So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night...No longer will you be The Pilot on Navigation; instead you will be the Pilot Dance Project. You certainly are not the only production to take a hiatus and more than likely should not be the last in this town. We invite all of Houston this weekend to take in your final production, which will also let the audience take a tour of your stage and studio. Our eyes and ears are peeled. See ya' later, Pilot Dance Project.
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, a.k.a. Frida Kahlo, is more than a unibrow and more than her flower crown. But despite her undeniable talents and self-portraits galore, these two signature staples remain inescapable wherever Kahlo leads. Not only will this Friday night's event be in honor of the Mexican queen of art at the XII Annual Frida Festival 2017, but it will celebrate the talent and inspiration her legacy has created here in Houston. Join the festivities early for a Frida-themed lotería, where winners will snag a $50 voucher to be redeemed for handmade goods from local vendors. Grab your mono and head to The Esplanade at Navigation for your not-so-Coachella-cliché'd festival; this one's a Best Bet.
5 p.m. Friday. Continues 10 a.m. Saturday. Navigation Esplanade, 2700 Navigation Boulevard. For information, call 713-928-9916 or visit fridafestival.com. Free.
Bring your own what? In this case, the BYOB invite means to bring your own 16mm films, slide shows, shorts and videos and project them onto The Menil Collection’s exterior. Originally inspired by Rafaël Rozendaal in Berlin,becomes a viewing party with lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Mary Magsamen, curator of co-presenter Aurora Picture Show, says the projections can be “whatever people bring” and all the organizers ask is that contributors sign up for the 20-minute slots. “The Bat-Signal would work. [Last time] we had eight or ten stations set up for people to plug into,” she says. Fingers crossed for good weather; last year’s event rained out, as did the makeup date; and although Saturday looks to be a little on the wet side, plans to beam this Saturday night are still a go. “I figure we have some rain credit,” adds Magsamen. It’s free to beam; a Google Doc signup sheet is on Aurora’s website.
Ballroom, ballet and classical Chinese dance meet in Dance of Asian America’s, a collaborative performance featuring selections from Texas Ballet Theatre, under the artistic direction of Houston Ballet founder Ben Stevenson; Revolve Dance Company; Houston Ballroom Company; Ad Deum Dance Company; Artisan Ballet Company; FLY Dance Company; and Dance of Asian America. However, when it comes to artistry, East and West aren’t so far apart, says Janie Yao, director of Dance of Asian America. Both Chinese dance and many ballroom steps are very intricate and eye-catching. As with ballet, the basis of Chinese dance is very technical, says Yao, adding that modern choreography is becoming common in contemporary Chinese dance. “They just complement each other,” says Yao, who calls East Meets West XV an event that “showcases the diversity of not just the world through dance, but the world of diversity within our own city.” View the two sides of the stage compass come together Saturday for a collaboration that's easily enjoyable for all audience members in attendance.
8:15 p.m. Saturday. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park. For information, visit danceaa.org. Free.
Anybody who has stopped while reading fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to think, "This is some dark stuff," will appreciate the latest improvisational score from dance-maker jhon r. stronks, whom we named one of our MasterMind Award-winners in 2014. Once upon a time in the land of green skies, blue grass, and red bottom shoes… is described as an allegorical fairy tale that mixes mythology with modern-day concerns of identity, accountability and political chaos. It's also our last chance to take a literal tour through the space at 5102 Navigation before parts are divvied up and sold off; stronks is asking audience members to take an interactive journey through the dance studio, workshop, exhibit hall, outdoor patio and black box. Friday through Sunday is your opportunity to get that behind-the-scenes view and possibly learn what the Pilot Dance Project has planned to launch in the future.
7:30 p.m. April 28-30 and May 5-7. The Pilot on Navigation, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 281-979-4982 or visit freneticore.net. $16 to $20.
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Winter Miller’s In Darfur poses the question “If this were Germany in 1943, what would you do?” exploring genocide through the eyes of a reporter looking for a story; the Darfuri teacher who becomes her subject; and an aid worker just trying to save lives. Each performance features a special “Act II”: talkbacks with local organizations like the Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees, so audiences can “turn their emotion into information at least, and action if they desire,” explains director Troy Scheid. “When I think about the play in general, yes, there are scary parts and emotional parts. But when we remind ourselves in the theater that scary things can happen, it prepares us better to take care of each other.” Indulge your mind this Sunday at the Landing Theatre with a tale that will light your interest to self reflect on yourself.
3 p.m. Sunday. Continuing 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays. Through May 13. The Landing Theatre Company, 1119 Providence. For information, call 562-502-7469 or visit landingtheatre.org. Pay what you can to $75; suggested price is $25.
Natalie De La Garza, Katricia Lang and Susie Tommaney contributed to this post.