipulate space and structure with elegant movements suggesting fury, frustration and renewal. And Dream Girls, a funny romp of solos, duets and group dances, features barbershop quartet music by the Buffalo Bills. 8 p.m. Friday, October 17. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information and tickets, call 713-227-4SPA or visit www.spahouston.org. $15 to $45. -- Nacny Galeota-Wozny
She’s Got Seoul
Korean tradition is unmasked at the Hobby Center
To put it mildly, Hyn Sook Ahn is passionate about bringing the culture of her native South Korea to American audiences. She spent $15,000 of her own money, acquired through the sale of her family's apartment in Korea, to finance "Century of the Tiger: 100 Years of Korean Culture in America," a dance performance celebrating the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. The production features elements of all three Korean dance genres: folk, ritual and court. Court dancers will don masks that have traditionally poked fun at the ruling elite; in the past, they allowed the Korean peasantry to enjoy social satire without fear of repercussion. Mayor Brown will be attending the show...perhaps a modern-day mask is in order? 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 18. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information and tickets, call 713-315-2525 or visit www.mykoreandance.com. Free. -- Gregg Barr
Fiddler Raises the Roof
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Itzhak Perlman is the Paul Newman of classical music. The violin virtuoso is famous yet friendly, and everything he touches turns to gold. He's won 15 Grammys and four Emmys and was brushed by Oscar gold when composer John Williams won for the Schindler's List soundtrack, for which Perlman performed the violin solos. The musician entered the classical music spotlight with a performance on the Ed Sullivan Show when he was just 13 years old. The intervening years have been kind to Perlman, and he is kind to audiences in return. 8 p.m. Saturday, October 18. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information and tickets, call 713-227-4SPA or visit www.spahouston.org. $20 to $60. -- Lisa Simon
Any self-respecting resident of the Montrose knows about the wonders of product. So it's only natural that the Halloween Magic Players have put together a breathless farce called Aquanet, the Montrose Hairspray to help raise funds (and their lustrous locks) for several worthwhile charities. 9 p.m. Saturday, October 18; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, October 19. Edwin Hornberger Conference Center, 2151 West Holcombe. For information, call 713-226-2342. $25 to $75. -- Keith Plocek