While percussion plays a supporting role in almost all of Western music, it is an art form and musical genre all its own in other parts of the world. Nowhere is this truer than in West Africa, where drum ensembles are revered for the spirituality and tribal force in their intricately woven rhythms. West Africa's most renowned percussion practitioners, the Drummers of West Africa, touch down in the Valley on Tuesday, October 7, for a special one-night show at the Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Led by the legendary Doudou N'Diaye Rose, chief drum major of Dakar, Senegal, the drummers combine the power of traditional rhythms with a penchant for harmony and innovation to create a sound that has quite literally reverberated the world over.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets, $38 to $63, are available from the box office or through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444. - Craig Wallach
Voice of Reason
A new season of music opens at ASU
Opera, operetta and musical theater form the focus of the Arizona State University School of Music's Herberger Mainstage Lyric Opera Theatre, which recently won eight AriZoni awards for last year's A Chorus Line. Now in its 40th year, the program commences its season with performances of Mozart's The Impresario and Vaughan Williams' Riders to the Sea on Friday, October 3, in the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre in the ASU Music Building. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Additional shows are October 4, 10, 11 and 12, with a special 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, October 5. For details call 480-965-6447 or visit herbergercollege.asu.edu/calendar/mainstage.html. - Craig Wallach
The Seattle dance troupe, 33 Fainting Spells, performs
Remember the audio-visual equipment at school? The hot-bulbed projector, sputtering slides interspersed with tiny bells, and the musty wood box record player that would only play 45s? Seattle contemporary dance/performance troupe 33 Fainting Spells, in its current tour Dirty Work, takes low-fidelity back to grade school as a viewing lens for the concepts of honesty and remorse in a "quasi-cinematic context." Founded in 1994 by choreographers Dayna Hanson and Gaelen Hanson (no relation), 33 Fainting Spells utilizes filmmaker Lynn Shelton, lighting designer Ben Geffen and set and costume designer Nina Moser to create another foray into the "perilous junction between the sacred and the profane." Dirty Work performs at Gammage Auditorium on Friday, October 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster locations or by calling 480-965-3434. Seating is on the stage and is limited, so buy your tickets early. - Quetta Carpenter