What began as a 20-minute act created for Ballet Arizona has transformed into a full-length dance production that marries the illusionist stylings of a dance company called MOMIX with iconic images of the Sonoran Desert — from towering cactus to elusive creatures. It’s called Opus Cactus, and it’s coming to Phoenix thanks to co-presenters Ballet Arizona and the Desert Botanical Garden.
Opus Cactus is the work of choreographer Moses Pendleton, the artistic director for Connecticut-based MOMIX, who shares his overall vision on the dance company’s website: “I continue to be interested in using the human body to investigate the non-human world.” After co-founding Pilobolus in 1971 and creating MOMIX in 1980, Pendleton became one of America’s best-known contemporary dance innovators.
MOMIX will perform Opus Cactus at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 12. Get tickets, starting at $35, through the Ballet Arizona box office or the Ballet Arizona website. Lynn Trimble
When it comes to the world of wrestling, there’s more going on besides what you see every week on WWE’s TV shows, pal. A lot more. Indie wrestling is thriving in cities around the world these days, including here in Phoenix, and typically offers more insane and entertaining action that what’s on Raw or SmackDown. Case in point: all the unique and hilarious matches at PartyMania 2.
It’s the biggest event of the year for local indie promotion Party Hard Wrestling and includes eight memorable bouts taking place inside the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa, on Friday, January 12. One of the biggest will be the first-ever “Pizza Party Match,” a free-for-all involving 10 wrestlers battling for PHW’s Golden Fanny Pack. Other matches include Owen Travers challenging PHW Multiverse Champion Jack Jameson for his title, and tag-team champs The Brothers of Wrestling battling The Uninvited. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. See the Party Hard Wrestling website. Benjamin Leatherman
Disco music was a part of an American subculture that brought together people of different backgrounds to express themselves freely. During Good Times: A Disco Party for Boys and Girls on Friday, January 12, DJs Mercurius FM and Fact135 will try to create an atmosphere similar to Studio 54 — albeit a much tamer version, where you can let go of your troubles and boogie to the music.
Mercurius FM is an electronic DJ with 12 years of experience, and Fact135’s a scene veteran with over 20 years behind the turntables. The duo will play a mixture of hit songs and lesser-known music. A special guest DJ will also join the pair on the decks.
The event starts at 9 p.m. at Rips Bar, 3045 North 16th Street. There is no cover, and the club will have free pizza and drink specials. For more information, call 602-266-0015 or visit the Facebook event page. Laura Latzko
You simply can’t see all 150 movies at the Chandler International Film Festival. You could select by nation — Serbia, Mozambique, Ireland, Chile, Norway, Macedonia, Luxembourg, or Hungary. Or consume thematically linked blocks of short subjects. Or go for titles (Office Batman, Ostoja Will Move Your Piano).
Opening night, Friday, January 12, features a world premiere of The Competition at Harkins Crossroads 12, 2980 East Germann Road, at 8 p.m. Admission’s $35, including a red carpet stroll and after-party. Assorted venues host additional events through Monday, January 15, such as workshops and a market for independent filmmakers. Alamo Drafthouse screens The Mad Whale, in which institutionalized women stage Moby Dick with a few minutes of assistance from James Franco.
Prices vary. Visit the Chandler International Film Festival website or call 480-455-5214. Julie Peterson
Before poetry slams and jams and giant clams, there was straightforward recitation before an audience. Poetic language is moving and catchy, partly so that poems could be memorized and transmitted in our pre-literacy days.
Though bongos and smoke clouds have fallen by the wayside, Changing Hands Bookstore’s Friday Poetry series delivers the thrill of uncurated verse penned by everyday people, some of us — we mean some of them — authentically scruffy hippies, some of them not. You’re bound to hear a piece you can relate to and, if you’re very lucky, a piece you can’t relate to. Or read your own.
The next open reading starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 12, at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Call 480-730-0205 or visit the Changing Hands website. Julie Peterson