Dance Consortium: If you check out a performance by the Richardson-based contemporary dance ensemble Dance Consortium and dance is not a form of entertainment with which you are familiar, here is a word of warning: Arrive early and read the program from cover to cover. Otherwise, you might be wondering why, exactly, a dance called Beloved features dancers getting tangled up in an equipment parachute; or why another piece, The Giant's Child, features a performer relating to a very large piece of inflated fabric. (We figure the dance called Roadkill, which features human-sized dancing armadillos, is self-explanatory.) These performances are highly personal choreography by artistic director Julie Lambert that represent, respectively, the trap of relationships, and the problems of living with a parent you hold in awe. Lambert's husband, Gilles Tanguay, deals in more straightforward, ballet-based choreography. The program will include his work, The City, a series of impressions of urban life, from office routine to violent crime. Shows happen February 8-10 at 8 p.m. at the University of Texas at Dallas, 2601 N. Floyd in Richardson. Tickets are $6-$8. For information, call 883-2915.
Losing a Loved One to AIDS: How do you prepare for a phase of life that's as natural as dreaming or using the toilet while the larger, noninfected society around you would rather ignore the business of dying, not to mention sex, the means of transmission for tens of thousands of HIV carriers? As part of its "Friday Forum" series, Fort Worth's AIDS Outreach Center hosts a talk by licensed psychiatrist Ed Luke Jr. entitled "Losing a Loved One to AIDS." This particular forum, while open and relevant to AIDS patients, really focuses more on the people who are helping them make the journey, and who will be left behind to deal with the loss. The program happens 2-4 p.m. at the AIDS Outreach Center, 1125 W. Peter Smith in Fort Worth. A $10 fee is requested of professionals, but the talk is free to volunteers and to people living with HIV and their friends and families. For information, call 335-1994.
Bernice Montgomery: As an artist obsessed with the way color can reveal and conceal the most intimate parts of an individual, award-winning Dallas-based painter Bernice Montgomery claims the portrait as a favorite genre of canvas. Her latest exhibition at the Bath House Cultural Center is a series of pictures that locate the individual, his or her environment, and the places where these two phenomena connect and depart in the artist's mind. The show opens with a reception for Bernice Montgomery from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs through March 2 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. Call 670-8749.
Hillary Clinton: The first lady valiantly presses on with a national book tour to promote her new William Bennettesque tome, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us. Those wiseass Washington journalists have already found a way to link "the character issue" from Whitewater with her new book: the rampant rumor that Ms. Clinton played a nominal hand in the book's creation, which was largely the result of her assistant, who is contractually bound not to comment about her work on the project. This, of course, followed on the heels of the assertion that Ms. Clinton's nationally syndicated column was also ghostwritten. Say what you like about Hillary's "character": Unlike former first lady and current Texas resident Barbara Bush, who would venture an opinion on a hot issue and then tie on the apron when things got hotter, Ms. Clinton no longer retreats into Mommyville when the pressure's on. She appears at 1 p.m. at Taylors Prestonwood, 5455 Belt Line Road. Only the first 1,000 customers with a receipt get a chance at a (pre-signed) copy. For information, call 357-1700.
New Century Danscene: Texas Christian University's New Century Danscene series, dedicated to bringing innovative and influential contemporary dance troupes from all around the country to North Texas, is at the end of a grant provided by the Bass family. The Danscene program had already taken it in the chest from congressional cuts in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, leaving the rest of us to wonder about the future of a valuable forum. Using the last bit of money from those sources, TCU hosts the San Diego-based Malashock Dance & Company performing Window Dressers, a full-length piece that incorporates six dancers, an actor, text, and video art. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. in the Ed Landreth Auditorium of Fort Worth's Texas Christian University. Tickets are $6-$20. For information, call (817) 921-7000.
Pepe Romero: Arguably the most popular and critically acclaimed living classical guitarist on the planet, Pepe Romero is always being bugged by the likes of Andres Segovia, who chose Romero to debut a composition originally written for Segovia; Jessye Norman, the great opera singer who is currently at work with Romero on a recording for voice and guitar; and world-renowned composer Joaquin Rodrigo, who wrote his last concerto just for Romero. The Dallas Classic Guitar Society invites Romero for a solo performance that will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of a late great, Manuel de Falla. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, Elm at Harwood. Tickets are $10-$50. For more information, call 1-800-654-9545.
Masters of the Night: By now, anyone who has spent even 10 minutes watching one of those nature documentaries knows that, 1) bats aren't blind; 2) bats aren't genetically predisposed to rabies; 3) bats rarely attack human beings; and 4) the poor little guys suffer from a bad PR problem. Keep your mind open while perusing the Fort Worth Zoo's Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats, but just to keep things hopping, don't completely abandon the rich lore of superstition that surrounds bats. The exhibit kicks off today and runs through May 29 at 1989 Colonial Parkway in Fort Worth. For more information, call (817) 871-7012.
Il Travatore: The great 19th-century composer Giuseppe Verdi excelled in the unglamorous role of craftsman. He understood opera's strength (its ability to convey grand emotions based on the escalating rhythms of voice, music, and plot) and its weakness (a tendency for even the most innocuous tangent in an opera to upset the balance of a story told in song). Thus, Verdi was happy to tear up and rearrange the original texts of works like Shakespeare's Othello and Gutierrez's El Trovador, on which Verdi's great tragedy and the latest production by the Dallas Opera were based. The last performance happens at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets are $25-$105. Call 443-1000.
Bass Fishing Techniques: Having just recovered from a cold spell that turned local lakes into Mrs. Paul's freezers, the idea of fishing may seem a bit premature, at least to folks who generally associate warm weather with fish hooks and those Chinese take-out containers of earthworms. But two nationally recognized fishing experts come to North Texas ahead of spring weather to get you psyched up for a sport that is closer than any other to a Zenlike religious experience. Two-time B.A.S.S. angler and TV star Jimmy Houston and 1995 BASS Masters Champion Mark Davis preside over a two-day seminar entitled "Bass Fishing Techniques '96." They're just the biggest stars in a roster of experts that will offer fishing freaks hints, tricks, and techniques for a competition that many aficionados will tell you is, at heart, a game of "who blinks first" between human and fish. The seminar happens February 10, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and February 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Room 108 of the University Hall at the University of Texas at Arlington, 601 S. Nedderman Drive. Registration is $89. For information, call (817) 272-2581.
Juan Williams: Brookhaven College hosts a nationally lauded writer/analyst/activist who has an opinion or two on the American civil-rights movement, where it's headed, and where it should be headed. Juan Williams will perhaps forever be recognized as the writer of Eyes on the Prize--America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, one of the seminal histories of the movement by African-Americans (and some whites) to achieve equality before the law. Williams and other black intellectuals currently grapple with the complexities of a post-civil-rights America, in which the African-American community enjoys unprecedented protection by and access to the political process, yet seems to be imploding from a combination of continuing institutional racism and an internalized rage passed down through generations. Williams adjusts his lecture to offer suggestions for new methods of social change. The talk begins at 10 a.m. in the Performance Hall of Brookhaven College, 3939 Valley View Lane in Farmers Branch. It's free. Call 620-4115.
Marina Abramovic: Multimedia artist Marina Abramovic, 50, has been traveling the globe for the last 20 years. She was environmentally conscious before environmentally conscious was cool. She has a way of dealing with issues of the planet by tying them together into highly personal, at times humorous works. (She filmed the breakup of a relationship between herself and a lover. The two walked the length of the Great Wall of China, met in the middle, and said goodbye.) She makes her Texas debut with Boat Emptying Stream Entering, a two-part series of elements. Part I of the piece--which includes photographs, videos, and wall rubbings--opens February 8 with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Art Building, Mulberry and Welch, at the University of North Texas in Denton. The show ends March 15. Part II consists of sculpture and a video installation created on site and gets under way March 9, 6-8 p.m., at the Center for Research in Contemporary Art at the University of Texas at Arlington. For more information, call (817) 565-4005.
Mnemonic Light: The Photography of Marjorie Content: It seems remarkable that the late photographer Marjorie Content, having been connected with the prestigious Alfred Stieglitz in the '20s and having devoted decades of her life to a period that art critics agree was her best, was never exhibited during her lifetime. Indeed, her photos, which turn the discipline of "still life" on its ear by manipulating light and shadow to achieve the illusion of motion, were only reproduced twice. The Gallery at Southern Methodist University hosts a retrospective of the work of Content, who died just a dozen years ago at the age of 89. The show runs through February 25 in SMU's Hughes-Trigg Student Center. For more information, call 768-4439.