Essentials: A&E Picks July 18-24 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks

Essentials: A&E Picks July 18-24

Forgiven by Nature, Salt Lake Shakespeare, Peruvian Festival, Dancers of the Silver Screen, Urban Arts Festival




Gianni Pettena: Forgiven by Nature

Architecture, at its most basic, is the building of structures so that humans don’t have to live directly in nature. Gianni Pettena and others founded the Radical Architecture movement of the 1960s and ’70s, a reaction against modernism’s utopian edifices with a very different concept of the architect’s place in nature. The avant-garde group used natural materials in a way that was faithful to their inherent qualities, with a mindfulness of negative space and an awareness of architecture being a kind of transgression against nature. Pettena taught at the University of Utah as an artist in residence in 1972. The Italian artist, architect, historian and critic found himself in a landscape that seemed to embody the very architectural ideas that empowered his work. This period culminated in Pettena’s trio of pieces collectively called The Salt Lake Trilogy, including “Clay House,” “Siege (A Red Line)” (pictured) and “Tumbleweeds Catcher,” a large wooden structure designed to do just that, recreated as a focal point of UMOCA’s Mondo Utah exhibit. Forgiven By Nature marks a more comprehensive examination of Pettena’s work. The landscape may be forgiving, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exact a price, even if that is just the necessity of taking the restrictions of the environment into account. With this much time separating us from Pettena’s early works, that truth is even more apparent, and so is our appreciation of his inventive artfulness. (Brian Staker)
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, through Sept. 21, free.

Salt Lake Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona
As much as Shakespeare’s famous tragedies and histories have shaped our sense of Great Literature and Great Theater, his comedies shouldn’t be brushed aside as somehow lesser works. Consider how many contemporary comedies involve thwarted romance, disguised identities and farcical misunderstandings, and you’ll realize the Bard is just as influential there. For its second and final show of the 2013 season, Salt Lake Shakespeare presents Two Gentlemen of Verona, featuring familiar elements of Shakespeare’s great comedies. A pair of best friends finds their relationship tested when they both fall in love with the same woman—and in his first use of a device that would become one of the writer’s favorite, somewhere along the line a girl is going to dress up as a boy. But even more than that, there are the clowning comic-relief characters and lightning-fast exchanges of wordplay. (Scott Renshaw)
Babcock Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, lower level, 801-581-7100, July 18-20 & 25-28, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. Saturday matinee July 27; Green Show nightly 6:45 p.m., $11-$15.


Peruvian Festival

It probably seems like ages since you’ve sat in a high school Spanish class. By now, it’s all a blur of señoras and sombreros, tests and textbooks. And the only phrase you mostly likely remember is “¿Dónde está el baño?” In fact, the most Latin culture you’ve gotten this month is a jar of processed salsa (nonspicy) and some tortilla chips (just the leftover crumbs). But Centerville’s Peruvian Festival will give you a reason to brush up on your foreign linguistics, as long as you bring your appetite. The 20-minute drive from Salt Lake City lets you work up an appetite for tamales, ceviche and a beverage called chicha morada (part of that translates to “purple,” but I’m willing to give it a try), among other dishes. There will also be folklore dances, traditional Peruvian music and crafts. (Courtney Tanner)
Centerville Founders Park, 300 N. 100 East, Centerville, 801-683-9737, July 20, noon-9:30 p.m., free.

Dancers of the Silver Screen
Stephanie Buranek is a native Salt Laker who also happens to be an award-winning belly dancer. For her latest performance, Dancers of the Silver Screen—featuring hypnotic hip undulations and flowing, heavily bejeweled colorful costumes—she has turned to the classic films of Hollywood and Egypt. “The inspiration came from my love of Egyptian dancers during the golden era of cinema,” Buranek says. “I am veering slightly and performing a piece in the likeness of Edith Piaf; although she played cameo roles in several films, she was not really a film star.” Other, perhaps more legitimate, stars of the screen who will be temporarily brought back to life by a cast of professional dancers—including special guest dancer Lisa Zahiya from North Carolina—are Hollywood icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Jane Russell and Debra Paget. But, the mesmerizing movements of past Egyptian stars like Samia Gamal, Naima Akef and Suheir Zaki may steal the shimmering show with all their spellbinding exoticism. (Jacob Stringer)
The Leonardo, 502 S. 200 East, July 19, 7:30 p.m., 801-355-2787, $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Carl Oelerich & Heidi Moller Somsen
With duo art exhibits, part of the enjoyment is trying to discern what the two artists share: common themes or stylistic approaches, or even similar uses of different media. The common theme in this exhibit of silver gelatin prints of Carl Oelerich and mixed media/ceramics by Heidi Moller Somsen is the human figure. While Oelerich’s works are framed in sociopolitical realities, Somsen’s appear to be traveling through a dream, in the movements of dance or perhaps sleepwalking. Yet they are still very grounded, even while they are sometimes missing limbs (“Brain Stem Section” is pictured). Even so, Somsen intends them as a metaphor for healing, and has recently extended her work into the realm of performance art.Although the exhibit opened June 21, it will be open for July’s Gallery Stroll on July 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. and on into the first few days of August. (Brian Staker)
Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane, 801-596-5000, through Aug. 2, free.

Antelope by Moonlight
Many moons ago, a nighttime bike ride was organized on Antelope Island. From those early, relatively intimate years, the annual summer event has grown steadily to the point where now hundreds will join in for the 20th-annual Antelope by Moonlight bike ride. The course taken during the noncompetitive event is always the same: a 24-mile route that travels along the eastern shore of the island from White Rock Bay to the historic Fielding Garr Ranch and back. Bike enthusiasts of all ages, many in costume, strap on all sorts of lights and glow-in-the-dark attire to join the meandering two-wheeled mass across the island’s rolling hills, while moonlight glimmers on the salty waters of the Great Salt Lake. Once at the ranch, there’s a live band and light snacks before riders mount back up, pushing their pedals once again back through the quiet, moonlit night past herds of roaming buffalo and the occasional hooting owl. (Jacob Stringer)
Antelope Island State Park, 4528 W. 1700 South, Syracuse, 801-444-2300, July 19, 10 p.m., check in starts at 7:30 p.m., $30.


Urban Arts Festival
The Urban Arts Festival started in 2011 on Pierpont Avenue with a minor budget and high hopes of featuring Utah’s overlooked art and performers that you normally wouldn’t see at the fancier events in town. In three short years, it has grown to be on a level of quality equal to some of the more established festivals that have been here for years, offering a unique experience that’s also completely free. This year’s festivities move to The Gateway, taking over most of Rio Grande Street by housing more than 100 local artists displaying paintings, photography, sculptures, clothing, metalworks, jewelry and other pieces for sale. The day will also feature 30-plus jazz, rock, funk and hip-hop acts throughout the day. Other performers include the B-Boy Federation, who will be showing off their dance skills in three-on-three and solo performances. The annual Summer of Death skate competition will be incorporated into the festivities, allowing people to both compete in and check out demos. And there’s the annual fixture of live painting demos from the valley’s top mural and graffiti artists, showing off their talents and allowing attendees to paint on a community wall. With a mixture of urban gardening, food vendors, various nonprofits and some last-minute surprises being kept under wraps until the day of, this is a must-attend local cultural event. (Gavin Sheehan)
The Gateway, 147 S. Rio Grande St., July 20, 8 a.m.-11 p.m., free.


Pioneer Day Events

There are two ways to look at Pioneer Day on July 24. One way is to celebrate the Utah arrival of the Mormon pioneers, who showed up on that date in 1847, when Brigham Young, the most important Utahn of the 19th century, said, “This is the place.” If that doesn’t fit your profile, another way to look at July 24 is to celebrate it as the birthday of Karl Malone, the most important Utahn of the 20th century. Just like Brigham, Karl made his first appearance in SLC on a July 24, in this case 1985, shortly after being drafted by Utah. When he arrived in town, the Jazz put him on their float, and he rode through the parade thinking the whole thing was a welcoming party for him until then-coach Frank Layden explained the original purpose of the day to him. Either way, you’re getting a day off work, plus fireworks. Whatever your ancestry or religious persuasion, celebrate your Utah-ness! There are a number of events and celebrations throughout the day, highlighted by the parade starting at 9 a.m. at the Brigham Young monument—where else?—and going down 200 East to 900 South before turning up to Liberty Park, which will also be a site for fireworks that night. Marathon runners also come along the parade route as they make their way out of Emigration Canyon, just like the folks in 1847. (Geoff Griffin)
Various locations; Days of ’47 Parade @ downtown Salt Lake City, July 24, 9 a.m.; Deseret News Classic, various starting locations, marathon 5:30 a.m., $75-$85; half-marathon 6 a.m., $60-$70; 10K 6 a.m., $45-$50; fireworks @ Liberty Park, 700 E. 1300 South, 10 p.m.; Spring Mobile Ballpark, 77 W. 1300 South, following Bees game, $12-$28.

Native American Celebration in the Park
Every year, the Native American Celebration in the Park takes place July 24, with the intent to highlight both the historical and the contemporarily thriving cultures of the many tribes native to this high-desert region. “Of course, we have people from all over the world attend our powwow and festival in hopes that they will witness the continued preservation of the Native cultures,” says Cal Nez, president and founder of the NACIP event. “Our Powwow Committee takes pride in placing emphasis of the spirituality of the powwow arena. This year, we are excited to showcase new Headstaff, especially the Host Drums.” Everyone is invited to attend, and those who do will get the unique opportunity to enjoy different forms of songs and dances—like Fancy Feather and Fancy Shawl, which are among Nez’s favorites—performed by the various tribes represented. The younger generation participates fully, as traditional dancing and singing are passed down to strengthen Native cultures. It’s also important to Nez for people to come not only as spectators, but to join the circle to experience the powwow firsthand. “Our mission states that NACIP is about sharing and education of the Native culture to all,” Nez says. “We have worked extremely hard to maintain this philosophy for the past 19 years. In this Pioneer Day celebration, it is important to have our drums and songs be heard. Of course, we are not pioneers, but hopefully pioneers in the exploration of unity in brotherhood and sisterhood.” (Jacob Stringer)
Liberty Park, 1100 S. 600 East, northeast corner, 801-688-9297, July 24, 7 a.m. until fireworks around 10 p.m., powwow starts at noon, free.

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