july 3
Number Nine Footloose Dance Company has snapped up the lease on the former Climate Theater building, moved in, and renamed the place Venue Nine. Organizers plan to play host to more improv groups shows this summer and the Solo Mio Festival in the fall; meanwhile, they've mounted a Tuesday night mixed-media, low-tech performance showcase tagged "Sight Unseen"; an ongoing Wednesday night progressive music series; and the Dead White Male Readers Theater on Sundays at 7 p.m., beginning July 14. Footloose will retain its Shotwell Studios for classes and performances. To celebrate the changes -- and the continuation of Writers Who Act classes and the Theater Video Service -- the new tenants will throw a party with musical guests Spirit, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, koto player Miya Masaoka, sax player Marco Enedi, violinist Jenny Scheinman, and contrabassist Damon Smith at 8 p.m. at 252 Ninth St., S.F. Admission is $6; call 641-8800.

Eddie Rocks Steady DJ Eddie X is used to being worshiped: His domain, after all, is mondo L.A. dance club the Temple. A proponent of house and tribal, X was raised on salsa and merengue; he recently got a different perspective on another side of the music industry when he cut the vocal track "La Selva" for radio play. Although he's spun at Pump and the mostly male White Parties in Palm Springs and Florida, this week's pre-Fourth disco bash marks X's first appearance at the city's biggest gay club, at which he'll be joined by local DJ Phil B. Doors open at 9 p.m. at Pleasuredome, 177 Townsend, S.F. Admission is $7; call 985-5256.

We Have Contact Dancers from Seattle to St. Louis are about to descend on Berkeley for a modern be-in: the 1996 West Coast Contact Improvisation Festival. The six-day conference celebrates the kinetic sparks generated by unchoreographed movement made by bodies in close proximity, and ranges from the structure of classes and lecture-demonstrations to the spontaneity of discussions and contact jams. Music-making and unscheduled "happenings" are part of the package. The festival begins 10 a.m. daily at the Eighth Street Studio Complex, 2525 Eighth St., Berkeley. Admission is $240 for all events, $135 for weekend only, $75 per day; call 550-2496.

Join the Circus Finally, an outlet for anyone who's been told more than once to quit clowning around: Make*A*Circus kicks off its 23rd season of outdoor performances with a show in North Beach. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls will be treated to free circus workshops covering the fine arts of stilt-walking and juggling, pyramid-building and tumbling, and will be invited to join company members in the ring. The troupe will also present its revamped show Little Nemo in Slumberland, the fanciful tale of a small boy's dream-state adventures, based on a turn-of-the-century comic strip by Winsor McCay and backed by a four-piece jazz band. The circus opens at 12:30 p.m. in Washington Square Park, Columbus & Union, S.F. Free; call 242-1414.

Whole Hog Cybermania sweeps the otherwise pastoral Marin County Fair with this year's theme, "Swine On-Line," a two-snouted salute to pigs and technology. The wild frontier meets the final frontier here at the Multimedia Funhouse and Junior Swine Show; semirelated entertainment includes a film festival, the Smothers Brothers, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and Eddie Rabbitt. The fair begins daily at 11 a.m. at the Marin County Fairgrounds, North San Pedro & Hwy. 101, San Rafael. Admission is $7-9; call 499-6400.

july 4
Smoke on the Water Barring seasonal complications like dense fog, fireworks will light up the nighttime sky around San Francisco's waterfront at the Chron's annual Fourth of July party. The opening event, an Olympic fund-raiser with midtempo rock acts the Doobie Brothers and Jefferson Starship, happens July 3, but most of the free family-oriented exhibits and entertainment are slated for the official holiday. Local musicians will play at eight stages along the waterfront, while kids get two stages of their own and a slew of wholesome, hands-on activities like knot-making and sled kite-decorating. Events begin at 1:30 p.m. along the waterfront at Aquatic Park, the Wharf, Pier 39, Hyde Street Pier, Ghirardelli Square, the Cannery, the Anchorage, Ferry Plaza, and Justin Herman Plaza; fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free; call 777-8498.

Nice Ride America's love of fast cars and rugged individuality is beautifully, succinctly declared with customized cars, the embodiment of traveling in style. Photographer David Perry has tracked car culture across the States, training his lens on chop shops, raceways, and parking lots for his forthcoming book Hot Rod and his local photo exhibit of the same name, at which autographed box sets of photos and dice will be available. An opening party and barbecue for the exhibit is held at 6 p.m. at Gallery 16, 1616 16th St., S.F. Admission is free; call 626-7495.

Mimes Bounce Back Earlier this year it looked like curtains for the San Francisco Mime Troupe when the federal government scaled arts funding way back, but a fund-raising campaign that began two months ago raised almost $20,000 in individual donations (about half the federal money lost), and the troupe decided to go ahead with its traditional outdoor summer shows, albeit with an abbreviated schedule. In this year's production, the retro sci-fi whodunit Soul Suckers From Outer Space, a seismologist investigates the social shifts -- greed and malice in particular -- precipitated by a strange earthquake. The 2 p.m. show inaugurates the troupe's 35th season and is preceded by music at 1:30 p.m. at Mission Dolores Park, Dolores between 18th and 20th Streets, S.F. Free; call 285-1717.

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