Big Bamboo Ball, Marc-André Hamelin

Big Bamboo Ball

If you spend most of the year in the audience, this is the time to get on your feet and dance. Northwest Folklife and the Seattle Center set up the ultimate dance floor for a day of non-stop social dancing, with sessions of swing, salsa, Cajun, and waltz music, including mini-lessons for each style and live music for dancing. This year's special focus is tango, and Sonny Newman hosts a showcase of the finest in local tangoistes at 5 p.m. Exhibition Hall, Seattle Center, 206-684-7300. $10-$25. Noon-midnight Sat. Oct. 2. SANDRA KURTZ

Marc-André Hamelin

It's really impossible to write about composer Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813–1888) without mentioning his curious death: crushed by a toppling bookcase while reaching for an upper shelf. His music is eccentric, offbeat, and sometimes insanely complex and grandiose—he was in fact called "the Berlioz of the piano" for works like the sweeping Symphony for Solo Piano, with which Hamelin will open his Seattle debut recital. Hamelin is known for this sort of repertory, music that eats other pianists alive; he'll follow the Alkan with Busoni's version of Bach's Chaconne in D Minor, Schumann's Fantasy Pieces, and his own Con intimissimo sentimento. Meany Hall, UW campus, 206-543-4880. $32. 8 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 30. GAVIN BORCHERT

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