Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — crazy dance party included
On tap this week are happenings that honor the spirit of the city, crafty competitions, al fresco fitness, a street-esque dance party and a tribute to an artist who made music "smile."
Be sure to click on the links below each event. You'll find a page with helpful intel — like where to shop, eat and drink nearby your final destination — and the ability to download the details straight to your electronic calendar.
Summer Solstice Observation at Rothko Chapel
How fitting is it to celebrate the arrival of summer at the Rothko Chapel. The astronomical event — the exact moment when the Sun appears to rise to its highest (or lowest) point — has been the basis for mystical, spiritual and ancient rituals that glorify change, rebirth and Mother Nature.
So maybe in Houston we feel differently about the start of summer. Let's turn the other cheek and not curse scalding temperatures and dripping moisture, but rather partake in a Tibetan smoke offering and a thunderous display of taiko drumming to accept the inevitable.
Find your cool, collected center at this two-part celebration — at sunrise and at sunset.
Houston Symphony ExxonMobil Summer Nights "Centennial 100th Birthday Concert"
The Houston Symphony may be turning 100, but it's looking mighty fresh at such a momentous milestone. Think of this affair as more than a classical music concert. The spectacle welcomes American Idol finalist LaKisha Jones, dancers, marching bands, choruses — the whole shebang. The performance is crowned with fireworks lighting up the sky.
Rice Design Alliance's Third Annual "Anything That Floats"
Rice Design Alliance's young professionals, better known as rdAGENTS, are masters at turning one man's trash into inventions that stay afloat. Teams are allotted just a few hours to forge something that sails along Buffalo Bayou, with prizes awarded for creativity, innovation and speed.
It's a sink or swim kind of competition, and very entertaining to watch.
Yoga Jam: Krishna Das
Are you brave enough for a yoga class en plein air? Don't shy away from Houston summer, embrace your clammy fabulousness and find your namaste while admiring a slice of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's sculpture collection.
YogaOne Studios and Big Yoga teachers will lead a class enhanced by the Grammy-nominated tunes of chant master Krishna Das.
DiverseWorks Dance Party
Executive director Elizabeth Dunbar has been on a never-ending quest to steer the avant-garde presenter into a new era, one that boosts DiverseWorks ArtSpace as a hub than cultivates dialogue across all art forms. Said definition of art doesn't preclude experimental music, sound and street genres.
Texas Gypsy: A Musical Tribute to Kelly Lancaster
There was a je ne sais quoi to Denton-native Kelly Lancaster's musicianship — a combination of nonchalant spunk and facile virtuosity — that earned the esteem of his countless of fans and collaborators, among them the notable Willie Nelson, the late David Peters and singer/songwriter Freddy Powers. Anything was possible in Lancaster's frets, from down home bluegrass to European gypsy jazz.
In February, Lancaster passed away peacefully at the age of 45 of pancreatic cancer, his departure leaving a silent void in the mandolin world. Two weeks prior to his death, he married Marjorie Evans, his love of 25 years, in his hospital room. A coterie of friends unite to celebrate the amicable artist through song, including The Gypsies, Allen's Landing Band, Pizazz Dixie Jazz, Attoyac String Band, Cantor Daniel Mutlu, Janice Rubin and many, many more.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop happy gal Nancy Wozny's pick: BooTown presents Turtle Turtle
Nancy says: "I'm heading to Rudyard's to see BooTown's final show of the season, Turtle Turtle, a shadow puppet show that tells the story of a pet turtle who lives in an attic for 30 years. According to Emily Hynds, the mother of BooTown, this really happened in Brazil.
"I've been a BooTown fan from the get go, but have really been enjoying their development as shadow puppet divas. And I guess I should mention that Joseph Wozny, quite possibly related to me, did the music."