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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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Modern Contemporary Dance

Tears for Fears may have advocated shouting it all out, but when the world's gone mad and we can't take it anymore, we'd rather dance it out. Express yourself in movement with the modern contemporary dance class on Monday, August 11, at 5th Row Dance Studios.

See also: How Phoenix Artist Paul Wilson Transformed a Mid-Century Obsession into a Decades-Spanning Career

Roosevelt Row might be the hottest block in Phoenix, and the 5th Row Dance Studios add a distinct flavor to the mix of hip hangouts. Modern contemporary dance dashes the stuffiness and twinkle-toed wisps for a fuller range of expression through action and motion that even novices can undertake. Liliana Gomez will be your inspired instructor, guiding your limbs in self-expression and creating meaning through movement.

5th Row Dance Studios' modern contemporary dance class takes place at 513 East Roosevelt Street every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. The class fee is $8. For more information about the class and other offerings, visit www.5throwdancestudios.com or call 602-456-1422. -- Jose Gonzalez

The Past is a Grotesque Animal

If you've ever seen Of Montreal live, you know that the band's stage show is a lot like a live action acid trip with tons of costumes, prop monsters, live horses, nudity, and raw emotion. That's why it's no wonder that someone, namely director Jason Miller, wanted to go behind the madness to get at the core of the band, which he does in The Past Is a Grotesque Animal.

It'd be easy to compare this movie to Brian Jonestown Massacre's Dig!, but really the constantly morphing line-up of the prolific indie band is a beast all on its own. Fans will bounce from trying to justify lead singer Kevin Barnes' cutthroat, self-centered band practices by citing his genius, but you can't help but wonder if it all came back to him in the end.

Of Montreal gets dissected in The Past Is A Grotesque Animal, screening at FilmBar at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12, and again at the same time on Thursday, August 14. Tickets are $9 for the screening and can be found, along with more information, at www.thefilmbarphx.com. -- Heather Hoch

Tom Leveen

Since his debut was released in 2010, author Tom Leveen has been busy. Five novels and one mention on the Young Adult Library Services Association's Best Fiction for Young Adults list (2013 for Zero) later, the Arizona native, who still calls the Grand Canyon State home, returns to Changing Hands Bookstore this week for a meet-and-greet. He brings with him his newest young adult novel, Random.

The novel tackles the complex, emotionally driven topic of teen suicide. Starting with a wrong number, the story quickly escalates into a life-and-death situation when the caller has one request: Give me a reason not to kill myself. Random chronicles that conversation, handling tough, and ripped-from-the-headlines issues like cyber bullying along the way.

The event starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13, at Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. The event is free. Hardcover copies of Random are available for $17.99 each. Call 480-730-0205 or visit www.changinghands.com for more. -- Janessa Hilliard

Welcome Diner Film Fest

Teams of filmmakers took to the streets of Phoenix to craft short flicks in just 48 hours, and now the time has come to find out which one is the best of the fest. Welcome Diner's second film festival will screen all of the movies on Thursday, August 14, when winners will be announced.

With a panel of local judges selected from Roosevelt Row businesses and organizations, picking the winner will likely be quite the task, as last year's event had an impressive line-up of odd and entirely one-of-a-kind three-minute films all featuring the same line of dialogue, prop, and genre. This year, the event's turnout and participation is expected to be bigger than before.

You can see who takes home the grand prize on August 14 at Welcome Diner, 924 East Roosevelt Street. The event is free to attend and will kick off at 8:30 p.m. on both nights. Visit www.facebook.com/welcomediner or call 602-495-1111. -- Heather Hoch

Firestage 6th Anniversary

Ernesto Moncada wears a lot of hats in his downtown Phoenix adventures: writer, poet, comedian, performance artist. Each one contributes to his mischievous and raunchy alter ego Ernasty, the goth-eyed host of Firestage, the unpredictable variety show and open mic that celebrates its sixth anniversary on Friday, August 15.

Between jokes and quips, Ernasty doesn't so much control the chaos of the monthly mish-mash of music, stand-up comedy, poetry, belly dancing, and stage performance as he is its nimble tour guide. Early on, Firestage was heavy on poetry until, Moncada says, "Someone asked us if we could feature some touring bands that were scheduled to play at the new Willow House on Van Buren, a venue that was shut down that same night by their landlord." The go-with-the-flow flavor now stands as a hallmark of Phoenix's wiliest live show that's kept audiences returning each month for six years.

The Firestage's Sixth Anniversary Show is at The Firehouse Gallery, 1015 North First Street, and starts at 9 p.m. The suggested donation for admission is $5. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/firehousephoenix. -- Jose Gonzalez

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