Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: Last year a New Yorker critic created a firestorm of controversy by refusing to review a new piece of choreography by one of the most revered and influential living choreographers in America today. The problem? Bill T. Jones' Still/Here was developed in workshops with terminally ill people (many of whom were living with full-blown AIDS) in an attempt by the dancer to capture what he calls "the resourcefulness and courage necessary to perform the act of living." Sight unseen, New Yorker declared the piece "victim art" in a now-legendary essay explaining why the show would not be reviewed. (You really have to wonder if a less politically charged disease like, say, heart disease would automatically earn the title "victim art"). The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performs the otherwise lauded Still/Here February 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium, on the campus of Southern Methodist University at Mockingbird and Hillcrest. Tickets are $7-$40. For more information, call 528-5576.
Don Giovanni: The Dallas Opera brings its 1995-'96 season to a close with a timeless tale about a guy who thought that tail was timeless, and couldn't get enough of it. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, himself a man who was known to enjoy a furtive roll in the broom closet in between writing 17 operas, 46 symphonies, and 26 piano concertos, took the Spanish legend of Don Juan and Italianized it into Don Giovanni. He also threw in a bit more comedy and tragedy than the original story contained to make it a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Native Texan soprano Donna Elvira plays the woman who just might be Don's match, and Loverboy is delivered in a booming baritone by acclaimed Russian singer Sergei Leiferkus. Performances of Don Giovanni are February 16, 21, and 24 at 7:30 p.m. and February 18 at 2 p.m. in the Music Hall at Fair Park. For more information, call 443-1043.
George Winston: George Winston's reputation as the kingpin of new-age piano isn't entirely justified. Rather, it's built upon a handful of his seasonally themed records (Summer, December, Winter into Spring...you get the idea) and storybook soundtracks (The Velveteen Rabbit with Meryl Streep, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes with Liv Ullmann) that rank among Windham Hill's bestsellers; Winston is, in fact, the label's franchise player, so central to its notoriety as the record company that will not only lull you to sleep, but make you a cup of tea, plug in the electric blanket, and tuck you in. Winston doesn't deserve the grief he gets from a so-called cognoscenti who would lump Winston in with John Tesh and Yanni. Winston ranks far above their meager lot. This immensely gifted pianist actually began recording in the early 1970s as something of an avant-stride player who softened the edges of Fats Waller and Blind Blake and came off sounding not too unlike early Randy Newman; Winston is more ragtime than naptime, and his 1972 album, Ballads and Blues, reissued 22 years later in 1994 on Windham Hill, suggests a range and passion you couldn't find on December if you had 11 more months to search. Winston's work with outstanding blues ethnomusicologist-guitarist Bob Brozman further cements the notion that Winston hasn't sold his soul, but has merely lent it out for an exorbitant fee. There's a hint around the corner that perhaps all isn't lost for Winston, who does break out into a stride number or two in concert: He's scheduled to release an album paying homage to the unsung pianist and composer of the 1960s, Vince Guaraldi--the man responsible for the immortal music that accompanied the Charlie Brown television specials. Winston's got taste, at the very least. George Winston performs at 7:30 p.m. February 19 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
The Dream and Lie of Franco: When he wasn't slapping women around, legendary brooding artist Pablo Picasso found the time to become outraged at man's operatic inhumanity to man, especially as symbolized in war. The Spanish Civil War weighed heavily on his mind, as his most famous mural, Guernica, attests. Not nearly as talked about are the suite of prints that Picasso completed before, during, and after the creation of Guernica. The two-part, metal-plate images in The Dream and Lie of Franco are equally filled with the rage and sorrow of the dying, and were also a reaction to the internal war that tore the artist's birthplace to shreds. Both parts of the prints are on display through March 10 at the Meadows Museum on the grounds of Southern Methodist University, Mockingbird and Hillcrest. It's free. Call 768-1688.
Camino Real: The story of a handsome, sexy, often shirtless wanderer who arrives in a port city full of really strange characters and a little magic, Camino Real is a lost Tennessee Williams masterpiece. One of Dallas' finest theatrical troupes, The Undermain Theater, will perform Camino Real Wednesday through Saturday nights through March 23 at 3200 Main. For ticket information, call 747-5515.