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Current events

A trophy, by Lea Tyler, will be awarded to the winner of the costume contest at Cajun Clay Night, a fundraiser for the Carbondale Clay Center. (Courtesy Carbondale Clay Center)
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In its eighth year, the Carbondale Clay Center’s fundraiser, Cajun Clay Night, continues to step it up. The Louisiana-themed event gets Carbondale’s top-shelf chef, Mark Fischer of Six89 and Phat Thai, to give his twist to the annual gumbo. Also new is the trophy, to be awarded to the winner of the costume contest; the trophy, of course, is a ceramic creation, a sculpture featuring pillars, fish, feathers and a globe, by Clay Center artist-in-residence Lea Tyler. And for the second year, Clay Night features a live auction, conducted by Twirp Anderson. Apart form that, it’s more of the same stuff that has made the event a highlight of Carbondale’s social calendar: choice of a ceramic bowl, made on site; a Louisiana-heavy set of tunes by Acoustic Mayhem; and the Gatorlicious cake (renamed from the usual Crocidilyicious cake). Cajun Clay Night is set for Saturday, May 20.

The valley’s young artists are in full bloom. Concept and Creation, an exhibit featuring works by Aspen High School art students, opens at the Aspen Chapel Gallery with a reception Wednesday, May 17. The show, by students of art teachers Barbara Smith and Marti Cyrus, was juried and hung by artists in the junior International Baccalaureate program. Symphony in the Valley caps its Year of the Child celebration with the final Mother’s Day Concert, Sunday afternoon, May 14, at Glenwood Springs High School. The concert features the winners of the symphony’s Young Artist’s Concerto Competition – pianist Aaron Poh and vocalists Lindsay Nelson and Secia Klocke – as well as 17-year-old Zachariah Milby, who will conduct Mozart’s Symphony No. 1. And a few dozen kid bands will exchange riffs in the eighth annual Basalt Battle of the Bands Saturday, May 20, in Basalt’s Lions Park.

In June of 2000, a bunch of aged, once-famous dancers, from two companies that had both toured under the name Ballets Russes, gathered for a reunion in New Orleans. Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, a married, filmmaking couple, got a tip that attending the reunion might be worth their while. That reunion was the spark that became “Ballets Russes,” an exhaustively researched documentary released last year. The film tells the story of the two intertwined dance companies, made up mostly of Russian-born exiles, and how they steered the course of modern ballet in America. Set against a backdrop of world events, the documentary also illuminates the middle decades of the 20th century. But the most lasting impact of “Ballets Russes” is made by the dancers – a remarkable number of whom have stayed active and sharp well into old age, and whose vivaciousness is an argument that involvement in dance, or any art, is an essential element for the good life. The film shows at the Wheeler Opera House Wednesday and Thursday, May 17-18.


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