Erwin Schulhoff Festival at Cornish, Shen Wei and Paul Taylor Dance, and Roe v. Wade Demonstration Prep Party

 ClassicalErwin SchulhoffAmong the tragic and intriguing what-ifs of music history: What if the Third Reich had not scattered or murdered a generation of avant-garde composers (not to mention other artists) at the height of Central Europe's most creatively diverse and experimental period? Suppose a composer like Schulhoff (1894–1942) had been left to continue his rich career? If Schulhoff's life were fiction, it would seem too eventful to be plausible: As a child musician, he was encouraged by Dvorak and later studied with Debussy, collaborated with dadaists and cubists, performed the first quarter-tone piano pieces, organized concerts of avant-garde music including the 12-tone works of Schoenberg and his school, and made a living as a jazz pianist—just scraping by after his work began to be blacklisted as "degenerate." And as a Jew and a Communist, he earned a double death sentence from the Nazis, dying in a concentration camp. Schulhoff's life and work will be examined this week and next in a series of performances at Cornish College, starting with Tempo of Recollection, a theater piece by Nick Schwartz-Hall (the new producing director at Seattle Rep), with actor Jose Gonzales and musicians from Cornish's faculty and student body. (A similar work by Schwartz-Hall in collaboration with the Emerson String Quartet at Lincoln Center was one of the most innovative and acclaimed recent contributions to the Shostakovich centennial observance.) The minifestival continues with a panel discussion at noon on Monday, Jan. 22, and other concerts of Schulhoff's work through Jan. 28. Cornish College of the Arts, 710 E. Roy St., 325-6500, www.ticketwindowonline, Festival pass $25–$50, individual performances $7.50–$15. 8 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 18–Sat., Jan. 20; 2 p.m. Sun., Jan. 21. GAVIN BORCHERTDanceShen Wei Dance Arts This company is preceded by a great deal of buzz and a sheaf of glowing reviews for work that extends the boundaries of modern dance and undercuts old stereotypes. Folding is an Asian- flavored ritual, in which the human body is enhanced by costuming and presented as a sculpture. The Rite of Spring, a work that comes with chapters of dance history attached, brushes away the original conceit of a primitive society witnessing a human sacrifice and instead presents a contemporary community that disintegrates at the end, spinning away into the darkness offstage. Meany Theater, UW campus, 543-4880, $42. 8 p.m. (Also Fri., Jan. 19–Sat., Jan. 20.) SANDRA KURTZDanceTaylor 2 Dance Company Sometimes the most powerful work comes from the simplest source—choreographer Paul Taylor has said that the genesis of Esplanade, his masterful elaboration on human locomotion, was inspired by seeing a girl running for a bus. That girl does appear at the end of the work, but before she waves goodbye, the cast has transformed mundane walking, rolling, and jumping into the actions of gods, something Taylor does on a regular basis. The ensemble is bringing two different programs, which include Esplanade (to the music of Bach) on Thursday and the sizzling Piazzolla Caldera on Friday. Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds, 425-275-9595, www.edmonds $16–$32. 7:30 p.m. (Also Fri., Jan. 19.) SANDRA KURTZPoliticsRoe v. Wade Prep PartyStart brainstorming slogans now—Seattle Radical Women is throwing a work party to prepare signs and banners for Monday's "Raise a Ruckus for Reproductive Rights" demonstrations on the 34th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. SRW will provide rides and/or child care for those who need it, and dinner (at 6:30) for a $7.50 donation. The demonstrations themselves will be at the I-5 entrance at Fairview Avenue and Mercer Street and at 23rd Avenue and Union Street—during rush hour, of course, 7–9 a.m. and 4–6 p.m., for maximum ruckus. Party: New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., 722-6057,, radical 7 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

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