Four days of sun, fun, and fitness, that's what the organizers of the Miami Beach Fitness Festival promise today through Monday, March 28, on the beach at 800 Ocean Dr. If you're inclined to sweat, you might want to participate in some of the events, which include a 5K run, a fitness pentathalon, volleyball games, or what they're calling an aerobic fiesta. If you just want to be seen in your bathing suit, the Miss Bikini South Beach contest is for you. Whatever you do, we hope you're tanned and in top shape! Admission is $12. Call 305-278-8668. (NK)
Choreographer and artist Shen Wei mines Chinese opera and ancient Asian arts in his dramatic and nuanced productions for his company, Shen Wei Dance Arts. The troupe is performing Wei's acclaimed works The Rite of Spring and Folding as part of Miami Dade College's Cultura Del Lobo performance series. The works bring together the dramatic staging of Chinese opera with traditional painting, sculpture, and modern dance. The first piece is set to Stravinsky's famous symphony. It juxtaposes formalized staging with elements of improvisation. The second piece is performed to Tibetan Buddhist chants and sacred songs of sixteenth-century England. Both works have been described as breathtaking, overwhelming works of beauty. The performance begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $18 to $32. Call 305-237-3010. (JCR)
Have a drink. It's on us, sort of. Yes, cocktail hounds, it's time for the annual New Times Rum Shaker. That means eighteen different brands of fabulous rum will be offered for your happy consumption (beer will be flowing too for rum haters) and endless music will emanate from a slew of bands including Oski Foundation, Infuso, and Papa Mali. The spirited bash begins at 9:00 p.m. and goes into the wee hours at Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave. Admission is ten dollars; rum drinks will run five to six bucks; beer will go for $3.50. Call 305-374-1198. (NK)
Recently named public editor of the New York Times, Daniel Okrent has been spending his days lately fending off tongue-lashings from his media colleagues while responding to queries and comments from the public about what really goes on at the newspaper of record. A few years ago Okrent immersed himself in a more solitary task, researching and writing the monumental book Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center, which tells the extraordinary tale of how one of America's richest families achieved immortality via architecture. Tonight at 7:00 at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), Okrent will offer anecdotes concerning Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the fascinating cast of characters who swept through Manhattan during those heady days. Tickets cost $75 and include a signed hardcover copy of Okrent's book. Call 305-535-2631. (NK)
Twice a year, the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) throws its Family Day in order to encourage the community to explore a particular culture through art, music, dance, theater, storytelling, and other amusing activities. The theme is always related to some sort of exhibition currently at the museum. This time around The Art of India is the focus. Check out the shows "Change and Continuity: Indian Folk and Tribal Art from the Permanent Collection" and "Mala Ke Manke: 108 Indian Drawings" and then get outside and have some Indian-style fun. It all goes on from noon to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Call 305-284-5587. (NK)
With the broadcast of presidential campaign commercials, the 2004 election year all of a sudden becomes very real. Haven't noticed it? Well, you are probably in the company of many South Floridians who are still wondering what all the noise about our sunny state and the 2000 presidential election is about. A group of elected officials and community leaders is attempting to break the political apathy with Democracy in Miami: A Work in Progress, a series of forums open to the public. The first of three discussions is called "Up From Cynicism: Politics, Campaign Finance, and Civic Activism in Miami-Dade County." The forum begins at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Miami's College of Arts and Sciences Gallery Center, 1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-284-6406. (JCR)
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Television sitcoms joke about it, Santería priestesses practice it, and Frank Sinatra sang about it: Witchcraft. Though many fear it, there is no escaping it. Real or not, our society cannot live without the supernatural vixens. After all, what would The Wizard of Oz be without the wicked witch? Ding dong -- she's not dead! In fact she never left us. Be it in Haitian vodou, Everglades Wiccans, or Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl, society will always rely on its witches for some cultural (and cultlike) hysteria. Tonight UM professor Tom Lolis and MiamIntelligence present A Survey of Witchcraft Throughout the Ages. The event opens at 7:00 p.m. with wine and cheese at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission costs ten dollars. Call 305-773-8408. (JCR)
When discussing architecture, people usually try to figure out what a given structure is saying with its design. Sound artist and Subtropics Experimental Music Festival director Gustavo Matamoros has a very different query. He delves into what a building is actually saying by the sounds it emits. For their permanent installation, "Breezeway," Matamoros and collaborator Shareyer Ataie recorded the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture at FIU's University Park Campus. The pair then amplified the sounds in the installation, which can be heard in the outdoor walkway of the building. Tonight Matamoros and Ataie talk about the piece and then perform a live collaboration. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. at FIU's Frost Art Museum, 11200 SW Eighth St., Room PC-110. Admission is free. Call 305-981-0600. (JCR)