American Dance Festival – Through July 29 – The festival, praised as “one of the nation’s most important institutions” by The New York Times, celebrates its 40th year in Durham (and 84th year overall) with 71 performances by 30 companies at locations across town, including DPAC, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Sheafer Lab Theater and Reynolds Industries Theater. This weekend’s events include the documentary “Bobbi Jene” on Thursday at 7pm at Full Frame Theater @ American Tobacco; Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co. revival of Young’s 30 year-old “Interleaving,” a piece combining four separate dances, at Reynolds Industries Theater at 8pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday; the ADF debut of “Cherdonna” on Saturday at 1pm at Living Arts Collective; and Community Gaga classes at ADF’s Samuel H. Scripps Studios on Sunday.
‘Good Karma’ – Thursday, 7pm – Author Christina Kelly will be at The Regulator Bookshop for a reading and book signing of her debut novel. In a gated community in Savannah, Georgia, Catherine and Ralph’s visions of retirement couldn’t be more different. While Catherine is intrigued by their quirky neighbors, Ralph’s golf-and-poker routine seems to be interrupted only by his flirtations with their real estate agent. As the pair drift further apart, Catherine can’t help but feel that her marriage is at risk. Then she meets recent widower Fred at the dog park. United by their dogs, they embark upon a friendship that could be something more – until she discovers that he’s not quite what he seems.
‘The House on Coco Road’ – Thursday, 7pm – The Hayti Heritage Center, in collaboration with UNC’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History and Array Films, hosts a special screening of this powerful documentary weeks ahead of its July release date. Set amidst the Grenada Revolution, the film follows one family’s flight from racial tensions in 1980s Oakland, California, only to find themselves settled directly in the path of a U.S. military invasion. First-hand accounts from activists Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Fannie Haughton weave together director Damani Baker’s family portrait of utopian dreams, resistance and civil unrest with a film score composed by Meshell Ndegeocello. Make sure to RSVP if you would like to attend this sneak preview.
Harvey Dalton Arnold – Thursday, 8:30-11pm – This rock and blues legend, known for his work with the band The Outlaws as well as his collaborations with Robert John “Mutt” Lange and The Rolling Stones, will be performing at The Bullpen. The North Carolina native performs a unique left-handed finger-picking style and slide playing on electric and acoustic guitars. Harvey will also be performing music from his latest release, “Outlaw.” $1 from every draft pint sold will be donated to the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Retro-Arthouse Film Series – Friday, 1-10:30pm; Saturday, 1:10-11pm; Sunday, 2-10:15pm – Come out to The Carolina Theatre for a weekend of classic arthouse films. The genre where the content and style adhere with as little compromise as possible to the filmmakers’ personal artistic vision, these films are typically independently produced, and filmmakers usually use a mix of lesser-known and amateur actors. But in this series – which includes “Galipoli,” “Eraserhead,” “My Beautiful Laundrette” and “The Seventh Seal” as well as nine other movies – you will see some very famous faces.
Orquesta GarDel – Friday, 6-8pm – Thoroughly multinational but uniquely North Carolinian, this 13-piece salsa band kicks off Durham Central Park‘s new 10-week Friday night concert series. The band members will keep you moving with their high-energy Latin dance performance. You’ll hear horn players, percussionists and coro singers as they play songs from their latest release, “La Fuerza Salsera.” Bring a blanket or chair and purchase dinner and beverages from several food trucks and craft beer vendors on site.
PROMPTS: Collaboration – Friday, 7-9pm – The Bipeds dance company and Curtis Eller‘s American Circus present a new work-in-progress entitled “Dressful of Dreams” at The Carrack. Choreographed by Stacy Wolfson, this work is an attempt to blur the lines between musicians and dancers. Stacy and her dancers, including Renay Aumiller, Amanda Beaty, William Commander and Alyssa Noble, have incorporated Curtis throughout the show, not only by way of song, but also by integrating some of his physical mannerisms into the choreography. Refreshments will be available for purchase during the performance.
Matthew Greenslade and Dear Ivory – Friday, 7-9pm – Bring your chairs and listen to the sounds of soulful Americana at Brightleaf Square‘s free concert series.
Audio Under the Stars – Friday, 8-10pm – The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University continues its 2017 season of Audio Under the Stars with “Skin and Bones: Life, Death and Everything in Between.” Prepare to hear about the frailties and strengths of the human body as people mark the milestones along life’s journey. Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy an evening of thoughtful and poignant stories exploring how humans cope with the inevitability of growing older.
Pat ‘Mother Blues’ Cohen – Friday, 8:30-10:30pm – Since she was 6 years old, she has been surrounded by music. Her blues classroom was on the porches of her uncles’ homes in New Orleans where one played the guitar and the other played the harmonica. Come see everything she learned – and then some – when she brings her show to The Bullpen. Through her performances, “Mother Blues” shares her life experiences with her audience via soulful words and music. She and her music embody the same courage, sadness and compassion of the famous singers she idolizes – women like Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor and Etta James. As always, $1 of every draft pint sold will be donated to the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Dreaming of the ’90s Dance Party – Friday, 10pm – The dream of the ’90s is alive at The Pinhook. Hosted by DJ PlayPlay whose specialty is creatively interweaving nostalgic hip-hop, pop and house classics into DJ sets, you’ll hear music from artists like Michael and Janet Jackson, TLC, Missy Elliott, Boyz II Men, LL Cool J, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg. Using a hardware setup consisting of a sampler, sequencer, drum machine and a Moog synthesizer, this DJ’s sound is heavily influenced by early jungle, Baltimore club and acid house, always playing a great mix of mainstream and underground tunes that keeps everyone dancing. This party will be all that and a bag of chips!
Pollinator Garden Tour – Saturday, 9am-1pm – Celebrate National Pollinator Week with Keep Durham Beautiful and take a tour of Durham’s finest pollinator gardens. You’ll learn why birds, bees, butterflies and bugs are so vital to our existence. The tour will highlight the participating community gardens in the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Program, which seeks to establish pollinator habitats throughout Durham while increasing local food yield in low-income and underserved areas. There will be 13 stops on the tour, and garden representatives will be on hand to show off the spaces. They will also host fun pollinator activities such as honey tasting, water color art, nature journaling and much more. All proceeds will go directly towards supporting Keep Durham Beautiful pollinator programs.
Woven Cover Book Binding – Saturday, 2-4pm – Try your hand at bookbinding with a simple pamphlet-style starter at The Scrap Exchange. In this class, students will create woven designs for book covers and learn to stitch a pamphlet binding. These little books are versatile for gifts, making notes, drawings and more. All materials necessary for this project are included. Instructor Wendy Ziegler has been involved in all levels of education for more than 20 years with a specific interest in process-oriented art, various handcrafts and loose parts play. She is a handwork teacher at Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill. You must be 16 years old to participate in this class.
Yolanda Rabun – Saturday, 7pm and 9pm – The fierce songstress and North Carolina-based recording artist who favors jazz and soul takes the stage for two performances at Beyu Caffe.
Rock the Beat DJ Festival – Saturday, 8pm – Motorco Music Hall sets the scene for North Carolina’s first grassroots DJ festival, welcoming a collective of DJs from the region who play a wide variety of music, ranging from hip-hop, funk, rock, soul, house and R&B. Arrive ready to have fun, keep an open mind and ear, dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. Headliners include Producer/DJ Jeremy Avalon of the WERC Crew out of Atlanta with support from Raleigh’s DJ Forge and DJ Remy and Charlotte’s DJ Fannie Mae and AHUF.
Thomas Rhyant – Saturday, 8:30-10:30pm – This renowned gospel singer and his three-piece band performs the music of the legendary King of Soul, Sam Cooke, at The Bullpen. Thomas has been a guitar player for more than 40 years and has always been an admirer of great tenor singers such as Danny Walker and Robert Arrington of The Fantastic Violinaires. He has also been inspired by some of the great tenors such as Eddie Kendricks, founder of The Temptations, and gospel artist Paul Beasley. Come out and watch this powerful tribute. As always, $1 of every draft pint sold will be donated to the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
‘Fresh Dressed’ – Sunday, 3-5pm – The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents a fascinating documentary chronicling the rise of hip-hop, urban fashion and the hustle that brought oversized pants and graffiti-drenched jackets from urban neighborhoods to high fashion catwalks and middle-America’s shopping malls. Director Sacha Jenkins’s musical history draws from a rich mix of archival materials and in-depth interviews with rappers, designers and other industry insiders including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Kid ‘N Play. The result is a passionate telling of how the reach for freedom of expression and a better life ended up taking over the mainstream. Arrive early and have lunch at the Nasher Museum Café before the movie.
Touch a Truck – Sunday, 3-5pm – Children of all ages are invited to Blackwell Street to explore and touch vehicles of Durham’s first responders. Learn more about the vehicles and the employees who operate them. The area will be filled with over 15 vehicles from local agencies including the Durham Sheriff’s Office, Bahama Fire Department, Lebanon Fire Department, Durham Fire Department, Durham Police Department, Durham EMS, the Durham County Fire Marshal’s Office, Durham County Emergency Management and Durham Fire and Rescue. Stick around after the event and cheer on our Durham Bulls as they host the Charlotte Knights at 5:05pm at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.