Round 'n' Round ...
Tucson Roller Derby Charity Event
5 p.m., Saturday, May 22
Tucson Convention Center
Exhibition Hall A
260 S. Church Ave.
Four all-women teams will compete on behalf of good causes as the Tucson Roller Derby skates into action on Saturday.
Founded in 2003, the Tucson Roller Derby was originally going to be the Tucson chapter of the Phoenix-based Arizona Roller Derby. However, the TRD became its own, separate league.
Skater-owned and skater-operated, Tucson Roller Derby is a nonprofit organization that puts two teams consisting of five skaters a piece on the track at one time. Each team is made up of one pivot, three blockers and one jammer.
The rules are fairly simple: The team's jammer, or point-scoring player, has to skate through the pack of opposing players and complete a lap before she can begin to score points. She receives one point for each skater on the track that she passes.
A team's pivot skates at the front of her team, controls the team's speed and serves as a last line of defense against opposing jammers.
Each team has three blockers; their job is just what the name implies: They prevent opposing jammers from scoring, and block opposing players for her team's jammer.
Three Tucson-area teams will join one Prescott team in competition this Saturday; each will represent a charity. The VICE squad will represent Voices: Community Stories Past and Present Inc. (a Tucson Weekly favorite), while the Copper Queens will represent HOPE Animal Shelter. The Furious Truckstop Waitresses will represent the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Violence, while the Prescott Whiskey Row-llers represent the Yavapai Humane Society.
Donations to each charity will depend on how many points their team scores.
Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door, with a $2 discount for military members and civil servants. Doors open at 4 p.m.
Dancing With Borders
ZUZI's Crossing Boundaries
7:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday, May 21-23; 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23
738 N. Fifth Ave.
For ZUZI! artistic director Nanette Robinson, art is always about investigation.
"As practitioners of art, modern dance in particular, we have a responsibility to align with what is going on in the community," she said. "I am trying to shift the boundaries of what is perceived in the population."
Specifically, Robinson and the members of ZUZI! Dance Company plan to address the challenges surrounding local and international border issues through the language of dance.
"Our performance isn't about providing answers; it is about raising awareness by looking within," said Robinson.
This weekend's Crossing Boundaries performances will address various border issues. Robinson said ZUZI! is known for doing thematic shows.
"I actually started thinking about this performance when I went to a show off of Fourth Avenue in 2007," said Robinson. "It was a show with a lot of art made from objects found in the desert."
In addition to physical borders dividing countries and their people, Robinson said there is another boundary that will be open to investigation during the performance.
"We wanted to explore personal boundaries as well—how we relate socially," she said.
Local border musician and humanitarian Pablo Peregrina will perform four songs from his recently released album, Traveling Soles. He will also perform "These Shoes" with accompaniment choreography by Robinson.
Crossing Boundaries will also feature guest performances from the Latina Dance Project, and a display by Debbi McCullough of objects and clothing found in the desert.
Admission is $15, or $13 for students.
Bookmans Video Game Challenge for Adults
6 p.m., Saturday, May 22
3733 W. Ina Road
On a daily basis, millions of players engage in virtual combat via the world's most popular video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, said Bookmans event coordinator Dustin Curtis.
Bookmans will be holding a 32-player tournament featuring Call of Duty 2 this Saturday.
"We have had the video-game challenge for a couple of years," said Curtis. "Last year, we had Street Fighter IV for the Xbox 360, and the year before, it was Halo on the regular Xbox."
Curtis said the decision to host the Video Game Challenge for Adults can be attributed to the love of video games, shared by him and several of his colleagues.
"I am a big gamer," said Curtis. "We had a meeting a few weeks ago and decided what games we wanted to play. Modern Warfare 2 is the most popular game in the world, and seemed like a good idea."
It is free to compete, and the first-place finisher will receive a $100 Bookmans gift card and other goodies. Second- and third-place finishers will get a $50 gift card and a $25 gift card, respectively.
"Players will have the option to choose between five standard load outs of equipment, and we will leave it at that," said Curtis. "Each round will be five minutes."
Curtis said the staffers at all three Tucson Bookmans stores try to host various interactive tournaments and events for customers. He said he wants to host more video-game tournaments due to the large turnouts the contests receive.
"Halo 3 is always up there," he said. "There is a new game called Battlefield Bad Company 2 that has good, competitive play as well."
Sign-ups start at 6 p.m., with gaming getting underway at 7 p.m.
"Sounds of the Soles of the Southwest," in celebration of National Tap Dance Day
7 p.m., Saturday, May 22; 2 p.m., Sunday, May 23
Pima Community College Center for the Arts
2202 W. Anklam Road
Krystyna Parafinczuk said she started tap dancing at age 5—and never really stopped.
"It's a lot of fun. It's challenging, and there is a wide variety of music you can tap to," she said.
Parafinczuk is the lead organizer for Tucson's celebration of National Tap Dance Day. Established in 1989, National Tap Dance Day is celebrated on May 25, the birthday of tap pioneer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.
This year's celebration, Parafinczuk said, "will include a live Big Band Swing Dance finale on top of 10 master tap-dance classes and two performances."
Parafinczuk said there are two main types of tap-dancing. Show tap follows the tap-dancing style of Broadway musicals and is more about the showmanship. Jazz tap, or rhythm tap, follows the improvisational style of jazz music.
"It's more about the quality of the sound and the difficult execution of the steps..." she said.
Parafinczuk said the youth tap-dancing scene in Tucson is growing thanks to the work of Frank Trent.
"He used to open up for Elvis," she said. "Tucson, thanks to Frank, has produced some of the highest-caliber tap performers in the country."
At the two "Sounds of the Soles of the Southwest" performances, Rusty Frank, a Los Angeles-based dancer, will show rare tap film clips amidst the dancing by professional and advanced tap dancers. The shows will be emceed by comedian/magician Norm Marini.
Admission to the Saturday show is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door (206-6986); admission on Sunday is free, but passes are limited; call 743-1379 before Friday, May 21.
For more information on the classes and the Big Band Swing Dance finale, visit www.dancinc.biz/ntd.