Sacred Circles of the People: There is an amazing range of subjects being covered in the two-day "Sacred Circles of the People" conference, from substance abuse workshops to Pow Wow etiquette. The fourth annual event is hosted by the American Indian Center, Inc., a non-profit, charitable and educational organization dedicated to serving the American Indian community. Their purpose is to provide assistance to American Indian citizens through job training, education, information services, health education, and free chemical dependency programs to aid a culture that often falls through the cracks of our service organizations. Along the way, the Center hopes to educate non-Indians on the history and contemporary status of Native American people. This year's keynote address is by Steve Darden, Navajo/Cheyenne director of Northwest New Mexico Fighting Back Program. Events are scheduled October 12, 8 a.m.-9p.m. and October 13, 8 a.m.-9p.m. at the Harvey Hotel, 400 N. Olive. For ticket info call (817) 355-5145.
Christopher Taylor: Although one normally thinks of mathematics adn artistic impulse as mutually exclusive, they work together with considerable fluency in the mind of Christopher Taylor. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University three years ago with a degree in mathematics, but he is also one of the hottest young American pianists in the country today, having won a Bronze Medal at the Ninth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He studied composition and music theory for 10 years and continues his career as a composer, having just recently finished numbers for string quartet as well as the keyboards. Taylor comes to Fort Worth to perform as part of the Cliburn Concert series at 8 p.m. in the Ed Landreth Auditorium of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Tickets are $10-$32. For information call (817) 335-9000.
Texas Celebration: 1995 is the 150th year since Texas ratified statehood, a decision that ended the short-lived and much-fought-over Republic of Texas. The woman who's often called "The Mother of Texas" as well as someone who "makes Scarlett O'Hara look like a wimp," frontierwoman Jane Long is invoked as a muse for an evening of music, dramatic readings, and talks brought to you by the Cultural Affairs Council of Irving. Author Neila Skinner Petrick reads from her new biographical novel Jane Long of Texas, and children's author Elizabeth Dearing Morgan joins in with her own published tales about the woman. Tom Petrick discusses the Kentucky long rifle and other 19th-century weaponry popular in this region. To coincide wtih his presentation, there will be a reenactment of the Texas Ladies Target Practice Tea, with guest emcee Ivy Opdyke. Afterward, audience members will get the chance to mix with performers. The show kicks off at 7 p.m. in the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving. It's free, but reservations are required and seating is limited. Call 252-7558.
Purush - Expressions of Man: The non-profit Academy of Bangla Arts & Culture is responsible for a touring production that combines contemporary and classical dance forms as well as some of the top professional male dancers from America, India, and Bangladesh, and live music. Purush: Expressions of Man is officially a production of New York's Battery Dance Company, as a collaboration between artistic director Jonathon Hollander and Anita Ratman, founder and director of the Arangham Trust in Madras as well as an author, TV producer, and dancer. The pair of them have selected some of India's most rigorously trained male dancers, artists who specialize in disciplines many of us have never heard of - Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Kuchipuri, Kathakali, and many contemporary forms. The show gets under way at 8 p.m. in the Carpenter Performace Hall of the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving. Tickets are $7-$25. For more info call 252-ARTS.
Autumn at the Arboretum: The Dallas Arboretum has proven it can do some joyously tacky things with nature's delicate blooms, and this year's "Autumn at the Arboretum" is no different. Our state's natural flora have been converted into, among other things, two giant-size Cowboy boot topiaries and the shape of the state of Texas in red, white, blue, and green flowers. In addition, there are 15,000 chrysanthemums; acres of marigolds; unusual ornamental grasses; fall-blooming azaleas; autumn annuals; and perennials, all stretched across the 66-acre garden. In addition, there are appearances by top Texas gardening authors, a plant hunt, an antique farm equipment exhibition, and lots more. These are some of the special events planned every weekend through November 5. The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road on White Rock Lake. The gardens are open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $3-$6 with an additional $2 for parking. Kids under 6 get in free. For info call 327-8263.
El Concierto del Ano Vicente y Alejandro Fernandez: Ranchera music is sometimes called Mexico's answer to country music, usually by an Anglo. And although the two forms share trappings such as pedal-steel guitars and nasal harmonies, there is too much history and folklore in most ranchera to effectively compare to any other nation's music. One of the biggest teams in the business is the father-son duo Vicente & Alejandro Fernandez, and they are about to sing their final song together - live on stage, anyway. Vicente, the elder musician, is about ready to retire and put his boots up, but he's also concerned that his legendary status not overshadow his son Alejandro's burgeoning career. Dallas fans can catch their last performance together at a concert that also features up-and-coming singer Graciela Beltran and a dance performance by the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico troupe, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The show gets under way at 8 p.m. in the Dallas Convention Center Arena. For ticket information call 373-8000 or 953-3165.
The North Texas Skeptics: In case you didn't know, psychic channeling is a lucrative, if poorly organized, business nationwide, a phenomenon that takes theological and pop-occult notions like "possession" and then uses them to help people bury the past of plan the future. Supposedly, it's the spirits who find the channelers, not the other way around, but there are many practitioners out there who are mysteriously able to locate the exact celestial address of a deceased loved one, especially those with unfinished business here on Earth. The North Texas Skeptics, a non-profit organization dedicated to rational thinking as well as exposing fraudulent enterprises, hosts a lecture by radio announcer Pat Reeder on the subject of "psychic channeling," which these folks believe is a lot of baloney served up without sufficient critical inquiry. Mr. Reeder illustrates his talks with clips from recent broadcasts. The show gets going at 2 p.m. at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak. It's free. For info call 558-1047.
Jack Kevorkian: Unplugged: You might think the latest sketch comedy show by Dallas' 4 Out of 5 Doctors, Jack Kevorkian: Unplugged, is particularly appropriate around Halloween time. It is, but this series of skits on death is also part of a larger, more ambitious project undertaken by the Doctors. These men and women tackle one of American's greatest sources of fear and shame in a series of situations that include "Famous Last Words" of historical figures; a segment called "Deathstyles of the Rich and Famous"; and "Dead Celebrity Jeopardy," among others. Jack Kevorkian: Unplugged is performed Friday and Saturday nights at 11 p.m. through November 4, with additional performances October 25 and November 1 at 8 p.m., at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird. Tickets are $6-$8. Call 821-1860.
MOMIX: As one of the most popular acts to appear on the seasonal program of The International Theatrical Arts Society (TITAS), MOMIX has been missed during its three-year absence from the Dallas stage. The 10-member, internationally celebrated company of dancers, gymnasts, and masters of physical shtick returns to present the Dallas debut of its new, full-length show Baseball. There are 17 segments to this sprawling work; suffice it to say that the performers pop up in very unexpected places during this celebration of America's "national pastime." MOMIX performs October 13 & 14 at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. For more information call 528-6112.
Oedipus: Kitchen Dog Theatre kicks off its '95-'96 season with an original adaptation of Sophocles' 24-century-old meditation on fate and family, and how it sucks when you accidentally sleep with your mother. Sophocles dramatized the story of a young man on a search for his identity from mythology floating around at the time. Oedipus is performed Wednesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday "pay-what-you-can" performances at 2 p.m. through October 29 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney. Tickets are $6-$12. Call 520-ARTS.
Fall Holistic Fair: Holistic living is as much a world view as a set of practices, with the idea being to attune one's body processes to those of the earth. It sorta sounds like you have to undergo a marathon brainwashing session to understand this stuff, but in fact, its devotees span all races and age groups. For anyone who might be interested in checking out "the lifestyle," there's the Holistic Networker's Fall Holistic Fair. The wares on sale here range from the dubious (angel collectibles, rolfing, aura photography) to the mysterious (homeopathy, herbal remedies, yoga) to the downright necessary in this stressed-out world (massage therapy, nutritional counseling). The Holistic Networker's Fall Holistic Fair happens 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Addison Conference Center, 15650 Addison Road, two blocks west of the Dallas North Tollway in Addison. Admission is just $5. For more info call 613-4935.
David Halberstam: As both a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, David Halberstam is desperately trying to rewrite history. In his fascinating, recently published treatise on postwar American culture called The Fifties, Halberstam contends that it was this era, and not the oft-cited 1960s, that has had the greatest effect on our current national state. Mind you, Halberstam is no right-wing patsy opining about an era of national unity that never was - he is ruthless in separating the truly important trends from the myths about the era. He presents the annual Allman Lecture at Southern Methodist University. The title is "America Then and Now: From the Post-War to the Next Century." The talk begins at 8 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Auditorium of the SMU campus. It's free, but seating is limited. Call 934-8764.
Kitsch To Corbusier: Wallpaper From the 1950s: To take a definitive temperature of America's social mood, you only need take a look around your home - the pictures, carpet, furniture, even the wallpaper tell many tales. The Design Experience in the Dallas Design District presents "Kitsch to Corbusier: Wallpaper From the 1950s," an exhibition of 75 selections from the Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum's unique wallcoverings collection (yes, there is a curator of wallpaper swatches). The colors, patterns, textures, and motifs of these wall coverings provide a visual index of domestic social values of the period. There are all kinds of designs here, from modernist abstract to the "innocent" iconography of postwar America - French poodles, cocktail paraphernalia, sports players, broadcast symbols, and more. "Kitsch To Corbusier" is on display through November 4 at The Design Experience, 1400 Turtle Creek Blvd. For info call 871-8787.