Rootsy 

Dance direct from Africa

THU 3/6

In the 1930s and '40s, pioneer choreographers Katherine Dunham and Pearl Primus searched for their black cultural roots in places such as Haiti, Trinidad, and West Africa. They returned with African rituals and movements that helped shape a distinctly black concert dance style. Then, with the popularity of world music, African dance reached the United States directly. American-born African dance companies began to spring up, and centers like Alice Arts in downtown Oakland began fusing African and African-American culture. Now, Dr. Zakarya Diouf, a musicologist born in Senegal, and his wife Naomi, a master dancer from Liberia, are pushing the synergy to new levels with the First International African Dance Collaboration. It begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, opening Thursday with evening classes ($12 advance, $15 door). On Friday, there's a free student performance and workshop. Saturday and Sunday offer day-long dance classes, plus sabar and djembe dance drumming. At 6 p.m. Friday and again Saturday, a concert, "Collage de la Culture Africaine," at Calvin Simmons Theatre ($15-30) is prefaced by an African marketplace of art, clothes, jewelry, and crafts. At 8 p.m., the venerable Diamano Coura West African Dance company and other local troupes will be joined by master drummers, acrobats, and dancers from Guinea, Liberia, and Senegal. Don't miss it. 1428 Alice St., Oakland, 510-278-2682 or www.urbanevents.com --Ann Murphy

SAT 3/8

Poesy On

Carson City gets versed

What is "cowboy poetry"? According to the NEA, it's "rhymed, metered verse written by someone who has lived a significant portion of his or her life in Western North American cattle culture." And what better place to host an Annual Cowboy Jubilee and Poetry Benefit than Carson City? The former frontier town invites you to mosey four hours eastward for its ninth annual festival of verse, music, and barbecue, with proceeds going to Carson-Tahoe Hospital Auxiliary.Highlights include the Cardiac Cowboys, rhyme-dropping curmudgeons whose wit has earned them numerous accolades; the '40s-style cowboy yodeling, music, and comedy of Sourdough Slim; and fiddler Randy Pollard, accompanied by guitarist John McLain. The performances take place at 4 and 8 p.m., and food is served between 5 and 8. Tickets range from $5 to $25. It all goes down at the Carson City Community Center. Call 775-883-1532 or 775-887-2290. --Stefanie Kalem

FRI 3/7

Bloody Involved

Dark side of love and lust

Anima is secretly in love with her roommate Christa. Christa is quietly sleeping with Anima's ex-boyfriend, Angel, but also gets into a casual relationship with Alan. Meanwhile, Anima drinks bourbon and hallucinates images of Christa, her miserable family, and an S-M Virgin Mary. Sounds like a recipe for bloodshed, and Sheila Callaghan's new play Scab appears ready for whatever comes through the door. Even you this Friday night, when Callaghan's dark comedy opens (8 p.m.) at Impact Theatre under the direction of Melissa Hillman. Scab runs Thursdays through Saturdays through April 5 at La Val's Subterranean, (1834 Euclid near Hearst, Berkeley). Tickets: $15, students $10, from 510-464-4468. -- Kelly Vance

THU 3/6

La Meter Loca

Luis Rodriguez is best known for his memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Life in LA; for founding Tia Chucha Press; and Tia Chucha's Cafe Cultural in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. He's also a prolific poet and children's author, and his Trochemoche, whose title means "helter-skelter," is filled with sharp-eyed narratives. His reading at the UC Berkeley Lunch Poem Series takes place between 12:10 and 12:50 p.m. in the Morrison Library, inside the Doe Library. Free. 510-642-0137. -- Stefanie Kalem

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