In David Titchnell's world, DJs duel with tap dancers, drummers beat on buckets, and break dancers spice up Scottsdale. Titchnell, a graduate dance student and tap instructor at ASU, brings his fantasy world to life through the third annual Street Jam, a barrage of music and dance. Created entirely by Titchnell, Street Jam highlights traditional drumming as well as "junk" drumming, which uses found objects such as tire irons, film reels, plastic buckets and oil drums. Tap, hip-hop and break dancing add to the rhythmic mix, while DJs spin, scratch and groove. Titchnell, 36, developed the jam for corporate events and has since been recruited by the Arizona Department of Education and ASU's Fine Arts department. He says the show's popularity stems from its accessibility.
"It makes you think, Hey, I don't need a fancy stage or fancy equipment to experience art,'" Titchnell says.
Catch the performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Scottsdale's Kerr Cultural Center. Call 480-596-2660 for ticket info. - Ashlea Deahl
Desert Stages' latest has all the right moves
Love is a battlefield -- or at least a game board in Desert Stages' latest production, Chess. In the play, the Russian chess champion falls for the beautiful manager of the American champion, which gives their governments an idea -- use their burgeoning romance for espionage.
Set during the Cold War, the musical warms up audiences with a score by ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, and lyrics by Tim Rice. "One Night in Bangkok" is just one of the many pop hits that pack the musical's score.
Chess opens Friday, January 9, and continues through February 1. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 6 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. For details call 480-483-1664 or visit www.desertstagestheatre.com. - Eric Schandel
On the Move
Dance fest draws new styles
"The festival has changed," says Lisa Chow, organizer of the 10th annual Arizona Dance Festival. Formerly a modern dance concert, this year's event will feature many dance styles, including Eastern Indian dance, flamenco and hip-hop. The 10 participating companies, which include Asha Gopal & Company, SCC Moving Company, Imation Dance Company, Calo Flamenco, and Desert Dance Theatre, were chosen by a board of judges from outside the Valley. "It didn't matter how many years the companies had been in existence," says Chow. "They looked at the artistic content." The Arizona Dance Festival takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 9, at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $10 for groups and ADAA members. Call 480-944-ARTS for tickets. For information visit www.azdancearts.org.- Quetta Carpenter