- The Birdman of Cleveland takes flight at Verb Ballets' Nature Moves program this weekend.
Nature Moves, this weekend's Verb Ballets performances at the natural history museum, isn't a program filled with random routines from the dance troupe's repertoire. On the contrary, says artistic director Hernando Cortez, "We're incorporating world, folk, and ethnic dances . . . It reenergizes what people think of as educational tools." The five-part program includes pieces that are tied to the museum's exhibits. Specifically, look for the Cleveland premiere of the fowl-focused "Awassa Astrige/Ostrich" and its link to the Feathered Dinosaurs: The Bird/Dinosaur Connection display. "I'd love to collaborate with other [local] institutions," says Cortez. "Each venue has a different audience. There's not much crossing over. We're a diverse, action-oriented company." Dancing starts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive. Tickets are $25 and $40, which includes admission to pre- and post-performance receptions. Call 216-231-1177 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci
Art of Noise
Rachel Ade calls Saturday's Big Art Show an "art-music circus." And the New Jersey-based caravan rolls into Akron this weekend to showcase as many as 150 art pieces from Ohio and the East Coast. "Big Art Show has no rules," says Ade, the exhibit's promoter. "It's the guise in which we rally a dream of something cool, something real, something unspoiled by money and politics." Throughout the night, local rockers the Amino Acids, Infinite Number of Sounds, and the U.S. Funk Team will try to back the claim, before Suran Song in Stag takes the stage to perform art-rock originals from the duo's year-old CD Kitty Igloo & the Plastic Stereo. Says Ade: "They're like a swirl of colors and a blur of really cool old songs." Big Art Show is at 7 p.m. at the Lime Spider, 207 South Main Street in Akron. Admission is $5; call 330-762-2350. -- Cris Glaser
Wet and Wild
Local "folkedelicfunkpop" band Waterband is throwing a party on Friday to mark the release of its third album, a self-titled CD of jam-band noodling, reggae-speckled pop, bluesy riffs, and jazzy rhythms. Augmented by a percussion player and backing singer, Waterband genre-hops through 40 years of hyphenated rock and pop music. Friday's concert features an opening performance by the Electric Earthtones and something called the Solar Fire Lightshow. Showtime is 9 p.m. at the Winchester, 12112 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Admission is $5; call 216-226-5681. -- Michael Gallucci