Motion and Emotion New York choreographer Donald Byrd combines classical ballet, modern dance, and the vernacular of African-American dance. In Bristle, Byrd examines gender's effect on male-female relationships; costumed in black, his company -- The Group -- moves to African, Brazilian, and Eastern European rhythms, as well as the swoony, string-laden compositions of Maurice Ravel. Bristle begins at 8 p.m. (continuing through March 31) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $12.50-20.50; call 621-7797.
Scar Tissue Presented in conjunction with the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FUND), "Amor Propio" addresses the physical and emotional effects of domestic abuse. The program includes a video be Melissa Cruz, a presentation by Zina Bursey, a performance by Gina Espejo, and testimonials by Gayle Nicolson and Spanish-speaking members of FUND's leadership training program. The program starts at 7 p.m. at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama, S.F. Admission is $3-5; call 863-2141.
Smuin Operator In a new version of the established romance Frankie and Johnny, S.F. choreographer Michael Smuin sets ballet to Cuban mambo music for the first time. Frankie plays -- along with an assortment of shorter works -- at 7:30 p.m. (continuing through March 31) at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $22-27; call 978-2787.
Insider's Eyes The second installment of the "Discontent and Its Document" documentary series offers independent journalists' views of war in the Balkans. The program features Ecce Homo by Vesna Ljubic and Truth Under Siege by Leslie Asako Gladsjo and Nathalie Borgers. Gladsjo will discuss her film after the screening, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 978-2787.
Wig Out From galleries to album covers to MTV videos, Barbie art offers increasingly predictable feminist commentary. But Lucy Puls' new show -- "Plaything" -- presents America's doll in new ways, revealing how her body has become an accessory to her hair. Some of Puls' Barbie sculptures are bald; others sport Rapunzel-like flowing locks, recalling the artist's earlier, crazy wig works. "Plaything" is accompanied by "To Keep Her Countenance," a photo exhibit featuring female images by Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Jim Goldberg, Nan Goldin, and Cindy Sherman, among others; an opening reception, with a panel discussion mediated by Jeff Kelley and Marcia Tanner, lasts 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (both exhibits continue through April 27) at Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 49 Geary, S.F. Free; call 433-6879.
Secret Formula Care to learn about the effects of lead nitrate, manganese chloride, and other substances? Ever wonder what happens to the fuel of spacecrafts falling freely in space? If you answered yes to either of these questions, check out the S.F. Bay Area Science Fair. The event -- which showcases over 350 projects by junior and senior high school students -- is on display from 3 to 5 p.m. (continuing through Monday) at California Academy of Sciences and County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $1.50-7; call 750-7145.
Double Vision Blurry photography has become a minimovement in the past year, with portrait artists like Bill Jacobson utilizing haze to create emotional works on memory and loss. Todd Gray's out-of-focus varnish-covered images evoke creepiness more than sadness, emphasizing the colonial underside of seemingly benign American pop icons. "Todd Gray" is on view from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (through April 27) at Robert Koch Gallery, 49 Geary, S.F. Free; call 421-0122.
April in March Ain't Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice, Oakland-based author April Sinclair's second novel, is getting the same high praise her first effort (Coffee Will Make You Black) attracted two years ago. Sinclair and a special guest give a special readers theater presentation of scenes from both books at 8 p.m. at Spuntino, 524 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $6.50 (includes one nonalcoholic bevvie); call 584-8505.
It's a Mad Magda World Located in the heart of Hayes Valley, Mad Magda's Russian Tea Room showcases and caffeinates kooky artists. Mad Magda's "The Mysterium" -- a 10-day festival of visual and performance art; workshops (on topics ranging from rubber stamps to tea leaves); and psychic shenanigans -- continues with "Triple Trouble!" featuring comedy by Joanne Green, lip-sync dramatics by David A. MoR (aka Glamamore), and vocal acrobatics by Robbeena Diet Biscuit (aka Robbie D.). The show starts at 8 p.m. at 579 Hayes, S.F. By donation; call 864-1441.
Fancy Feet A 40-member troupe, the Cuban National Folkloric Dance Ensemble performs works dedicated to the Orishas (deities), as well as earthly moves like the cha-cha and mambo. Founded in 1962, the crew of musicians and dancers is visiting the U.S. for the first time in 15 years; they sing and dance at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $14-24; call 776-1999.
On the Streets While S.F. takes pride in its open-minded approach to sex work, local alternative media discussions of prostitution rarely step outside of gender to address race and class issues. "African-American Women and Prostitution: From Oppression to Recovery and Empowerment" aims to do just that. The program --- featuring presentations by Venita Wilson, Bertha Raye, and Merlenet Riley -- is a benefit for PROMISE and lasts from 1 to 3 p.m. at Tenderloin Network Ministries Community Room, 559 Ellis, S.F. Admission is $10; call 522-6659.