The Pick List: The Week’s Recommended Events

Wednesday, Jan. 22

Women in Cinema

This mini-festival begins with a bang by screening the documentary profile Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, about the legendary Broadway and cabaret performer who recently retired from the stage at 87. Attending the screening will be director Chiemi Karasawa, who describes her subject thusly: “There’s no better New York character and life to experience than Elaine Stritch. She is of Broadway. The film is about courage and acceptance, the inevitability of aging, of time, about making decisions and about accepting yourself, and I think that’s a great lesson for everybody to learn.” Eight other titles being screened through Sunday include the documentary Maidentrip, about a 14-year-old girl’s effort to sail around the world solo, and the Anna Paquin–starring Free Ride, about a woman involved in the ’70s drug trade. See for full schedule and details. SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996. $6–$11 individual, $40–$60 series. 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 23

Frédérick Gravel

On the Boards seems to have a direct connection to Montreal. In the past, they’ve brought us Canadian dance artists like Édouard Lock and Marie Chouinard from the source city of high-risk dancing; now they’re adding Gravel to the roster. His intense physicality—as both dancer and choreographer—matches the tenor of his artistic home. For his piece Usually Beauty Fails, he ramps up the energy with a live rock band onstage, plus overt sexuality that he leavens with irony. Based in any city, Gravel would be in the front of the current wave. (Through Sun.) On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9888, $25. 8 p.m.

Children’s Film Festival

Who is Lotte Reiniger? The pioneering German female animation artist (1899–1981) created exquisite short films, beginning in the 1920s, using silhouette animation. Tonight’s package of four works is set to a new score, to be peformed live, by local musicans Miles & Karina (aka Dave Keenan and Nova Devonie), in a program called “Do the Doktor Doolittle.” Running through February 2, this year’s feast includes 11 feature films and 14 short-film packages—ideal for short attention spans—that should serve children of a variety of ages. The schedule also offers live events, like a pajama-party performance by kid-rockers Recess Monkey (7 p.m. Fri.), animation demos and hands-on workshops, and the traditiona pancake breakfast (9:30 a.m. Sun., Feb. 1 at the nearby Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption). Tonight, Reiniger’s black-and-white animations are marvelously handmade; she creates iris effects and separate prosceniums for some scenes, distilling her folkloric stories into stark, simple relief. Created during the silent era, they require few intertitles for kids to read. In The Tocher, for example, it’s easy to follow the story of a penniless woodsman, rebuffed by the father of his swain, who’s then given a special gift by dancing fairies at a mountain lake. How can he win back his beloved? I think your kids can guess the answer—it takes money, honey. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $10–$12. 7 p.m. (Repeats 1 p.m. Sat., Feb. 1.)

Friday, Jan. 24

Shirley Jenkins

Jenkins has been a part of Seattle’s dance community for more than 30 years, first as a leading dancer with the Bill Evans Dance Company, then as a choreographer and teacher in her own right. Her style is a new look at old-school modern dance, with its full physicality, emotional expression, and deep sincerity. Women . . . Gotta Luv ’Em is full of intensely personal work drawing from her recent experiences with illness and recovery (cancer and hip-replacement surgery), as well as her eclectic dance heritage. (Through Sun.) Cornish Playhouse (Seattle Center), $20–$27. 8 p.m.

Seattle Chamber Music Winter Festival

This year’s winter festival is the biggest yet, seven concerts over two weekends (tonight through Feb. 2). This expansion makes sense; January, logically, is when it’s easiest to persuade Seattleites to stay indoors. (When the Society’s July festival was held at Lakeside School, that campus’ pastoral charms were a considerable draw, but I’ve found only exceptional repertoire can lure me to sequester myself in same-old-same-old Benaroya Recital Hall on a lovely summer evening.) Highlights include Shostakovich’s despair-laden Piano Trio in E minor (Sun., Jan. 26); a cello sonata by his spiritual descendant Alfred Schnittke (Sat., Feb. 1); and a bit of a focus on Bartók (Fri., Jan. 24, Thurs., Jan. 30, Sun., Feb. 2)—who, of all composers, got a recent shout-out on Downton Abbey. (Isabel: “I prefer Bartók.” Violet: “You would.” BA-ZING!) Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., 283-8808, Single tickets $16–$48, packages $135–$315. 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert recital 6:30 p.m.)

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