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Best Virtual Bets: Reel Pride, “Silent Earth,” and Music at Miller

Hope Stone Dance will premiere a new work, “Rule #4: Don’t walk on the sidewalk,” at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston this week.
Hope Stone Dance will premiere a new work, “Rule #4: Don’t walk on the sidewalk,” at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston this week.
Photo by Tati Vicedomine
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It looks like we’re in for a sunnier weekend, so hopefully you can enjoy some of the in-person outdoor events mixed in with the virtual events on this week’s list of best bets. In addition to some early Juneteenth festivities, we’ve got the Houston Symphony’s return to Miller Outdoor Theatre, a world premiere, and “reel” pride.

Hope Stone Dance will premiere “Rule #4: Don’t walk on the sidewalk” at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston this Thursday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. The full work – previewed at the museum back in April – was filmed back in November 2020 in the Brown Foundation Gallery as part of CAMHLAB. The artist residency initiative, launched in response to the loss of performance and rehearsal space caused by COVID-19, opened museum space to artists like those of Hope Stone, a part of the inaugural Fall 2020 CAMHLAB class. Limited space and safety protocols means RSVPs are required to view the work, which features five women confronting the challenges of being alone. You can find more information about the free screening here.

This June (June 19, specifically) marks 156 years since the enslaved peoples of Texas were informed they were free – a month after the end of the Civil War and more than two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. But Juneteenth festivities are already well underway, with Emancipation Park Conservancy hosting an ongoing series of virtual Juneteenth events and interactive activities, Emancipation Park’s 149th Annual Juneteenth Celebration, which will culminate on June 19. Upcoming events include the Teleparty, a virtual Netflix screening of Lee Daniels’s film The Butler, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10; sessions of topics ranging from fitness to economic empowerment; and also a “Back Down Memory Lane: Juneteenth Virtual Parade” on Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m. You can find more information and a full list of events here.

Conductor Yue Bao will lead the Houston Symphony in two programs this week at Miller Outdoor Theatre.EXPAND
Conductor Yue Bao will lead the Houston Symphony in two programs this week at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Photo by Melissa Taylor

The Houston Symphony returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre for two free programs this week. First up Thursday, June 10, at 8:30 p.m. conductor Yue Bao will lead the Symphony in Music at Miller: Romeo and Juliet, Piazzolla & More, a concert for woodwind and brass lovers, which will include suites from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. The following Saturday, June 12, at 8:30 p.m. Bao and the Symphony will return for Music at Miller: Mozart, Holst & More, a program that includes Gustav Holst’s “brilliant, dramatic, and picturesque” orchestral suite The Planets and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Divertimento in D major for Strings, K.136, an early example of the composer’s “mastery over conventional forms.” The June 10 concert will be in-person only, but the June 12 performance will be in-person and livestreamed on the Miller Outdoor Theatre website here, their YouTube Channel here, or Facebook here.

Axiom Quartet continues their mission to commission new works from American composers this Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m. when they world premiere Sergio Cervetti’s “Silent Earth.” The new work from the Uruguayan-born American composer, who has more than 150 compositions to his name, is a three-movement piece that tackles the overwhelming topic of climate change. But Cervetti notes that while each movement may have a “dystopian” title (Silent Earth, Supplica and The Last Harvest) that “may sound pessimistic, the music is not.” The performance will premiere on the PARMA Recording’s live stage here and on Axiom Quartet’s YouTube channel here.

Stages will present the last installment of Stages Studio Sessions, with artist Anna Maria Morris, on Friday.EXPAND
Stages will present the last installment of Stages Studio Sessions, with artist Anna Maria Morris, on Friday.
Photo by Josh Morrison

The final installment of Stages Studio Sessions, screening from The Brown Foundation Lawn, is set for this Friday, June 11, at 8 p.m. Finally, rain is out of the forecast, but even if it rears its waterlogged head again, this week’s screening featuring Anna Maria Morris will happen – even if they have to move inside. This means that no matter what, you can experience Morris’s session, titled The Capacity to Love, in which Morris uses poetry and storytelling to explore generational relationships. You can find more information here.

June is National Cancer Survivor Month and to mark the occasion, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center will present “Return to Normal. Forever Changed,” a virtual lecture on Saturday, June 12, at 3 p.m. The free Zoom-based conversation, which will also contextualize life as we emerge into a new post-COVID normal, will feature clinical psychologist Catherine Powers-James exploring the intersection of art, health, and recovery through works of art such as Giuseppe Penone’s “Thunderstruck Tree (Albero folgorato).” You can sign up for the live online talk here.

Pride Houston, in partnership with Houston Museum of African American Culture and the Houston Cinema Arts Society, will premiere the film Jamila Wignot’s Ailey – its first screening since wowing at Sundance – this Saturday, June 12, at 6 p.m. during Night Out at the Movies: A Reel Pride Pop-Up. In the film, “Wignot weaves a pastiche of archival footage from the Deep South, New York City in the ’70s, and a vast trove of Ailey dances to create a hypnotic, immersive portrait of the visionary choreographer.” The film will be screened in-person at the Montrose Center along with shorter films All Boys Aren’t Blue, based on George M. Johnson’s memoir, and I’m with Harrison, about Houston’s own Harrison Guy. You can pick up a $15 ticket to the in-person screening or, if you can’t make it, you can buy a $10 ticket to livestream just All Boys Aren’t Blue and I’m with Harrison, here.

If you prefer your Juneteenth celebration in person, on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. The Way Fellowship Church, along with the Houston Freedmen's Town Conservancy and Freedmen's Town Preservation Coalition, will present The Juneteenth Worship Experience: A Story of and Journey to Freedom at the Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park. Sponsored by the Houston Endowment, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Buffalo Bayou Partnership, and hosted by radio personality Anthony Valary, the event will feature artists like the Freedmen’s Town Mass Choir under the direction of Brian Dunlap, the Texas Southern University Debate Team, Se7en The Poet, and a proclamation by Mayor Sylvester Turner. (Not to mention food trucks and vendors.) You can register for the free event here.

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