Weekend Passport: Voices of Burma, Brazilian music and belly dancing

June 8, 2012

Siri Bulusu

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Friday’s Weekend Passport starts with an Oriental adventure and leaves you in a cozy European café.

The Art Works Projects, in collaboration with D. Soyini Madison and the Northwestern Oral History and Performance as a Social Action Institute, presents Voice of Witness: Testimonies and Images from Burma, June 10, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center.

First, a vivid portrait of Burma created by a dynamic combination of photography, dramatic readings and music. World-class photographer Christian Holst contributes images from the exhibit BLOOD/STONES: Burmese Rubies, currently on display at the Field Museum. Dramatic readings come courtesy of Nowhere to Be Home, the eighth book in a series by Dave Eggers and Dr. Lola Vollen, which brings to light the human rights crisis in Burma. Music collected from Loas, Burma, China and Thailand will punctuate the program.

Then, former Burmese soldier turned advocate Myo Myint joins conversation with the audience at an informal reception after the performance.

More on his story here:

Chicago Shimmyfest 10 year Anniversary Gala Show at the Vittum Theater. Saturday June 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Next, we celebrate women of the Orient at the Jasmine Jahal School of Dance's 10th Annual ShimmyFest. When you hear the term “oriental dance,” you may not jump straight to this:

Better known as “belly dancing,” Oriental dance is a celebration of music and women. “In the western world, the dance is often misunderstood," said Jasmine Jahal, the Producer, Creator, Artistic Director and owner of Jasmine Jahal Dance Company. "By taking it to the theater, I hope to reverse the many stereotypes about belly dancing and to expose the public to its beauty as a fine art.”

“Some of the most famous belly dancers are over 40," Jahal said. "It’s not about sexuality. It’s about the beauty that comes with age and maturity.”

Saturday’s show is the highlight of ShimmyFest with group performances by Jahal's Chicago students and solos by workshop attendees from all over the country.

Luciano at Cafe Ciao, 939 West Madison, Saturday June 9 and every Saturday, 10 p.m. to midnight.

Finally, we relax to the sounds of Brazilian music. Luciano Antonio performs original music at Café Ciao this Saturday June 9. Enjoy European style treats while Luciano croons Musica Popular Brasileira (music popular in Brazil).

Safe travels!