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Beijing Dance Theater performs Hamlet, a ballet inspired by the film The Banquet that itself was loosely based on Shakespeare's best known play.
Beijing Dance Theater performs Hamlet, a ballet inspired by the film The Banquet that itself was loosely based on Shakespeare's best known play.
Photo by Zhao Hui

6 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: Rodeo Parade and Bark in the Park

RodeoHouston is almost here, and our first clues involve seeing horses, boots and cowboy hats all over town. But before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off, we've got a parade, trail rides, Go Texan Day and a run. This weekend also includes a ballet inspired by Hamlet, Musiqa's blending of experimental film with music, dog-friendly baseball over at Rice, a spicy adult-themed night of comedy, and a chance to take up beekeeping.

We're thinking Shakespeare would give a big "thumbs up" to this latest interpretation of Hamlet, performed by Beijing Dance Theater and brought to Houston audiences courtesy of Society for the Performing Arts. The origins story goes something like this: Director Feng Xiaogang called on choreographer Wang Yuanyuan when making his 2006 film The Banquet, a lush period piece set during the Tang Dynasty. The choreographer was so inspired by the loose interpretation of Shakespeare's best known play that he went on to create this ballet, now being performed at Jones Hall by the Chinese dance company Wang founded in 2008.

A performance is scheduled for February 22 at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org. $35 to $65.

Musiqa presents Reel Forces, with compositions by Florent Ghys, Marcus Maroney and Aleksandra Vrebalov.
Musiqa presents Reel Forces, with compositions by Florent Ghys, Marcus Maroney and Aleksandra Vrebalov.
Photo by Lynn Lane

Feeling kind of "blah" about this year's Oscars? You're not alone, but don't give up on cinema, especially with this fascinating program that combines experimental film with live music, presented by Musiqa. Reel Forces includes a screening of Bill Morrison's Beyond Zero: 1914-1918, a moving film that includes WWI archival footage and scored for string quartet by Aleksandra Vrebalov. The evening also includes the Texas premiere of Adriano Cirulli's short, Falling, with music by Antonino Chiaramonte. Dig deeper with the 7 p.m. pre-concert discussion.

A performance is scheduled for February 22 at 7:30 p.m. Friday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-524-5678 or visit musiqahouston.org. $5 to $75 (pay what you wish).

Even for the uninitiated, you'll know it's Go Texan Day by all the boots, hats, jeans and enormous belt buckles that will take over Houston fashion on Friday. Pre-rodeo events for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also include Saturday's Downtown Rodeo Parade with floats, riders on horseback and marching bands; this year's grand marshal is Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Prior to the parade's start, the 32nd annual Rodeo Run takes to the streets with staggered starts for wheelchairs (9:10 a.m.), 10k (9:20 a.m.) and 5k fun run/walk (9:35 a.m.).

Anybody new to the Bayou City might be shocked to see a few horses 'round these here parts, but it's all part of the Trail Ride experience. Beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, the riders will begin entering Memorial Park for the 5 p.m. awards ceremony. After participating in the parade, they'll depart Memorial Park by 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Downtown Rodeo Parade is scheduled for February 23 at 10 a.m. Saturday, beginning at Bagby and Walker, traveling from Travis to Bell, and from Bell to Louisiana, before turning on Lamar and ending at Lamar and Bagby. For information, visit rodeohouston.com. Free to dress "cowboy" on Go Texan Day and free to watch the parade; $30 to $35 for the Rodeo Run.

Make plans now to take your dog to see the Rice Owls baseball game. Y'all can both sit on the outfield hill, and you can sniff out the adoptable pups from Houston Pets Alive!
Make plans now to take your dog to see the Rice Owls baseball game. Y'all can both sit on the outfield hill, and you can sniff out the adoptable pups from Houston Pets Alive!
Photo by Ari Bard

Baseball season is always a welcome harbinger of spring, and what better way than to catch a Rice Owls game at Reckling Park? They're going up against the UC Irvine Anteaters and, best of all, it's Bark in the Park day so your four-legged bestie can come along to watch from the outfield hill. Your human ticket grants access for your leashed dog on this one special day, but register ahead of time to fill out the waiver. Plus, Houston Pets Alive! will have some adoptable dogs on site, just in case your family has room for one more.

The game is scheduled for February 23 at 2 p.m. Saturday at Reckling Park, 1968 University. For information, visit riceowls.com/bark. $10 to $24.

Bee2Bee Honey Collective is ready to share tips for keeping bees in your own back yard.
Bee2Bee Honey Collective is ready to share tips for keeping bees in your own back yard.
Photo by Nicole Buergers

It's exciting to think about getting involved with beekeeping, but don't even think about wearing scented clothing or hair products for this Intro to Backyard Beekeeping class. Trust us, smelling like a flower is a bad idea. What the bee-savvy folks at Bee2Bee Honey Collective can share is knowledge about how to start keeping bees in your back yard or rooftop, facts about biology and behavior, and information about equipment and supplies. Bring your own suit if you have one because, weather permitting, the class will inspect a beehive.

The Intro to Backyard Beekeeping class is scheduled for February 24 from 1-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Houston Dairymaids, 2201 Airline. For information, call 281-845-4069 or visit bee2beehoney.com. $50.

[Editor's note:] The Nice & Naughty Comedy Show, originally scheduled for February 22 at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, has been cancelled and removed from this story. 

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