The films of Jay Rosenblatt tell epic tales in the time it takes Billy Mays to expound on the wonders of Orange Glo and Oxi Clean. It's remarkable in itself that in one to 20 minutes, Rosenblatt can explore the boring lives behind the most evil of past dictators (Human Remains) or how boys must learn to be men and shut off their feminine sides (The Smell of Burning Ants). But it's more so when you factor in Rosenblatt's process. For the most part, this isn't original film. He takes found footage--educational films, old home movies, silent shorts--and cuts them together with dubbed narrative to tell a whole new story. Seven of these totally original not-originals will be shown as part of the Video Association of Dallas' Texas Documentary Tour, which is presented this month as a co-production with 3 Stars Cinema. The screening takes place at 7 p.m. in the Orientation Theater of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $10. Seating is limited, so make reservations by calling 214-823-8799 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, February 21
The Dallas Black Dance Theater is hosting a tribute to The City That Never Sleeps in The City That Goes To Bed After Wheel of Fortune. For two nights during its annual Cultural Awareness Series, DBDT honors New York, New York with a concert of ballets choreographed by New York artists, including Robert Battle, David Parsons and Milton Myers, who contributes two works, one of which is new. The second new piece is by Troy Powell, a former dancer and choreographer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. New York, New York will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $15 to $30 for the Cultural Awareness Series. Call the box office at 214-631-ARTS.
Saturday, February 22
Our method of flower arranging isn't so much an art as an equation: Buy bouquet from grocery store, throw away the ugly stuff (ferns, baby's breath, dead flowers), cut the remaining stems into points and put in a vase with tap water. Voila! But then our carnations and gerbera daisies have nothing on Japan in Bloom. From Friday through Sunday, Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, will be celebrated at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The Japanese galleries will contain an exhibit of flower arrangements inspired by pieces in the collection and designed based on the three elements of heaven, man and earth. In addition, on Saturday, the museum hosts a family day event with music by the Kodo drummers (noon), a tea ceremony (2 p.m.), Ikebana workshops (11 a.m. and 1 p.m.) and all-day art activities for kids. Admission is free, but the tea ceremony is $5 to $10. The Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St. Call 214-979-6430.
Sunday, February 23
We know more about what modern art isn't than what it is. It's not a bunch of sunflowers or a bowl of fruit on a table. But, according to the Dallas Museum of Art's new survey of 11 working Lone Star artists called Come Forward: Emerging Art in Texas, what it is is much more scintillating. There's finger-sucking portraits (Joey Fauerso), a bull-riding installation (Chris Sauter), surreal tableaus (Marshall Garth Thompson), slacker-life residue (Brad Tucker) and drawings of characters named Miami Dave and Diamond Leruso (Robyn O'Neil). The exhibit, curated in part by the DMA's Suzanne Weaver, who does the Concentrations series of exhibits, looks at promising artists either in grad school or recently graduated as they produce new work that reflects the vital art communities in Texas. It opens Sunday and runs through May 11 in the J.E.R. Chilton Galleries. In conjunction with it, the museum presents Progressive Texas: Art at the Texas Centennial of 1936 in the Textile Gallery through May 11 and Texas on Paper in the Concourse through next spring. DMA, 1717 N. Harwood St. Call 214-922-1200.
Monday, February 24
The Texas Bound series is the epitome of Arts and Letters Live. It's actors (check) reading stories (check) on stage for an audience (check). So it's only fitting that the first of four Texas Bounds kicks off the ALL season. During Texas Bound: Exchanges, local actors Bruce DuBose, John Flores, Tina Parker and Christina Vela--representing Undermain Theatre, Our Endeavors, Kitchen Dog Theater and Teatro Dallas--will perform four short stories by Texas writers. Flores and Vela, husband and wife, will perform Ruth Pennebaker's "His and Hers." The same program will be performed at both 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Dallas Museum of Art's Horchow Auditorium. Tickets are $15 to $17. Call ALL at 214-922-1220.
Tuesday, February 25
We remember when dance was confined to bony girls in tutus with their hair slicked back into knots and guys in tights, looking like life-size Ken dolls. Now, as in sports and marketing, dance has gone extreme. Dancers can't just twirl; they must fly. Danger is as great an influence as Diaghilev. The latest example to bring its touring production here is Aeros, a collaboration between contemporary dance choreographers such as David Parsons and a troupe of 20-something championship gymnasts from Romania with help from the creators of the Broadway show STOMP. Aeros performs at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Bass Performance Hall, 330 E. Fourth St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $35 to $65. Call the box office at 817-212-4280.