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The Return of Lot’s Wife

This weekend, Sara Pearson/Patrik Widrig and Company, a New York City-based contemporary dance ensemble, will bring to Skidmore College their newest work, The Return of Lot’s Wife, which premiered at the Altogether Different Festival at the Joyce Theater in New York City in mid-January.

According to Pearson and Widrig, their work “pushes rituals of the familiar toward the mysterious, the subversive, and the intimate,” and The Return of Lot’s Wife has been described as “a dance/theater/salt epic . . . which explores the theme of turning back, through prisms of Sufi mysticism and Hollywood/Bollywood pop cultures.” The piece features the recitation of Persian poetry and is performed to original music by Carter Burwell, a composer known for film scores including Fargo and Being John Malkovich. Over the last 16 years, Pearson and Widrig have gained an international following for their work, which draws on a variety of cultures.

Sara Pearson/Patrik Widrig and Company will perform The Return of Lot’s Wife tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 7) and Saturday (Feb. 8) at the Dance Theater at Skidmore College (815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs). Performance time is 8 PM; tickets are $10, $8 seniors and students. For more information, call 580-5360.

Fire and Ice Arts Walk

Looking for something cultural to do in downtown Albany this weekend? Check out the Fire and Ice Arts Walk, organized by local artist Heather Clark in collaboration with Changing Spaces Gallery. They’ve put together a collection of performances and art exhibits, which will be presented in various locations in Center Square. Among the many attractions will be fire breathing by Jesse Lynne and belly dancing by Habiba; poetry by R.M. Engelhardt and Don Levy; music by Michael Eck, Fairy Gangstas and Alien Folklife; art showings including works by K.A. Thayer; and film screenings including Leslie Wahl’s Cyborg Envy and Laura Frare’s Whitestone Patio. Venues are scattered throughout the neighborhood. Some establishments that will host performances include Changing Spaces Gallery, Lark Street Bookshop, Stephanie’s on the Park, Romaine Brooks Gallery, eba Theater, and the Lark Street BID. Sculpture, paintings, photography and mixed media will be shown throughout the walk. All in all, there will be six films, 30 performers and 50 artists at 10 venues. That should satiate you for a while.

The Fire and Ice Arts Walk will be held Saturday (Feb. 8) from 7 to 11 PM at venues throughout the Center Square and Hudson Park neighborhoods in downtown Albany. Tickets are $10 adults, $3 children 12 and under, and include two warm drinks and a candle (to cohere with the fire theme—parents, watch those little ones!). A portion of ticket sales will benefit Albany’s Youth New Day Art Program. Tickets are on sale at the various venues. For more information, call Changing Spaces at 433-1537.

Aimee Mann, Duncan Sheik

Hallelujah—Aimee Mann is coming to town. Mann, you may recall, made a big splash in the mid-’80s with her band ’Til Tuesday, and followed this, in the ’90s, with a nifty series of solo records which were a) brilliant examples of pop songcraft, and b) textbook examples of record-company mishandling, which led to one career setback after another. After years of getting bounced around by the business, however, Mann has been on a continuing artistic and career high since forming her own record label (SuperEgo) and releasing her album Bachelor No. 2. She then appeared (and performed) in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Magnolia, snagging an Oscar nomination for best song.

Mann’s latest album, Lost in Space, may be her finest work yet. Beautiful and haunting, featuring the fine songwriting that is her trademark, Mann finds poetry and pathos in the horrors of addiction.

Duncan Sheik will open. Sheik got his start in Brown classmate Lisa Loeb’s band, played with ’90s combo His Boy Elroy, and, as a solo artist, combined sensitivity with pop smarts on the hit “Barely Breathing.” Sheik’s critical partisans bristle when his career is summed up by that 1996 hit, however. Since then, the singer-songwriter has released three more discs, including last year’s widely praised Daylight.

Aimee Mann will perform Saturday (Feb. 8) at 8 PM in The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $26. For reservations and information, call 473-1845.

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