Thursday November 1, 2012

Berkshire Museum

Sometimes a single cultural venue can serve an entire family with a variety of different events aimed at a broad spectrum of ages. This week, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield will cast a wide net of appeal.

The current exhibit, "Rethink! American Indian Art at Berkshire Museum," displays artworks created by contemporary artists that reflect interpretations of American Indian traditions in a modern context. As a complement to the exhibit, some of the artists will present workshops of their craft to share the intricate techniques that go into creating such imaginative works.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., guest artist Teri Greeves will demonstrate the skilled beadwork that has won her many awards including Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market and has earned her a place in the permanent collections of prestigious museums in Denver, London and Washington, D.C.

Raised on the Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Wind River Res ervation in Wyoming, at the age of 8 Greeves learned beadwork at her mother's trading post in the tradition of her native Kiowa heritage.

Her narrative panels often use deerhide as a canvas and boldly mix traditional imagery with modern flair.

At 10 a.m., Greeves will lead a workshop for children to create a beaded medallion, followed at 11:30 a.m. by a similar workshop for all ages. She will conclude her visit with a gallery talk and beadwork demonstration starting at 2 p.m.

All workshops are free with museum admission of $13 for adults and $6 for children under the age of 18.

Little Cinema

While the Berkshire Museum may take you around the world with displays of wildlife habitats, the Little Cinema housed in the museum auditorium offers a doorway into the world of the arts at some of the most acclaimed venues around the globe.

On Sunday at 7 p.m., and again on Tuesday at the same time, the Little Cinema will screen a filmed performance of "Swan Lake," perhaps the most famous ballet of all time, in a definitive production by the Royal Ballet of London, England. Anthony Dowell, once the quintessential prince and now director of the company, presents the original choreography by Marius Petipa, keeper of the romantic ballet tradition, as the tale is told of enchanted swans, a love-struck prince and a scheming sorcerer. Zanaida Yanowsky and Nehemiah Kish bring Tchaikovsky's memorable music to life with dazzling displays of dancing.

With few opportunities in the region to see such ballet blockbusters, at $14 the tickets are a fraction of the cost of seeing such a production live on stage in the city, even without the travel expenses. The presentation lasts 3 hours with two intermissions. Bring snacks to enjoy during the breaks for a memorable evening of world-class dance.

Berkshire Museum

The youngest among us are invited to bring their grownups to the Berkshire Museum tomorrow Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. for the WeeRead Pajama Party, a very special evening of storytime reading. Dress up in your favorite PJs and gather in the galleries with books galore for a riot of readings by local civic leaders, members of the business community and representatives from area cultural organizations, including State House members Ben Downing and Tricia Farley-Bouvier.

Different storytellers will read in each gallery as families move around the museum enjoying a variety of tales and taking part in engaging story walks. Young jammie-clad readers will also receive special free books as gifts to take home.

The event is suitable for children up to 10 years and celebrates Governor Patrick's declaration of November as Family Literacy Month. Reading activities such as this support the "Pittsfield Promise," initiative which aims to develop and promote strategies to ensure proficient reading skills for local children by the time they reach third grade. Information: www.berk
shiremuseum.org, (413) 443-7171.