Chihuahua: Ballet Folklorico de Mexico performs every year for the pleasure of the wealthy and the well-connected intelligentsia at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. The company stops in Dallas as part of a 22-city American tour that serves as the premiere of its two-part Mexican folk celebration "Chihuahua." Each part honors a different half of the complex Mexican heritage. The first part recreates the dances honoring creatures of the forest that were annual rituals for the Tarahumaras, the indigenous people of the Chihuahua region. The second details the Spanish influence by way of Poland; Spanish conquerors brought the polka with them to our continent, where it found a home in Mexico. The event happens at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 582-8580.
8 Country Reporter Festival: Dear old Bob Phillips--Dairy Queen pitchman, Texas wayfarer, he of the dorky haircut and whopper-of-a-head-cold voice. What would Sunday evenings in North Texas have been like for the past 25 years if Phillips hadn't been turning over his odometer on quests to meet some of our fair state's more unlikely eccentrics. Past mini-celebs featured on 4 Country Reporter and its later incarnation, 8 Country Reporter, gather for the 25th anniversary of Bob Phillips' show. The 8 Country Reporter Festival is more of a talent show than a dry memorial; think of it as The Lone Star Gong Show. The event happens from noon to 4 p.m. at Old City Park, 1717 Gano Street. Admission is $2 to $4; kids younger than 3 get in free. Call 421-5141.
Texas Baroque Ensemble: The purpose of musical ensembles like Texas Baroque Ensemble is not esoterica for its own sake, but the salvation of vital instruments and compositions that have been ignored by the pitiless, elitist roll of history. This Garland-based troupe specializes in almost forgotten works written before 1800 and performed on replicas of centuries-old instruments or restored originals. The Texas Baroque Ensemble kicks off the fifth anniversary season of the Saint Rita Fine Arts series. The performance happens at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Rita Catholic Church, 12521 Inwood Road. For info call (972) 934-8388.
Roberto Munguia: Robert Munguia became so enraptured as a boy with the childhood card game known as Loteria, he found himself unable to shake it even as he grew up and began to train as a painter in watercolor and collage. The fierce colors and tarotlike iconography of Loteria soon started showing up in the larger pieces that Munguia produced as an adult, and he realized the Rorschach nature of the game could be applied to a number of puzzling subjects revolving around identity--spiritual, family, national, global. The Dallas Visual Art Center hosts an exhibit of Munguia's work entitled Buena. The show runs through November 8 at Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss Ave. Call 821-2522.
The Choice '96: You wouldn't think an American presidential election could have more twists and turns than in 1992, and although 1996 lacks the comic highs of Clinton-Perot-Bush, the upcoming election is by far the stranger of the two. When was the last time you got the impression there was virtually no difference between the two leading contenders? Seldom have Democrats resembled Republicans so much, and Republicans attempted to look so cuddly. During the past four years, Republicans have successfully managed to push Clinton to the right of center, while the bad publicity from that hateful 1992 Republican National Convention prompted the GOP to set up a veritable quota system of diversity in the speakers' slots for its 1996 convention. The invaluable documentary series Frontline continues its election-year tradition of candidate profiles with "The Choice '96," a two-hour dual biography of the careers of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Glancing at their mug shots beside each other, we have just one question: "Separated at birth?" The episode airs at 8 p.m. on KERA-TV Channel 13. For more info call 871-1390.
Rock & Roll: No one has lamented the passing of the great '60s rock legends like Ab Fab's Edina Monsoon, who declares with a wisp of regret: "Who dies in their own vomit these days?" Unfortunately, the chemical excesses of rich pop musicians have been all-too much in the headlines these past five years as a new generation implodes in the celebrity spotlight. It's hard not to be a little sad when perusing the classic portraiture in Rock & Roll, a new show of works by Lynn Goldsmith, Doug Kirkland, Stephen Goldblatt, and other internationally celebrated photographers. The faces of Janis, Jimi, Jerry, and Frank stare back at us with that weird mixture of wisdom and craziness, making us wonder what more they would've done if they'd lived their complete lifespans. The show runs through October 26 at Photographs Do Not Bend, 3115 Routh St. Call 969-1852.