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Brian Guilliaux

Born Again


Kim Neal Nofsinger started to dabble in choreography the minute he became a dancer. "Choreography was as natural as what attracted me to modern dance in the first place," he says. "There is so much freedom, and it's a very personal medium. I found I could make a personal investment, express whatever creativity I had in both roles." Dallas' elledanceworks chose Nofsinger last fall as the company's guest artist for the final performances of its seventh season. He traveled to Dallas in November to teach seven of elledanceworks' dancers a piece he created called "Renaissance," which will be performed Thursdays through Saturdays through June 19 at Bath House Cultural Center. "I was very impressed by the quality of the local dancers," Nofsinger says. "Sometimes I choreograph to a dancer's strengths, but, in this case, when a piece is set, it can be challenging for the dancers." Nofsinger says "Renaissance" is a mystical, tribal journey, "almost an incantation," with dancers traveling through space and encountering one another. "The music I chose is sacred, complex and haunting," he says. For the June 10 through June 12 performances, Nofsinger dances in another of his pieces, "Acting in Defense Of," a frenzied, political commentary set to a "Tape Beetles" sound collage. He and Kelly Moss Southall, a member of Nofsinger's Ohio-based Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, fling each other around the stage to express turmoil over current events such as gay marriage and the war in Iraq. With Nofsinger's centerpieces, eight other dance works choreographed by company members make up elledanceworks' season-ending evenings of Performances start at 8 each night, and tickets ($15 for general admission and $12 for students, seniors and Dallas Dance Council members) are available at 214-366-0630. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Country Culture

Been meaning to make it out to The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., but it ain't easy convincing a 9-year-old and her mother that a drive to Cowtown for some culture is a good idea--unless country music and good food are involved. We'll be there Saturday for a "totally Texas Floating Music Festival." Listen to the country/folk/eclectic stylings of four acts on the lawn by the reflecting pond and eat a pre-ordered picnic dinner (can't bring drinks, food or chairs, bub). The concert is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 817-840-2154. --Eric Celeste

Mellow Melodies

The word "casual" is usually reserved for Fridays, highlighted by a good pair of sneakers and ironed jeans or khakis. But for the Dallas Symphony, casual gets a classical twist with three Casual Classics concerts in June. The performances are a steal at reduced prices, the attire is laid-back, and you even get barbecue and margaritas to sweeten the pot. But since the concerts are at the Meyerson Symphony Center, you can enjoy a pleasant, mosquito-free experience without the summer heat normally attached to casual summer evenings. Expect familiar works from greats such as Beethoven, Brahm and Gershwin. The first classic kicks off at 7:30 p.m. June 12. Tickets range from $10 to $50. Call 214-692-0203 or visit --Jenice Johnson

Handy Dandy
The Yankees are coming


Mom loves musicals. Before I could protest, she planted in me a love of the genre that spread from The Sound of Music to Jesus Christ Superstar. But more than any of them, Mom loves Yankee Doodle Dandy. A 1942 movie starring James Cagney--now a stage play at Fair Park from June 15 through June 27--Yankee Doodle Dandy tells the story of George M. Cohan, the song-and-dance man who spurred on the troops with such compositions as "You're a Grand Ole Flag." Mom got all teary when he delivered his trademark speech: "My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you." This version isn't exactly like that film, but it's still a wholesome, colorful night at the theater. Take the kids; my mother will thank you, and so will I. Tickets are $11 to $75. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Sarah Hepola

Sit, Stay
Fetch this year's PUP Fest

Some people have to be first for everything. Whether it's the next Star Wars movie, the day-after-Thanksgiving sale or infant basketball stars, there's always someone who wants first dibs. Now, perhaps you're not as psychotic as Reebok in sponsoring 3-year-old basketball "phenom" Mark Walker, but if you like to call shotgun on everything else in life, you'll dig this Saturday's Playwrights Under Progress Fest. The third-annual event is part of Kitchen Dog Theatre's New Works Festival at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., and features five short plays written by high school students in Dallas. Granted, there's no guarantee for the maturity level of plays with titles like A Faithful Boyfriend and His Tainted Girlfriend, but if you have to be the first on your block to catch the next great playwright, then this festival is your best shot. PUP Fest starts at 2 p.m., and entry is free. Call 214-526-4076. --Sam Machkovech


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