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Your weekend arts forecast: Hoop dancing, magic movie music

Bill DeYoung

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Tony Duncan is a five-time national champion Native American hoop dancer. Photo provided.

World champion Native American hoop dancer Tony Duncan performs at 1 p.m. Sunday at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, part of the museum’s weekend-long first anniversary celebration.

It would be an understatement to suggest that hoop dancing isn’t the sort of thing we see in St. Petersburg a lot. Originating as a healing dance with the Taos Pueblo of New Mexico, today it’s an inter-tribal ancestral performance piece for social gatherings and powwows. It is, as one might expect, an allusion to Mother Earth, the sun and the moon, and ultimately the spectral beauty and fragility of all things on our planet – the great circle of life.

Duncan, who’s also an accomplished Native American flute player and composer, is of Apache and Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara heritage.

The performance, like all the Saturday and Sunday anniversary events, is free with museum admission, but requires an RSVP as seating is limit (call 727-892-4200).

The schedule (here) also includes docent-guided tours, artist talks and activities for families.

Magic movie music

After a week on hiatus, the Florida Orchestra is back Saturday with a cool pops show – and it’s only at the Mahaffey here in St. Pete; the orchestra isn’t also playing this one in Tampa or Clearwater, which is the way these things usually work.

Conducted by Daniel Black, The Music of John Williams is an orchestral retrospective of the works of cinema’s most lauded (and commercially successful) composer. Williams so memorably scored Jaws, Star Wars and its sequels, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels, Jurassic Park and its sequels, Schindler’s List, Superman, Saving Private Ryan and the Harry Potter franchise.

Take Steven Spielberg films off the list and it’s still wildly impressive. Anyway, Williams’ score is literally the best thing about 1984’s dreadful Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In this writer’s humble opinion.

These are big, anthemic 20th century scores, virtually the soundtrack to the biggest box office (or “Boffo B.O.,” as Variety used to say) of the last 40-some years. “Remove his score from any scene and it becomes nearly unrecognizable,” J.J. Abrams once said of Williams. “Something’s instantaneously and fundamentally gone, perhaps the soul of the piece.”

Performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. April 27 (Saturday) at the Mahaffey. Tickets here.

Sunscreen Fourteen

In our story this week on St. Petersburg’s 14th annual Sunscreen Film Festival, which opens tonight, we threw the spotlight on several of the most notable indie films at the four-day event. Here’s the original story, and here are two more extraordinary movies debuting at Sunscreen:

Screening Friday at 4:15 p.m., Floridian filmmaker Katie McEntire Wiatt’s Fly Like a Girl is a documentary focusing on the extraordinary achievements of women in aviation. Wiatt, who teaches 4th grade at Churchwell Elementary School in Lakeland, interviewed dozens of women in the aviation and aerospace professions, including three Florida-based legends: Three-time U.S. National Aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff, retired Shuttle astronaut Nicole Stott (a resident of St. Petersburg) and Bernice Haydu, the first women in history to fly for the Army Air Corps. “Girls as early as 5 think that their gender is less smart,” Wiatt told the Lakeland Ledger. “But when they have mentors and see women doing things, that perception changes. We need to highlight women in STEM to show our girls we are smart and we can do amazing things.” Wiatt will be present for the screening.

A scene from “Botero.”

Quite possibly the best-known artist to come from South America, Colombia’s Fernando Botero (“El Maestro”) is an 87-year-old painter and sculptor who works are recognized, loved and prized by art aficionados the world over. Those smooth, round, oversized heads are unmistakably Botero. Screening Sunday at 3:15 p.m., Canadian director Don Millar’s documentary Botero chronicles the life and unikely rise of the man considered by many to be “the world’s greatest living artist.” The screening will be followed by a talk by the artist’s son, author Juan Carlos Botero.

And don’t forget …

Of course, these events are continuing this weekend, and are highly recommended:

The St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival production of Much Ado About Nothing in Williams Park.

The American Stage production of Mamma Mia! in Demens Landing Park.

Keep St. Pete Lit’s SunLit Festival, a celebration of all things literary. Stonewall children’s book author Rob Sanders, and illustrator Jamey Christoph, will be at thestudio@620 Saturday to celebrate its publication with a dramatic reading and more. Details here.

 

 

 

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