This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

 Thursday, November 20
Without choreography, a dance performance would probably be like an improv comedy show--either really entertaining or laughable (and not in a good way). For the 2003 Fall Dance Concert at Meadows School of the Arts, they've got the choreography covered. Of the three works, a ballet, contemporary and modern; one is Concerto Barocco by George Balanchine, one of the 20th century's greatest and most challenging choreographers. The Division of Dance will have their way with what is considered one of Balanchine's "most intricate and difficult neoclassical ballets," and with his notorious formations and stage patterns, it is recognizably Balanchine and awe-inspiring. Moving from ballet, the division also gets a little torchy with Bittersuite, set to songs like "I Put a Spell on You" and "My Man's Gone Now." Follow it up with a twirl of tango in Redencin by Larry White and the gamut of dance has been run...or leapt, so to speak. The trio of technique starts at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Bob Hope Theatre, 6101 Bishop Blvd., on the SMU campus. Tickets are $6 to $12. Call 214-768-2787.

Friday, November 21
The Police had "Tea in the Sahara," but frankly we feel a hot drink in a hot place is not really the way to go. A warm cup and a slight chill, however, would be splendid, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art concurs. Rather than just "Tea for Two," the museum invites the public for Tea in the Courtyard. Bring a brown bag lunch (we may sport our Dolly Parton lunch box as we feel that "brown bag" is subject to interpretation, despite its being a cute and subtle reference to the tea bag) and mingle amid other tea-hounds and the caffeine provided by Java and Cha Co. Take a big sip Friday from noon to 1 p.m., 2010 Flora St. Call 214-979-6435.

Saturday, November 22

For years, we left out our favorite cookies and a cold glass of milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Maybe we're greedy, but we always wanted some of those cookies, too, and struggled to stay awake to enjoy them with the North Pole's main man. We're a bit too old now, but kids now have the opportunity to chow sweet treats with Mr. Claus and be entertained by kiddy star Eddie Coker. After milk and cookies with Santa, what kid could pass up a photo with said bearded man o' generosity? The whole spiel is free for members of the Camp Valley View Kid's Club, or it's just a 10-spot to join (proceeds go to the Dallas Children's Museum). Kids, head to Valley View Center's lower level center court Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Parents, you'll RSVP for the little ones, right? Call 972-661-2426.

Ala Balanchine: The Division of Dance at Meadows School of the Arts' Olivia Banaszack, Emily Sears, Sarah Atkins, Mary Ashley Elmore, Travis Kelley and Lauren Harvey in Concerto Barocco.
Paul Talley
Ala Balanchine: The Division of Dance at Meadows School of the Arts' Olivia Banaszack, Emily Sears, Sarah Atkins, Mary Ashley Elmore, Travis Kelley and Lauren Harvey in Concerto Barocco.

Sunday, November 23
Back in our home-performance phase, we'd sing "Mammy," "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and Carousel's "Soliloquy" with Mom's Mandy Patinkin CD, using various props, for no apparent audience. Imagine how shocked we were to discover the sensitive songster was rough-and-tumble Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. A doc on Chicago Hope, Che in Evita and a naked version of himself in Run, Ronnie, Run!, and we still can't get past his rendition of "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods. It's an obsession, secret no more; we can't deny ourselves. So how lucky are we that at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Mr. Golden Throat is at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, doing a concert to benefit National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas section. He's what The New York Post called "the greatest entertainer on Broadway today," and to us, he was a great backup singer when we were just starting out. Tickets are $52 to $152. Call 972-744-4650.

Monday, November 24
At 21, our social lives were more than a little swayed by nightly drink specials. That lasted a good year or so until we hopped onto the fitness kick and cycled through nights of cardio-kickboxing, Pilates and step. That lasted until we suffered a broken bone (unrelated!) and discovered a very satisfying regimen of cable TV. Nearing 30, we long for something fit and creative to pass the hours, something more than riding our Tony Little Gazelle for an entire episode of The O.C. Monday night now has an inspiring little kick to it with Salon Pavadita's Lindy Hop Classes. The classes build on one another while keeping it simple enough for a newcomer to jump in. Beginning Lindy classes (at 8 p.m.) tackle the basics with eight-count rhythm, swing outs, Charleston and more, while the intermediate Lindy classes (at 7 p.m.) branch out on partnership, movement and musicality. With an appeal to several age groups, the classes are great for meeting people and offer an opportunity to, as Outkast would say, "shake it like a Polaroid picture." While we're not real clear on how to shake it correctly, we know instructors Jeff and Elaine will tell us how to put the right foot forward. Or is it the left? Salon Pavadita is located at 2714 1/2 Greenville Ave. Call 214-228-4454.

Tuesday, November 25
Thanksgiving, as a rule, is a day of excessive ingestion and a subsequent sleepy contentment, until it's time for the concoction of leftovers. A certain amount of boredom is expected Thursday, but with travel blackouts and the like, it's likely that visitors will arrive a few days early and require a bit of midday entertainment. Celebrate the Tuesday before with a Behind the Scenes Holiday Performance by Dallas Black Dance Theatre. The "intimate noontime performances" break up the What Now? Syndrome of the days off with new pieces created by Ingrid Abbott and Edmond Giles and performed by the seemingly airborne and exceptionally fluid DBDT dancers. Plus, audience members can meet the talent in person after the show. The dance is on at the DBDT studio, 2627 Flora St., at noon on Tuesday (Wednesday, too). Admission is free but with limited seating, so reservations are wise. Call 214-871-2390.

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