In Good Company Joanna Haigood may look like a solitary figure when she first flings herself, borne by trapeze, from the center of her studio ceiling. But in her solo show Never Less Alone, the Zaccho Dance Theater director keeps company with longtime collaborators like Remy Charlip, whose figure drawings for Air Mail Dance Haigood sets into motion against a film noir stage design by Chico MacMurtrie, and saxophonist Roberto de Haven, who plays live as Haigood steps into the blues tradition of loneliness with the premiere of two new pieces. With the aid of friends and the theatrical artifice that aerial dance requires -- ladders, rigging -- Haigood's venture takes flight at 8 p.m. (also Friday and Saturday) at Zaccho's studio, 1777 Yosemite, Third Floor, S.F. Admission is $8-12; call 822-6744.
This Sporting Life The great outdoors moves indoors at the Outside Magazine AdventureSports & Travel Festival, a concentrated sample of recreational activities that may help greenhorn outdoor enthusiasts get a feel for their sport of choice before buying lots of expensive gear and venturing out into the wilderness. Festivalgoers can scale man-made walls; test scuba equipment in a shallow diving pool; try out new in-line skates, bikes, kayaks, and rafts; and sit in on seminars like "The World's Most Dangerous Places" and "Gutsy Women: Travel Tips and Wisdom on the Road." The fest begins at 3 p.m. (also Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.) at the Concourse Exhibition Center, Eighth Street & Brannan, S.F. Admission is free-$7; call 487-3293.
This Sporting Life, Part 2 Muhammad Ali rides another wave of celebrity, which began with last summer's Olympic appearance and continues with the recent release of boxing documentary When We Were Kings, with an autograph signing at the Tri-Star Collectors Show, a trading card and sports-related memorabilia fair. Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and the other Willie Brown, a Football Hall of Famer, will also sign autographs, along with many others. The event begins at 3 p.m. (also Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.) at the Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos, Daly City. Admission is $5-7; call 395-8315.
Action Figures A homeless father scrambles to provide food, clothing, and shelter for his daughter in David Riker's La Ciudad, an Academy Award winner for best student film. Latino media arts group Cine Accion screens La Ciudad on a triple bill of recent short films by members, with Riker's Ladrillos, the story of a group of day laborers hired to retrieve bricks from abandoned buildings, starring actual day laborers from Brooklyn and Queens. Mario Barrera's Party Line, a comedy about a man whose fantasy is interrupted when the seductive voice on the other end of the phone-sex line turns out to be his former high school sweetheart, rounds out the program. Riker's films are in Spanish with English subtitles; Barrera's film is in English. The screening begins at 8 p.m. at the Victoria Theater, 2961 16th St., S.F. Admission is $5-7; call 553-8135.
You Got Bad Taste In Damselvis, Daughter of Helvis, Memphis moviemaker and former Fantagraphics cartoonist J. Michael McCarthy grafted teen sexploitation flicks to Elvis worship, creating a violent, trailer-trash world populated by characters named Rebelvis and Psychedelvis. His second effort, Teenage Tupelo, has all the lust, gore, inbred rednecks, and homicidal lesbians (here they're called Thee Madd Madd Manhaters) of Russ Meyer films, but with a Southern twist invoking Elvis and, uh, McCarthy's mom. Musical clips of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Gene Vincent, along with Chicken John's performance "1-900-ELVIS," set the mood for tonight's Tupelo screening, where cheap beer will flow. McCarthy appears in person Monday on the West Coast leg of his national "Vice Party" Tour to introduce his latest film, The Sore Losers, an outer-space gang film starring Tokyo punk band Guitar Wolf as alien secret agents and featuring a high-octane soundtrack with Estrus bands the Makers and the Royal Pendletons. Both shows begin at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5; call 824-3890.
Defensive Dancing One need look no further than the supple, intensely meditative floor movements of tai chi or the acrobatic sparring of capoeira to find parallels between martial arts and dance, making "Warrior Dances," a collaborative performance event between the disciplines, a natural. Participants include Cory Wechsler, who's trained in ballet, contact improv, karate, and kajukenbo; former Axis Dance Troupe member Nina Haft; and Sonya Richardson, a martial artist who performs at special events and public venues like dance club the Box. Using dance, martial arts movement, and spoken word, the performers have crafted works reflecting women's struggles and strengths. The show begins at 8 p.m. (also Sunday) at Luna Sea, 2940 16th St., S.F. Admission is $7-12; call 863-2989.
Sound and Vision Paintings jump and dancers pause at "Improvisation and Tantra," a butoh, poetry, music, and painting jam in a South of Market warehouse. DJ Cheb i Sabbah creates a global soundscape of music from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia as Tibetan Buddhist Lama Ngakpa Chsgyam Rinpoche offers poetry and "hidden words." Norton Wisdom, an artist who left the solitude of studios after painting on the Berlin Wall by the light of East German machine gun towers, paints live, as he's done with Cirque du Soleil and the Balinese National Bamboo Orchestra, while butoh dance master Oguri carves shapes into space and drummer Hamid Drake (of Multi Kulti fame), woodwind player Ralph Jones, and guitarist Federico Ramos get a groove going. The show begins at 9 p.m. at the Crucible Steel Gallery, 2050 Bryant, S.F. Admission is $15; call 789-8079.
Cutting Edge The pace of ER keeps viewers anxious every week, but at this year's Edge Festival, Joanne Nerenberg's GravyTrain Dance Performance Troupe takes some of the edge off with Soft Tissue, a spoof of the emotionally and physically demanding qualities that make medical dramas so popular. Nerenberg and Deke Weaver, who reprises his collection of solo stage and video vignettes on relationships, Girlfriend, are the first performers in a four-week festival that also features dance company Robert Moses' Kin with vocal ensemble SoVoSo, contact improv/commedia dell'arte ensembles Marijoh Danztheater and Force of Flight, and performance artist Tim Miller in Carnal Garage. Performances are split between ODC Performance Gallery and Dancer's Group Studio Theater. The fest's first installment begins at 8 p.m. at Dancer's Group Studio Theater, 3221 22nd St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 824-5044 for a complete schedule.
I'm Too Sexy for My Wet Suit See if Gaultier doesn't try to steal this idea three months from now: In the weekly fashion show "Second Skin: The Latest and Greatest in Protective Clothing," professional models will strut down the catwalk dressed in funky yet functional couture items like "bunny suits," which protect the wearer from contaminated blood spills and toxic waste dumps, and bulletproof vests made from the synthetic fiber Kevlar, which will supposedly stop any bullet short of a 44 Magnum. Emcee Ellen Chang will provide alternately amusing and sobering commentary on the useful properties of the garments and the evolving technology that produced them even as it created a need for them. The show runs at 2 p.m. Saturdays (through May 4) under the skylights at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, S.F. Admission is free after museum admission (free-$9); call 563-7337.
Get an Earful Kids aren't the only ones who yearn to hear a good yarn, which is why storyteller Rafe Martin, a veteran of the National Storytelling Festival, opens his sessions to listeners of all ages. The author of The Hungry Tigress, Will's Mammoth, and The Monkey Bridge will tell some of his own tales as well as Native American and Buddhist jataka tales at an hour-and-a-half program beginning at 3 p.m. at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley. Admission is $5-10; call (510) 433-9928.
Of Machinations and Men The genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia gives Christopher Browning's theory on the Holocaust a certain contemporary credence. Browning, an American historian and the author of Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, tells the history of an inexperienced, middle-aged police unit charged with killing over 30,000 Jews and deporting thousands more, though their commanding officer gave them the option to excuse themselves from the task. Few did, and in his lecture "Ordinary Germans or Ordinary Men? Explaining Holocaust Perpetrators and the Goldhagen Controversy," Browning will argue that conformism, aggravated by wartime fear and the concurrent apathy brought on by sheer repetition, led to the killings; the title refers to the contention of historian Daniel Goldhagen that a virulent, long-standing anti-Semitism particular to Germany created the Holocaust. The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 2 Lake, S.F. Admission is free; call 751-6040.
That's Absurd! If real life isn't ridiculous enough for you, Exit Theater's "Dueling Absurdists Tuesdays" might be. The series begins with two shows running in repertory: "Babes in Beckett," a trio of Samuel Beckett pieces -- Come & Go, Footfalls, and Rockabye -- in which lonely women figure prominently, and Eugene Ionesco's The Painting, a farce about the subjective nature of beauty and art. "Beckett" opens at 7 p.m. at Exit Theater; The Painting opens at 7 p.m. at Exit Stage Left, both at 156 Eddy, S.F. Admission is $8 each (both shows run through April 8); call 673-3847.
Women, Work, and All That Jazz In Selbe, One Among Many, Senegal's first black woman film director, Safi Faye, offers a look at West African women's daily lives, while the Tanzanian film These Hands goes a step further, documenting low-paid women's labor as framed by international economics. They inaugurate Reel Women's "Women Making Movies" March series, which continues with Sambizanga, set just prior to Angola's unsuccessful 1961 uprising against Portuguese colonists in which a young woman searches for her jailed husband (March 11); Passion of Remembrance, a look at race, sex, and class biases among black English youth during the Thatcher era, with The Stronger, an adaptation of the August Strindberg play (March 18); and International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Tiny and Ruby: Hell-Divin' Women, two films about the '40s-era multiracial all-women's jazz band, with the documentary A Great Day in Harlem (March 25). Screenings are at 6:15 and 8:30 p.m. at Venue 9, 252 Ninth St., S.F. Admission is $5; call 626-2169.