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Three uber cool things to do this weekend

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Thursday July 31

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Put your dancing shoes on and salsa under the stars in the beautiful Skirball Cultural Center’s courtyard. The Skirball Cultural Center will be taking you on a musical adventure to Cuba with Conjunto Chappottin y Sus Estrellas on their first US tour. Conjunto Chappottin with roots dating back to the 40s, has been one of the top Cuban “son” groups for more than seven decades. The band combining brass, percussion, guitar, piano and vocals into a sizzling blend of salsa and Latin jazz will have everyone on their feet, clapping hands, tapping toes, and of course hitting the dance floor.
The band will start at 8 with Tom Shnabel of KCRW’s Rhythm Planet laying down a DJ set starting at 7:00 pm.
Go early and catch their wonderful exhibit on the art of Ezra Jack Keats; The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats. Keats groundbreaking book, The Snowy Day (1962) was the first modern, full-color book to feature an African American protagonist. Published during the height of the civil rights movement in America the book transformed his career in children’s literature. Featuring more than eighty original works by the artist, the works explore a life and career that became an inspiration for generations of readers.

The Sunset Concerts are free with a $10. Parking fee and will continue through August. For a complete list of the concerts and exhibitions visit http://www.skirball.org/

Friday August 1

Belly dance and Alice in Wonderland are we really in Wonderland? Bellydance Evolution will bring its revolutionary and unique approach to the whimsical tale of Alice in Wonderland to the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on Friday August 1. The five year old 20 member troupe seeks to celebrate, explore, and unite Middle Eastern and Western dance for the 21st century, taking belly dance to a new level presenting theatrical productions with a storyline much like classical and contemporary ballet. Here they take on the iconic Lewis Carroll classic with an original score by Paul Dinletr and Ozzy Ashkenazi’s live beats taking audiences on a journey into Carroll’s mysterious land of wonder with its “mad” characters, spinning mushrooms, dancing caterpillars, and a charismatically acrobatic rabbit.

For tickets and directions visit: http://www.fordamphitheatre.org/

July24 to August 30th

Formento & Formento The Japan Diaries at Fahey/Klein Gallery. This is a stunning not to be missed exhibit. The Husband and wife team BJ Formento and Richeille Formento have created a meticulously styled series of images that are both erotic and haunting. Richeille Formento styles and art directs the images, while BJ Formento lights and photographs. Together the duo has an innate ability to absorb the spirit of a time and place creating a vision that references the past but remains exclusively their own.

In the fall of 2013 the couple embarked on a journey through Japan to create the Japan Diaries. These stylized images explore the dichotomies that embody modern Japan, blurring the aesthetics between tradition and the ultra modern, fantasy and reality. Each image from the Japan Diaries exists as if it were a still taken from a noir Japanese film, each solitary figure yearning for something unknown.

Quoted on the Fahey Klein website BJ Fromento talks about their trip and work, “It’s fascinating to immerse oneself in this ancient culture that has only been open to the rest of the world since the 1850’s. The many underlying tones, subcultures and characteristics are unique to Japan and its people. We find ourselves in a floating world of emotional, psychological and physical potential, eager to express our interpretation as foreigners in a very foreign land.”

For hours and directions visit: http://www.faheykleingallery.com/index.html

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