Merce Cunningham and Variations V, Florencia in the Amazons

Merce Cunningham and Variations V

This groundbreaking film from 1966 combines a critical mass of performance artists and film/video pioneers, including Nam Jun Paik, Stan Vanderbeek, and Billy Kluver, alongside Cunningham (background, middle)—who has been at the forefront of dance video experimentation since its very beginnings—and composer John Cage (foreground, left). The screening is part of dorkbot-sea's series People Doing Strange Things With Electricity II, which also features filmmaker Robert Breer's wonderfully kinetic Homage to Jean Tinguely. Seattle Art Museum, First Ave. and University St., 206-728-1980. Free with museum admission. 7:30 p.m. Wed. March 2. SANDRA KURTZ

Florencia in the Amazons

Seattle Opera brings back Daniel Catán's luscious magical-realist fable, which made a splash at its local premiere in 1998. Florencia Grimaldi is a diva traveling upriver to the fabled opera house at Manaus, deep in the jungle, searching for the lover she lost years earlier. Catán's music, an opulent surface percolating with mellow Latin percussion, captures both the lush tropical vegetation and the aura of bittersweet nostalgia. Nancy Gustafson and Wendy Hill share the title role, with hot-buzz baritone Nathan Gunn as the mysterious river spirit/guide Riolobo. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 206-389-7676. $40-$116. Various dates and times. Ends Sat. March 12. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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