Do the Right Thing

Seattle doesn't have the same long, er, proud tradition of race riots that Spike Lee folds into this incendiary career best. But in New York, coming after incidents in Bensonhurst and Howard Beach in which young black men died at white hands, Do the Right Thing's June 1989 release is often credited with tipping the mayoral election to David Dinkins over Rudy Giuliani. Living there in the '80s, I often observed the same intense racial polarization that Lee packs into one hot, fateful summer day in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. He plays a beleaguered pizzeria employee caught between the desire to please his white boss (Oscar-nominated Danny Aiello), maintain solidarity with his impatient black buddies on the corner, and placate his Latina girlfriend (Rosie Perez, pictured with Lee, who made her knockout screen debut in the famous opening credit sequence). The film is a mad, combustible street opera of racial tension, bewildering violence, and uneasy forgiveness. And the central aria, of course, is Public Enemy's "Fight thePower," an equal classic of its day. (R) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684, $5. 6:45 and 9:30 p.m. Ends Feb. 18. BRIAN MILLER


Ten Tiny (Valentine's) Dances

Ten Tiny Dances is a concept formed by Portland choreographer Mike Barber, and its rules are simple: 10 dances, one 4- by 4-foot stage, with a new dance beginning its cycle every 15 minutes. After a 2005 collaboration with Seattle's Crispin Spaeth Dance Group (Spaeth has been chosen as Velocity Dance Center's choreographer in residence for 2007), Barber allowed the performances to go on without his participation, hoping to start similar projects in Chicago and New York. Last summer, at the same venue as tonight's show, dances on the plywood square ranged from exuberant Buttrock Suites–style showmanship to head-scratching social comment. Tonight's all-new show comes from Seattle-based choreographers and dancers including Oscar Gutierrez and Giavanna Enriquez, Heather Budd, Drew Elliott, AlexMartin, and many more. Who, even when it's not Valentine's week, always dance their hearts out. Capitol Hill Arts Center, Lower Level, 1621 12th Ave., 388-0569, $12–$40. 21 and over. 8:30 p.m. Ends Feb. 17. RACHEL SHIMP

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