Every Friday, we highlight three local shows from great performing artists that you can see this coming weekend.
Tibetan Sand Mandala Deconstruction Ceremony
Saturday, February 15th at 2 PM at the Artscenter
Rarely do visual art and performing art intersect. After all, few audience members have the patience to watch an artist painstakingly paint or sculpt an entire work over days or weeks. Maybe it’s the fact that you can always see a work of art once it’s done – why bother to watch the whole process when the end result will be on display?
The Tibetan Buddhist monks who have made the ArtsCenter their home this past week offer a strong counter-argument. They’ve spent days creating an intricate sand painting, called a mandala, right before the eyes of anyone who wanted to watch. It’s a performance of patient artistry, and fascinating to see, but it’s also a religious ritual for them. Nothing centers you quite like slow, minute work. And after a final viewing at 2PM, they’ll finish their artwork with another performance: a ceremony in which they carefully erase all they made. Five days of work, all gone in a few minutes; it’s a powerful metaphor for the impermanence of life and effort.
So if you have misgivings about watching artists create, why not come to see them un-create?
NC Fresh Catch Winter Oyster Tour
Saturday, February 15th at 4PM at Cat’s Cradle
It’s the height of North Carolina oyster season, and the good people at NC Fresh Catch are taking the tasty bivalves on a road trip. All Saturday afternoon and evening, they’ll be putting on a country-style show. Chefs will be cooking up shelled delicacies of all kinds: steamed, stewed, fried, char-broiled. Matt Neal of Neal’s Deli will pitch in with a low-country seafood boil. They’ll even have a vegetarian gumbo for the less fishily-inclined.
Beyond this bounty of fresh Carolina seafood, Cat’s Cradle offers up its specialty: great Carolina music. Chapel Hill bluegrass strummers Big Fat Gap headline, but the event is packed with local bands from all genres, from the roots music of Gasoline Stove to the bluesy rock of The Dye Wells. You can fill your belly and then dance off the meal, or dance until you’re hungry, but it’ll be a joyous day of food and music for all ages. And it’s all for a very good cause, with proceeds benefiting local non-profits Rebound and the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation.
Chapel Hill Philharmonia: “Showcasing Middle Europe”
Sunday, February 16th at 3PM at UNC’s Hill Hall Auditorium
Chapel Hill is overflowing with orchestras, especially the homegrown pros of the North Carolina Symphony and the visiting luminaries of Carolina Performing Arts who haunt Memorial Hall. But there’s another orchestra in town that isn’t as well known, and it’s the one that belongs here the most. The Chapel Hill Philharmonia is made up entirely of locals, and they’re all volunteers motivated solely by their love for classical music. They’re retirees and millennials, doctors and teachers, professionally trained and self-taught.
The Philharmonia doesn’t let their amateur status hold them back from challenging material, either. Their concert on Sunday features the exacting precision of Mozart and the melodic lushness of Smetana, but the main event is Bartok’s bracing Third Piano Concerto. The latter is a modernist masterpiece, and the composer’s final work. Pittsboro-based pianist Greg McCallum joins them to make this an all-local affair (Hungarian composer notwithstanding!). It’s a program designed to show off a daring and energetic local ensemble, and a chance to see a musical side of your friends and neighbors.
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