Sitar, superheroes, legendary ladies and indie film: what's on in Calgary
Anoushka Shankar, DJD does New Orleans and Tanya Tagaq teams up with the symphony in a weekend full of wonders
It's basically Christmas for nerds and superfans of all ages and all stripes this weekend. That's because Calgary Expo and the Calgary Underground Film Festival are both underway, along with a tantalizing dance pairing, and a trio of outstanding female vocalists. Homestretch director Tracy Fuller spoke to host Doug Dirks about what's on in Calgary this weekend.
Wonder (Woman) World
If you hurry, you can have a Wonder Woman moment Thursday night at the Calgary Comic Expo, where Lynda Carter is appearing. Carter is performing her solo show This Life: My Music, My Story at the Corral tonight. If you're not a Wonder Woman fan, there's plenty of other heroes at Comic Expo including Michael J Fox and the cast of Back to the Future, as well as Zachary Levi, the star of Shazam! There's also geek speed-dating sessions, anime name that tune competitions, sketch dues, screenings, panels, all-day Dungeons and Dragons play and don't forget the Parade of Wonders, which is tomorrow.
Calgary Underground Film Festival
CUFF kicked off Monday with a horror film called Little Monsters, starring Lupita Nyong'o and Josh Gadd and it runs all week, right through to Sunday, when the number one pick of the fest happens: Ask Dr Ruth. There's also a Found Footage Festival screening, the annual Saturday morning all-you-can-eat-cereal cartoon party, and a variety of different shorts competitions.
DJD's Double Bill
Montreal's dynamic dance scene meets one of Calgary's most vibrant dance companies, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. La Otra Orilla presents Magnetikae, a piece that sets a flamenco dance on an ice floe. There's also Lovestruck, choreographed by DJD's Kimberly Cooper. It's inspired by the sounds of New Orleans and tells a mythologized, highly stylized story of Sherman's Roller Rink in Calgary, which burned down in 1915. All of it unfolds in the spectacular DJD Dance Centre, with a live band accompanying the dancers.
Legendary ladies of country music
The Bow Valley Music Club shines a light on some of legendary women of country, including the music of Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell, Emmylou Harris and more, performed by Lisa Brokop. It's at the Strathcona Christie Aspen Community Centre, 277 Strathcona Drive SW on Saturday night.
Under the Influence Festival
The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra opens what it has described as one of its most boundary-pushing musical festivals ever tonight, combining Tchaikovsky, Frank Zappa, Tany Tagaq, John Corigliano and more. Tonight the Under the Influence Festival kicks off with a performance by CPO's principal percussionist Josh Jones, and Saturday night, there's a special concert featuring Juno-Award winner Tanya Tagaq.
Grammy-nominee Shankar has some pretty illustrious musical bloodlines: she's sitar legend Ravi's daughter and Grammy winner Norah Jones' half-sister. Her new album, Land of Gold was inspired by the Syrian humanitarian crisis. She's performing Friday night at Jack Singer Hall, at 7:30 p.m.
Eight Bit: The Video Game Dance Show
If you ever secretly hoped to introduce your video game addicted son to performing arts, you might give 8 Bit: The Video Game Dance Show a try. It's a hugely fun show, created by Mark Kunji Ikeda and Richard Lee Hsi, which tells the story of a pair of brothers who get sucked into a killer video game and have to dance their way out of it. Combining games such as Super Mario, Skyrim and Fortnite, 8 Bit was a huge hit when it debuted at the Calgary Fringe Festival a few years back. The creators have brought it back, updated the game references — and it couldn't be more topical. At the West Village Theatre through Sunday afternoon.
With files from The Homestretch.