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Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - May 18, 2012

Worth a look

Art

'Central Nigeria Unmasked'

OK, film buff. You think you've got it all covered. But betcha the Nollywood Film Festival is a first for you. That's movies from Nigeria, playing on June 9 at Stanford's Cantor Arts Center.

The free festival and gratis docent tours are planned as part of a new exhibition at the Cantor museum, "Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley." Organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, the show aims to give a comprehensive view of the arts in the region, exploring cultural traditions from about 25 ethnic groups that are not widely known.

About 150 objects are on display, including masks, figurative statues, maps and photos. Sculpted vessels may represent a spirit or be intended to protect a pregnant woman. Overall, many of the pieces have to do with rites of passage.

The free exhibition is open through Oct. 14, open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays until 8 p.m. The Nollywood Film Festival starts at 11 a.m., with exhibition tours on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2.

For more information, go to http://museum.stanford.edu or call 650-723-4177.

Dance

Smuin Ballet

Pairs of dancers entwine and soar in "Through," a dance work on relationships and fulfillment.

It's a new piece by Ma Cong, who studied at the Beijing Dance Academy, is a resident choreographer and principal dancer with Tulsa Ballet and is now premiering this work with San Francisco's Smuin Ballet. It's set to four tracks from the album "1996" by Ryuichi Sakamoto, who won an Oscar for his soundtrack to the film "The Last Emperor."

The Smuin Ballet comes to the Peninsula to perform "Through" from May 23 through May 27 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts at 500 Castro St. Also on the program is "Swipe," a piece for four men and three women choreographed by Val Caniparoli, who has often created dances for San Francisco Ballet.

Lastly, the dancers will also perform "Symphony of Psalms," set to a Stravinsky score.

Performances are 8 p.m. May 23-25, 2 and 8 p.m. May 26, and 2 p.m. May 27. Admission is $49-$62. Go to http://smuinballet.org or call 415-912-1899.

Music

'Frost Revival'

Paying tribute to past Grateful Dead shows and other outdoor concerts, the Stanford Concert Network is hosting "Frost Revival" at the university's Frost Amphitheater this Saturday, May 19. The Oregon indie-rock band Modest Mouse headlines, with fellow indie band Eyes Lips Eyes and singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich also on the bill.

Fans may know Modest Mouse from the 2000 album "The Moon & Antarctica," a largely instrumental album that includes the singles "Gravity Rides Everything" and "3rd Planet."

Blankets and picnics are encouraged at the student-produced outdoor concert (but not alcohol, chairs or umbrellas). Tickets are $40 general, $30 for Stanford affiliates and $20 for Stanford students. Stanford students attending in a group of 10 or more get in for $18 each.

For more information, go to http://stanfordconcertnetwork1.tumblr.com.

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