New Times picks the best arts and culture events and things to do from November 30 through December 3.
Your neighbor Carl and his Christmas display have nothing on ZooLights, the Phoenix Zoo’s annual showcase of flora and fauna dazzlingly constructed from millions of colorful bulbs. This year the zoo’s even added new 3-D light sculptures featuring stingrays, flowers, and a tiger; Music in Motion shows featuring songs from Polar Express and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra; and an ice sculptor who magically carves a creature out of a 300-pound ice block every Thursday. Eat it, Carl.
Brighten your holiday season with Zoo Lights starting 5:30 p.m. Monday, November 23, at the Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway. Call 602-286-3800 or visit phoenixzoo.org for more. Zachary Fowle
In the oeuvre of Argentine-born artist Miguel Angel Rios, subject matter includes such things as dèja vu-inspiring shapes and familiar objects that take on surreal and symbolically heavy wardrobes. (Think raw meat strapped to a folk dancer who’s beset by a pack of dogs.) The images make larger statements — about such matters as violence and colonialism — that are all the more compelling for being, often, nearly subliminal. Rios’ art, executed in a range of media from prints to folded or cut paper to video and installations, leads us to realize there might be several cool dimensions between the second and the third.
“Landlocked,” ASU Art Museum’s exhibition of Rios’ work that includes some site-specific pieces, continues through Saturday, December 26, at 10th Street and Mill Avenue in Tempe. Admission is free. Hours on Tuesday, December 1, are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 480-965-2787 or visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu. Julie Peterson
Gini Koch Book-Signing
In her Alien series, Phoenix author Gini Koch created a world where earthlings and extraterrestrials co-mingle on the regular. Join her as she signs Alien in Chief, the 12th installation featuring recurring character Katherine “Kitty” Katt, an earthborn girl who gets embroiled in alien-oriented scenarios. This time, it’s up to Kitty to save everyone from a deadly virus, despite their planetary origin. The terrestrial, literary fun starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1, at Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, in Scottsdale. The book is $7.95 and purchase is required. Call 480-947-2974 or visit www.poisonedpen.com to reserve a copy. Amy Young
Warren Miller's Chasing Shadows
White Christmases just aren't the Valley's thing. You can truck the frozen stuff in, but it takes about 10 minutes of tykes sloshing around to get into goopy glops of dirt-slush. It's a lot more invigorating to catch the latest Warren Miller Entertainment flick and let those purveyors of extreme sports take us away to stunning snow-capped mountains. The 66th edition in the series, Chasing Shadows, focuses on elite skiers getting their adrenaline fixes at some prime peaks.
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Chasing Shadows gets chilly at the Herberger Theater, 222 East Monroe Street, on Wednesday, December 2. The screening starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $22.50. For more info, visit www.herbergertheater.org. Jose Gonzalez
A night not to be missed for frequent spectators and casual fans alike, Lluvia Flamenca features troupes from around the globe to celebrate the intense, emotional Spanish dance form of flamenco.
Headliner Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company hails from New Mexico, where the group is also the company-in-residence at the University of New Mexico’s Dance Program. La Caja Tablao (a mix of Arizona and Spanish performers), Javier Heredia of Spain, and Rhina Motohkaw from Japan will also perform. Local flamenco phenomena Flamenco Por La Vida, familiar to frequent Crescent Ballroom-goers, rounds out the 15-artist program.
Dancing begins 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission ranges from $19 to $32 for this 21-and-over performance. Call 602-716-2222 or visit www.crescentphx.com for tickets. Janessa Hilliard