WilliamsWorks, the new dance company under the artistic direction of former New York City Ballet and Stephen Petronio Company dancer Todd Williams, kicks off the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival in its first solo evening in New York. Two world premieres — “Exquisite Corpse,” a duet for Williams and guest collaborator Glen Rumsey, and “Value Intensity” for 14 dancers — and the sextet “108” inspired by the sacred geometry of Hindu mandalas make up the program. Live music accompanies the performances. The Ailey Theater, 405 W. 55th St. at Ninth Ave. $20, $15 students and seniors at 212-415-5500 or 92y.org/Ha
The Gay & Lesbian Reading Group holds discussions of LGBT experience through reading contemporary and classic novels, plays, poetry, and nonfiction. Newcomers welcome to share or just listen. Today’s reading is from “Rubyfruit Jungle” by Rita Mae Brown. 212-945-709, jclark@jcl
Location One hosts an opening reception presenting the first of two Spring exhibitions showcasing new work integrating visual, digital, and performing arts and experimenting with advanced technological tools such as Bluetooth and MP3. Featuring artists Paololuca Barbieri, Isabelle Ferreira, Geka Heinke, Yoon-Young Park, and Mariana Viegas—from Italy, France, Germany, Korea, and Portugal—participants in the 2005-2006 International Residency Program. 6-8 p.m. 26 Greene St. 212-334-3347. Through Mar. 4.
Ronald K. Brown\EVIDENCE returns to The Joyce this February with two different programs featuring works that blend traditional and social dance vocabulary from the U.S., Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire to the music of Fred Hammond, Terry Riley, Duke Ellington and more. Season highlights will include the New York premiere of “Order My Steps,” created with poet/director Chad Boseman, as well as “High Life,” a meditation on migration in the United States and West Africa. The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. $38 at 212-242-0800 or joyce.org. Through Feb. 12, Thu. &-Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Interactive Urban Dance
The Horny Girls, Clare Byrne and Amy Larimer, with guest artists, perform their “hip urban dance series” at 9:30 p.m., at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. Dancenow/ NYC has returned to Joe’s Pub to present dancemakers and performers in its third season of the “dancemOpolitan” series, an “urban and interactive experience” for artists and audiences. Also Feb.11 at 9:30 p.m. 425 Lafayette St. btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. 212-239-8778. $15, $20 at the door.
Speakers Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel, University of Pennsylvania, and Ben Sifuentes-Jauregui, of Rutgers, will conduct this series of meetings, which seek to analyze the ways Latin(o) American sexualities get expressed outside or beyond the script of the coming-out narrative. Topics of discussion include the following — within a Latin(o) American context — Against the Closet, Beyond Homonormativity, Bodies of Desire, and Non-Corporeal Sexualities, or Queer Phenomenology. Texts to be studied by Reinaldo Arenas, Achy Obejas, Manuel Puig, Richard Rodriguez, Piri Thomas, Lourdes Casal, Junot Diaz, Cesar Aira, Gloria Anzaldua, Sonia Rivera Valdes, as well as critical works by Jose Quiroga, Emilio Bejel, Arnaldo Cruz-Malave, Lazaro Lima, Juana Maria Rodriguez, among others. Films clips from “Frida,” “Fresa y Chocolate,” “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “Before Night Falls,” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” will also be included. Series continues Mar.10, Apr.21, and May 5. Contact CUNY’s Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies (CLAGS) to reserve a space and receive reading materials at firstname.lastname@example.org. The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. at 6:30 p.m. 212-620-7310. 6 p.m. Free.
DJ Louis Morhaim from Sirius OutQ DJ: Saturday Night OUT, Sunday QTea, Heartbeat Records, Tom of Finland, Cielo, Discoteque, SBNY, and Sea Tea is sure to get your heart pumping at one of the most popular Dance 208s — the Valentine’s Dance. With special guest, gay global recording and performing artist, and 2005 Outmusic Award-winning Ari Gold. $10/$6 center members, or before 9:45 p.m. Flaggers $6 all night w/flags. The Center, 208 W. 13th St. 212-620-7310.
“Dating Scientist Creates Formula for Trauma Free Dating” is a speed dating event for the gay man-bears hosted by comedian/clown Marilyn Galfin who also performs a warm-up, pre-dating song. Shy men into meaningful relationships are urged to join this guaranteed relaxed alternative to the meat market. Guidelines are geared towards real communication in an environment that claims to take the terror out of meeting men. The LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th St. $25, 8-10 pm. Pre-Register at 212-989-8549.
Following Cinders’ “home art” credo, Kay Turner has curated homohome—a show exploring domestic queerness. Fully titled “prototype for a homohome catalog,” the show will transform Cinders into a living catalogue of home products—with a homo twist. Come browse the selections and shop for a Valentine. Cinders Gallery, 103 Havemeyer St. store#2, btwn. Hope & Grand Sts. in Williamsburg. 718-388-2311. Through Mar. 5, Wed.-Fri. 2-9 p.m., Sat. & Sun. noon-9 p.m.
One of America’s outstanding dancers, Desmond Richardson, will appear on “Stars of the 21st Century” at the State Theater, Lincoln Center, performing two solos choreographed by Dwight Rhoden. Desmond, whose credits range from American Ballet Theatre to “Movin’ Out” on Broadway, joins a gathering of other remarkable dancers from major companies around the world—Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Munich Ballet, and Tango Metropolis Argentina.7:30 p.m. $20 to $150 are at 212-721-6500.
The New York International Fringe Festival hit “Kiss and Cry,” a romantic comedy by Tom Rowan, directed by Kevin Newbury opens tonight. The play features Stacy, a champion male figure skater on his way to the Olympics, and Fiona, a hot young movie starlet. They are the nation’s favorite couple—as long as nobody finds out they’re both gay. Straight from today’s blind item gossip columns, “Kiss and Cry” deals with love, sex, fame and the lengths people will go to in the pursuit of success. 8 p.m. at Theater Ten Ten 1010 Park Ave, btwn 84th & 85th Streets. 212-505-1700.
The weekly program of no-holds-barred performance every Monday at Galapagos, hosted by Desiree Burch. This week’s performers are Christen Clifford and Rob Stephenson. 70 N. Sixth St. btwn. Kent and Wythe in Williamsburg. 718-782-5188. 8 p.m., free.
Love is in the air! Poetry is on the page! Happy Valentine’s Day! SAGE’s Women’s Task Force presents Clare Coss, renowned playwright, activist, and psychotherapist, reading from her published anthology of lesbian love poems, “Arc of Love.” Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins will be reading with Clare from this unique collection of erotic and passionate poetry by contemporary lesbian poets, old and young, from across the country. Suggested donation $5. 212-741-2247 for more information. 6 p.m. at The LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th St. 212-620-7310.
“LOVE” is a one-night only benefit performance and after-party for WET (Women’s Expressive Theater, Inc) founded in 1999 by Sasha Eden and Victoria Pettibone with a mission to produce work that challenges female stereotypes. “LOVE” features readings of short plays about love by some of today’s hottest young women playwrights—Julia Jordan, Brooke Berman, Cusi Cram, Julia Cho, Jessica Goldberg, Bridget Carpenter, and Adrienne Shelly The evening is hosted by Diane von Furstenberg and directed by Abby Epstein. After-performance party features music by DJ Mr. Blue, open bar, food, and late-night VIP shopping at the store. Diane von Furstenberg Theater, 383 W. 12th St. btwn. Washington & West Sts. 7-11 p.m. $100 or $25 just for the after-party at wetweb.org.
The Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School hosts an opening reception for their fifth annual photo exhibit, which makes visible gay and lesbian school community members. The reception features the extraordinary singing by the Lavender Light Gospel Choir, dedicated to keeping alive the black gospel music tradition in an environment supportive to lesbian and gay people, with a special ministry to black lesbians and gays, who have historically been pressured to choose between their black and gay identities. 272 Sixth Ave. at Bleecker St. Free, 6-8 p.m.
After her critically acclaimed and sold-out “Valentine’s Day Massacre” of 2004, vocalist, virtuoso pianist and sine qua non diva Diamanda Galás returns for another spellbinding night of tragic love and homicidal songs. Galas, who was awarded Italy’s prestigious Demetrio Stratos International Career Award in November, will shred classic Valentine fare with thirteen favorite covers and original songs—ranging from Edith Piaf and Johnny Cash to O.V. Wright and Ornette Coleman—conjuring shattered love, blinding obsession and howling melancholy. The Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St. 7:30 p.m. & 10:30pm. $20 at 212-219-3132.
Desire and jealousy collide in Les Arts Florrisant’s emotionally searing production of Handel’s opera “Hercules,” conducted by William Christie and directed by Luc Bondy. After Hercules’ long absence on a military campaign, his wife Dejanira fears he has died. But her lament is interrupted by the hero’s triumphant return, accompanied by an unexpected prize of conquest?the beautiful princess Iole. Assuming her husband has been unfaithful, Dejanira’s grief turns to jealous rage, and despite protestations of innocence from Hercules and Iole, she brings about the hero’s death in truly tragic circumstances.
Round out Valentine’s Day with some literary smut from all corners of the gender dance-floor, with host and M.C. Tristan Taormino. Eric(a) Maroney, Skian McGuire, Zaedryn Meade, Kyle Walker, Sam J. Miller, Thorn Kief Hillsbery, and Tim Doody will read from their contributions to the hot and now “Best Gay Erotica” and “Best Lesbian Erotica” series. Bring a date and get some new ideas for how to spend the evening, or come solo and meet other similarly sex-obsessed singles. Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts. 212-777-6028. 7 p.m., free.
Rocking with live music and song, Reggie Wilson’s “The Tale: Npinpee Nckutchie and the Tail of the Golden Dek,” a world premiere, blends African and Caribbean-inspired rhythmic movement, rituals and vocalizations with American social dances such as Stepping, the Big Apple, the Black Bottom, and the Lindy Hop. This lively border-crossing universalizes Wilson’s ideas about the contradictory nature of human relationships. Dance Theater Workshop, 219 W. 19th St. btwn. Seventh & Eighth Aves. Post-performance discussion moderated by Maura Donohue. Through Feb. 25, Wed.–Sat. at 7:30 p.m. $25, $15 students & seniors at 212-924-0077.
Throckmorton Fine Art presents a private viewing and cocktail reception of acclaimed photographers Jonathan Anderson & Edwin Low’s latest collection. Proceeds will benefit Miracle House, New York’s hospitality house, which provides housing, meals, and advocacy to visiting caregivers and patients living with serious illnesses. Internationally acclaimed fine-art photographers Anderson & Low present powerful images of young men and women who are training for both the sports field and the battlefield while studying at America’s most famed armed forces academies—the US Military Academy at West Point, the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. Images of cadets in their military dress from formal to fatigues and in the uniforms of their chosen sports, including swimming, boxing, football, gymnastics, and basketball, among others, reveal subtle similarities and differences between the roles assumed by such disciplined and dedicated individuals. 145 E 57th St, 3rd fl. $75 donation minimum at 212-989-7790 ext.12. 6-8 p.m.
The worlds of art, design and fashion will converge at 18th Annual “Open Your Heart” Auction. This high-energy evening of charity and merriment, brings New Yorkers out to bid on photography, paintings, furnishings, fashion, and much more, all in support of Bailey House, New York’s oldest HIV/AIDS housing provider. This year’s auction will feature a vast array of items, including a Susan Lucci-guided tour of the “All My Children” set, Martha Stewart Signature Collection 4-piece bedroom set, fine art and photography, couture, home furnishings, travel and entertainment packages, accommodations at hotels around the world, and tickets to the hottest Broadway shows. The Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St. at Houston. 6:30 p.m. VIP reception, 7:30 p.m. auction begins. $150-$2,500 at 212-633-2500 ext. 270 or baileyhouse.org.