[MUSIC] Antibalas has evolved into the United Statesâ premier Afrobeat orchestra. Along the way, the band picked up pieces of other genres, from Latin jazz to hip-hop, to the point that, by the time of 2007âs Security, it was using Afrobeat merely as a jumping-off point. On its new self-titled album, however, the band resets after a four year breakâseveral members took time off to work on the Fela! musicalâreturning to the pure, protest-minded funk of classic Kuti. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th Ave., with Stay Calm. 7 pm. $16 advance, $18 day of show. 21kknd.
Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble
[DANCE] Shapes and sculptures, deconstructed. sHape-shifters: Dancers channel Russian Constructivism. The essential building blocks of danceâ shapesâare deftly deconstructed in a new contemporary dance program from the Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble. Co-founders Eric Skinner and Daniel Kirk (also founding members of BodyVox) dance the programâs two works alongside their BodyVox colleagues Holly Shaw and Zachary Carroll, and former Oregon Ballet Theatre soloist Brennan Boyer. Skinnerâs new work, Juxtaposition, unfolds in and around two conical, corrugated plastic structures set at center stage. The title refers to the contrast between two types of lines: soft (the human body) and stark (mechanical sculpture). Suspended in Mid-Air (And About to Collapse), the programâs second piece, is inspired by the Russian Constructivism philosophy of art (if youâre not intimately familiar, a program note describes its âbold shapes and geometric linesâ and its use of art for social purposes). Some sections have a balletic formality, others the playful feel of abstract forms springing to life. There is a pleasing geometry to this piece as well as to Juxtaposition, a combination of well-structured dance performed with musical and technical rigor. Geometry itself should be so enjoyable. HEATHER WISNER. BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave. 7:30 pm Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 6-8. $36-$59.
The Tragically Hip
[MUSIC] Ontarioâs the Tragically Hip couldnât be more Canadian if the band dressed like mounties and sang about socialized medicine and tapping maple trees for syrupâmeaning, they sound like an American band, just slightly more congenial, and a bit paler. Basically the R.E.M. of the Great White North, the band has been kicking around since the early â80s, performing anthemic, vaguely rootsy rock ânâ roll with an undercurrent of collegerock jangle. Fourteen albums into their careers, the Hip are legends up there and well-regarded cult figures down here, but the band continues to produce strong albumsâ the latest being this yearâs Now for Plan Aâthat play well on both sides of the border. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 8 pm. $30. 21kknd.
Wanderlust Circus, 3 Leg Torso
[CLASSICAL] Two Portland institutions impossible to categorize, the wild circus troupe and the accordion- and violin-driven world-chamber-music ensemble, join forces for the third time in a new, original version of Dickensâ A Christmas Carol. The show features circus performers, Vagabond Opera leader Eric Stern as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Wanderlust ringleader Noah Mickens as Scrooge. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 8 pm Friday- Saturday, Dec. 7-8. $15-$30.
Oregon Ballet Theatre
[DANCE] A source of nostalgia and parody both in and outside the ballet world, The Nutcracker has its charms, particularly the enduring Tchaikovsky score (performed live), the saberrattling battle between toy soldiers and giant mice and the cast of colorful characters who whirl through the Land of Sweets. Oregon Ballet Theatre does the George Balanchine version of the piece, with all the formalism and sparkle that entails. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 800-745-3000. 7:30 pm Wednesdays-Fridays, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturdays-Sundays through Dec. 23. $28-$161.35.
Sunday, Dec. 9
The State of Riesling
[DRINK]The home country of Riesling is China. Well, no, but if food pairings have anything to say about origins, then Riesling might as well hail from the Yangtze, not the Rhine. Local vintners Ransom, Coeur de Terre, Brooks and Love & Squalor will present their Rieslings alongside Hop & Vine chef Sam J. Reedâs Chinese buffet with pork belly char siu (barbecue) and scallop and ham egg-drop soup. Tickets get you two glasses and a ottomless belly full of food. The Hop & Vine Bottle Shop, 1914 N Killingsworth St., 954-3322. 6 pm. $50. 21kknd.
King Tuff, White Fang, Mean Jeans
[FILM] While Stanley Kubrick has long been a highly vaunted filmmaking titan, his films were rarely embraced at the time of their release. Highlights from this series include Peter Sellers being brilliant (Dr. Strangelove), trippy wormhole journeys in space (2001: A Space Odyssey), the opening on Alexâs eyes set to an amazing Moog score (A Clockwork Orange) and a whole lot of painterly compositions lit by candle (Barry Lyndon). ERIK MCCLANAHAN. Cinema 21.