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Your weekly guide to Houston: The ultimate foodie film, sprouting, Flamart and Canadian ballet

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Moulin Rouge
In the mood for 19th century Paris? Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Moulin Rouge-The Ballet will take you there, presented by the Society for the Performing Arts. Photo by Bruce Monk
Transference
What differentiates art from craft? Exploring that is what makes openings at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft thought-provoking.  Photos by Jake Stengal
Moulin Rouge
Countertop Gardening
Transference
Schubert
 El Bulli: Cooking in Progress
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Every time I encounter fruits of the loom created by the refugee weavers and knitters at Community Cloth, I end up with one more accessory I cannot live without. A new pastel yellow and baby blue scarf is my eighth purchase from their workshop.  

I can't help myself. It's a common occurrence, though not a surprise. 

Their handcrafted garments brightened Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar during a Spacetaker Cultured Cocktails, a weekly Thursday happy hour that features select local nonprofits. It's where I go to stay in the know. 

Receptions at Wade Wilson's always morph into lively fests where new and old friends meet over art. Guilty pleasure? I love eavesdropping on conversations about creativity.

I wasn't the only avid shopper. Amid frozen mojitos and goblets of ever-flowing wine, a curious artsy folk pored through the many wraps, hats, doggie sweaters and shawls imbued with colorful flair and radiant geometric patterns. 

Raw Beauty: Recent Paintings by Zachariah Rieke also opened last week at Wade Wilson Art, where the artist was chatting up a storm with those absorbed by the larger than life works. Filling the the gallery's contemporary space are monochromatic acrylic-on-canvas paintings — some with an imperceptible colorful undertone — each unveiling a serendipitous process building up to a conscientious balance of aggressive movement and Zen-like solitude.

Receptions at Wade Wilson's always morph into lively fests where new and old friends meet over art. Guilty pleasure? I love eavesdropping on conversations about creativity.

Burgeoning Spring Street Studios is home to quite the number of innovative personages. One of them is Aimee Woodall, the power femme behind Black Sheep Agency's fresh schemes. Add to her flock Hannah Siegel-Gardner, Joelle Eid and Amy Willis, a rock star graphic maverick who's leading the Houston Sketchbook Project initiative, again.

Hipsters visited the funky studio to bid bon voyage to the artsy collection of works by photographers, designers, street artists and illustrators that are headed to the Brooklyn Art Library.

Houston loves its opera, evident by the openings of Houston Grand Opera's La Traviata, Opera in the Heights' Anna Bolena and Moores Opera Center's Amelia and Tartuffe

But enough about last week. On tap this week:

Opening of Bridge 11: Lia Cook, Transference: Andy Paiko & Ethan Rose and Alyssa Salomon—The Handmade Print at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

It's an art threesome, sort of, I suppose more of a creative orgy. A trio of exhibitions opens at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Friday, 5 p.m., highlighting works by fiber artist Lia Cook, a collaboration by glass artist Andy Paiko and experimental sound artist Ethan Rose, and photographs by Alyssa Salomon printed on handmade paper by Helen Hiebert.

I'll be the first to admit that I have a hard time differentiating between art and craft. There's cross over. But in craft, the process of making is just as important, and evident, as the final product. And that's why I love openings at Houston Center for Contemporary. I always learn something new.

If you are in the mood for craft overload, you can meander through the workshops of the artists-in-residence from 6 to 7 p.m and meet the masters challenging the definition of craft. 

Countertop Gardening Class: Sprouting Made Easy at Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

We are all on a quest to be healthier, right? Though I am familiar with the many benefits of sprouting — a technique that raw foodists use to enliven edibles and maximize their nutritional density — I am intimidated by how to implement this method.

When the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center announced that Paula Campbell would lead a class on this topic, I germinated with excitement. Aside from learning the ins and outs of sprouting in this beginner seminar — Saturday at 10 a.m. ($25 for members; $35 for non-members) — Campbell will also lead a tasting and show ways to incorporate raw foods into a daily eating regime.

Houston Premieres Screening at MFAH: El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

Our pious obsession over food reaches its summit at El Bulli, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Roses, Spain. For half a year, chef Ferran Adrià goes black with his culinary cronies to map out a menu for the following season. Think more than 30 courses prepared by 40 or chefs in a single seating. That's foodie love.

The film El Bulli: Cooking in Progress chronicles such a journey, one that attracts more than two million devotees to bid for one of the 8,000 available seats. Saturday, 1 p.m., $5 - $7. 

Flamárt presents Raíces at Talento Bilingüe de Houston

Houston without Flamárt is like paella without saffron. You can get away with it, but at what cost?

I first caught sight of the fiery troupe that encapsulates the ardent tenor of Latin American and Spanish musical styles at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. During a Latin Navidad musicale, saucy rhythms reigned as the spicy personalities of the ensemble morphed the galleries into a exuberant high-decibel show stage.

That's what you can expect at Raíces, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday ($25 - $30). A melange of passionate flamenco, poetry, art songs and plenty of zapateado is in store. 

Vienna 1828: Schubert's Invitation Concert presented by Da Camera of Houston at Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

Best known for his Unfinished Symphony, Ave Maria and scores of lieder, Franz Schubert is one of classical music's greats. Yet it wasn't until the last year of his life, 1828, that a public concert in Vienna was held that showcased his prolific output. 

Travel back in time on Saturday, 8 p.m. as Da Camera recreates such a tuneful occasion, amassing quite the roster of artists including: Nicholas Phan, tenor; R. J. Kelly, horn; Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Tanya Tomkins, cello; Pedja Muzijevic, fortepiano; and the Houston Chamber Choir, Robert Simpson, music director.

Rumor has it that a new 1820s Viennese-style fortepiano will find its way to Houston from Dallas for the concert. Made by Rodney Regier to the specifications of Conrad Graf (1782–1851) — whose instruments were preferred by Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Schumann — it's different than the modern piano. 

Staff writer, architecture savant and all around good guy Tyler Rudick's pick: Panel Discussion of Animal Architecture

Tyler says: "I'll be heading over to AIA Houston on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. panel discussion staged in conjunction with the new Animal Architecture exhibit, which actually just got a quick write-up on The New York Times website.

"Co-curators Ned Dodington and Jon LaRocca, who also founded the Animal Architecture website that spawned the show, will speak about innovative projects (both conceptual and built) that both recognize the animal world around us."

Staff writer and Houston explorer and CultureMap's adorable Whitney Radley's pick: Elizabeth Cook at McGonigel's Mucky Duck

Whitney says: "I won't miss Elizabeth Cook at McGonigel's Mucky Duck. She's talented, irreverent and cute as hell — plus, she's been known to don her tap shoes on occasion. See her twice in one night: Friday at 7:30 or 9:30 p.m."

Arts smarty pants and beer loving' lovable dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Moulin Rouge-The Ballet presented by Society for the Performing Arts

Nancy says: "I'm in the mood for Paris, circa 1889, in the famed Pigalle district, where can-can rules, the Absinthe flows and Toulouse-Lautrec kept a ring-side table. Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Moulin Rouge-The Ballet, choreographed by former RWB star, Jorden Morris, transports us to the decadent turn-of-the-century era. Feels about right for a mid winter night.

"Plus, it's been 26 years since the famed Canadian company has made a Houston stop. Saturday, 8 p.m. Jones Hall."

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