#1: “Displaced” at Space 55, Feb. 20 (canceled)
Described by RPM Orchestra's Pete Petrisko as “a multi-sensory allegorical tale, told dialogue-free through actions, sounds, movements, light, scent and textures,” this immersive theater experience – dubbed “Displaced” – features a live musical score by RPM Orchestra, “suspended choreography and fanning dance” by Debra Minghi, a performance by Michael 23, and an appearance by someone named Killian Cinnamon. The theme of this special preview production – which will officially premiere in April – is the idea of displacement, being forced to move for reasons ranging from war to gentrification. $7, 8:30 p.m. February 20 at Space 55 in Phoenix. space55.org (update: This event has been canceled)
POPnology at Arizona Science Center, Feb. 8
See Marty McFly's hoverboard from the “Back to the Future” films alongside the jetpack from Disney film “The Rockateer” and the autopia car from Disney's “Tomorrowland” in this touring exhibition, which explores the influence of pop culture on technological innovations. Also on hand: Mars rovers, virtual reality gaming by Oculus, the world's first 3D printed car, Baxter the worker robot, sketches for future plans for flying cars from Hyundai, and more. POPnology made its world premiere at Arizona Science Center on February 7, and will be on exhibit through May 15. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-17. azscience.org
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest at Heard Museum, Feb. 13-14
This convergence of indigenous cultures and athletic performance has grown increasingly competitive: Recent contests have been decided by three or less points, and last year's contest was so close the two finalists had to compete in a tie-breaking dance-off. See what all the hoop-la is about as dancers manipulate up to 50 hoops to create animal and globe shapes, and try to impress the judges in five areas: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. Lawn seating only; bring a blanket or chairs. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14. Tickets cost $18, adults; $13.50, seniors 65 and older; $7.50, college students with ID and children ages 4-12. heard.org
With more than a hundred galleries, museums, art spaces and local retail stores packed within a five-mile radius, First Friday Artwalks in Downtown Phoenix can feel more like a marathon if you’re trying to see everything. We’ve whittled down our First Friday must-see list to three eye-opening exhibits:
#1: “Betye Saar: Still Tickin'” opening reception at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Jan. 29
At 89 years old, Los Angeles-born artist Betye Saar is six decades into her career, and continues to create collages and multimedia pieces that speak to various themes. The retrospective “Still Tickin'” includes installations, sculpture, assemblages and more divided into three thematic sections: nostalgia and memory, mysticism and ritual, and the political and racial. Saar will give a free lecture about her work at 7 p.m. January 28. The opening reception for the exhibition takes place from 7-9 p.m. January 29, and is also free. The exhibition runs through May 1. Visit smoca.org for more information.
#1: ArcAttack at Mesa Arts Center - Jan. 24
What can one expect from a performance art group that plays “Tesla Coil Music”? Thunderbolts and lightning! The centerpieces of this show are two custom Tesla coils (machines that emit huge bursts of electricity and lightning) that have had their spark outputs modified to play musical notes. There’s also a robot drummer, an MC who doubles as a stuntman, and chainmail-clad guitar and bass players walking through the lightning of the electrical fields. It’s a superb collision of spectacle, science and rock ‘n’ roll. $27, 3 p.m., at Mesa Arts Center.
#1: “Cats & Guitars” Artist Reception at Chartreuse Gallery, Jan. 15
Nine lives meets six strings in this “Exhibition Celebrating the Feline Form and the Lure of Luthiery.” More than 37 artists from 11 states and five countries will get “catty” with works in a range of mediums from whimsical watercolors and photoshopped portraits to acrylic paintings and mixed media sculptures. Curated by Hauspanther founder Kate Benjamin, the show runs through January 29 and features pieces from artists including Barbara Lipp (Peekskill, NY), Jenny Fontana (Beaverton, OR), Mark Bell (Torquay, United Kingdom), Stine Kaasa (Oslo, Norway), and Phoenix creatives such as Baron Dixon, Cindy Schnackel, Richard Bledsoe, and Stacey Gordon. The portrayals of kitty ditties aren't limited to guitars – ukuleles, bass guitars and banjos may also make appearances. A free artist reception takes places from 6-10 p.m. at Chartreuse Gallery in Phoenix. Visit catsandguitars.com.
“Dinner, DJ and Dancing” at jade bar
DJ Hybrid spins dance tunes in the stylish jade bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain resort. Dinner & Entertainment packages (includes dinner, party favors and a bottle of Dom Perignon) are available for groups of four people ($1,000) and six people ($1,500).
During December, the Valley is illuminated with countless holiday lights. From Glendale Glitters to ZooLights and the Arizona Mormon Temple to Valley neighborhoods, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the glow of the holiday spirit. Here are a few.
There's no shortage of spas and massage havens around the Valley. From hot stone massages to reflexology to deep tissue muscle stimulation, Phoenix has a plethora of places for you to unwind. Here are four of our favorites places, and their top treatments.
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