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Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

What Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is to the Berkshires, Aspen Dance Festival is to the Rockies. When they aren’t bringing world-class performances to dance aficionados with their annual summer festival, the folks at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are busy running two ballet schools, a Mexican folk dance and outreach program—and touring the world with their own acclaimed performances.

Two decades after its founding, the company has earned renown as a beacon of contemporary ballet, consistently generating groundbreaking new works by leading choreographers. And the ballet’s dancers apparently are meeting the challenge. After a recent visit to Jacob’s Pillow, the Boston Globe raved, “The annual summer-long festival of dance that Jacob’s Pillow delivers is bound to invite comparison to the Olympic Games. All of those international companies, all of those fabulous dancer/athletes. So be it: This week it’s the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, a terrific troupe of 11 dancers who are doing us proud.”

This week marks their debut at the Egg, with a varied program including a performance of Twyla Tharp’s masterpiece Sue’s Leg.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will perform at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday (April 24) at 8 PM. Tickets are $24, $20 for seniors and $12 for children. For more info, or to purchase tickets, call the Egg box office at 473-1845.

Snoop Dogg

Awww, shizzle! The doggfather up in Clifton Pizzle? Looks like it’s time to turn off the televizzle, roll up a blizzle, pour us some Tanquerizzle, and find some fine femizzles. Then we’ll hop in the minivizzle, head up I-eightysizzle, grab a sandwizzle . . .

OK, OK—it’s just that, as soon as someone mentions Snoop D-O-double G, we somehow someway, can’t stop saying “-izzle” for the rest of the day. But, may we kick a little something for the G’s, and suggest that this rap legend has contributed far more to hip-hop than one of its more obnoxious suffixes. Ever since 1993’s breakout Doggystyle, this former Crip’s stoned flow has been one of the most recognizable in the game, all but defining the West Coast G-funk style and landing him countless music and acting cameos. Malice in Wonderland is his latest.

Canadian female rapper Eternia, Portland, Ore., MC Braille, Triune, and locals Oddy Gato with DJ Trumastr open.

Snoop Dogg comes to Northern Lights (1208 Route 146, Clifton Park) tonight (April 22) at 7 PM. Tickets are $35. Call 371-0012 for more info.

Close Encounters With Music

Cellist Yehuda Hanani and the gang at Close Encounters With Music in Great Barrington are putting on a tribute to Chopin this weekend, titled Chopin and His Circle. Seems fair enough: Everybody loves Chopin. And how often does a bicentennial celebration come along?

The featured performer will be pianist Adam Neiman, praised by the Washington Post for his “playing of wisdom and light.” Also performing will be Yehuda, cellist Amy Gillingham and violinist Stefan Milenkovich. The program will include music by John Field (the father of the nocturne, the form Chopin made his own), Chopin’s pals Auguste Franchomme and Paganini, and, of course, Chopin himself.

Close Encounters With Music will present Chopin and His Circle on Saturday (April 24) at 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass.). Tickets are $35. For more info, call (800) 843-0778 or the box office at (413) 528-0100.

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