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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — pure yoga madness included

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Hawah TExas Yoga Conference
Hawah, who's an artist, author, educator and nonprofit leader, is one of the featured guests at the Texas Yoga Conference. Courtesy of Texas Yoga Conference
Opera in the Heights Don Giovanni
Opera in the Heights sets Don Giovanni in a melange of mobster Bond, Grease Lightening and surrealist fun. Photo by Amitava Sarkar
News_John Adams_composer
The Houston Symphony welcomes iconic American composer John Adams. Photo by Margaretta Mitchell
The Society for the Performing Arts presents "Mark Morris Dance Group"
Brooklyn-based Mark Morris Dance Group prides itself in collaborating with live musicians for each performance. Photo is by Richard Termine
Art of Killing film
A scene from The Act of Killing. Courtesy photo
Hawah TExas Yoga Conference
Opera in the Heights Don Giovanni
News_John Adams_composer
The Society for the Performing Arts presents "Mark Morris Dance Group"
Art of Killing film
Joel Luks, head shot, column mug, April 2013

January is just about over and done with. And hopefully so are any mentions of the biatch of a polar vortex. 

Warm yourself up with this week's suggestions, which include a bendy gathering, an operatic character who can't control his libido, important classical music guests, a cutting-edge dance troupe and a film that shocks with its premise.

Fifth Annual Texas Yoga Conference

I know you are out there. Are you one of those folks who have been itching to try practicing yoga? With so many different approaches to the physical, mental and spiritual discipline, embarking on the yoga path may be intimidating.

If that's you, get your asana over to the Texas Yoga Conference, where more than 80 presentations, lectures and classes lay it all out on the mat. With the addition of concerts and vendors showcasing all sorts of yoga goods, think of this three-day affair as part education, part happy party. So go ahead, strike a pose. Find a complete schedule here.

The skinny: Friday through Sunday; Silver Street Studios; entry starts at $10.

Opera in the Heights presents Don Giovanni

The scene in which the ghost of the Commandatore comes back from the beyond to scare the bejesus out of Don is one of my favorite in the operatic repertoire. Although the story of the suave Casanova — read that: male whore — begins with tragedy, the plot moves quickly to humorous escapades as Mr. G tries to penetrate anything with a hole. His mission? To add to his little black book of some 1,500 randy conquests. Lesson learned? Justice prevails.

The intimate setting of Opera in Heights does much to seduce audiences into the music. As for the company's interpretation, you'll find a contemporary setting that's a melange of mobster Bond, Grease Lightening and surrealist fun in with the unforgettable womanizer goes about his promiscuous escapades. And you thought Mozart was boring.

The skinny: Friday through Feb. 9; Opera in the Heights at Lambert Hall; tickets start at $32.

Houston Symphony presents "Adams Conducts Adams"

It's not often that classical music lovers are offered the opportunity to experience a composer conduct his own oeuvres. While it's true that most symphony orchestras program mostly scores by dead tunesmiths, the Houston Symphony welcomes iconic American composer John Adams for a concert that includes his City Noir.

Joining Adams is the charming fiddler Gil Shaham, whose recording of Korngold's Violin Concerto is terrific. You'll hear that and Copland's El Salon Mexico.

The skinny: Friday through Sunday; Jones Hall; tickets start at $25.

Society for the Performing Arts presents the Mark Morris Dance Group

While many contemporary dance companies rely on recorded music to accompany the onstage action, the Brooklyn-based Mark Morris Dance Group prides itself in collaborating with live musicians for each performance. At the hands of its founder, one of the most important dance makers working today, the troupe of movers and shakers is a sparkling example of artists who possess the prowess to enthrall audiences of all backgrounds.

The skinny: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $23.

Film screening: The Act of Killing

It's the type of premise that compels you to stop midstep and consider what size cojones director Joshua Oppenheimer must have for producing this chilling documentary. Oppenheimer persuaded Anwar Congo, the chief of a brutal death squad that's responsible for the murder of some thousand people in Indonesia in the 1960s, to gather his partners in crime to re-enact his vicious killings — on camera. But what happens when Anwar is asked to play the role of a victim?

The film weaves in an out of the recreations to behind the scenes footage of these makeshift actors as they respond to the situations in a way that confronts the participants' principles.

The skinny: Playing selected days between Saturday and Feb. 6 at 14 Pews; tickets are $10, free for 14 Pews members.

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