SHEN YUN PERFORMING ARTS (dance and theater extravaganza). Jan. 21 – 23, touring company at Benedum Center.
1) In what has become an annual custom, the Shen Yun Performing Arts troupe visits Pittsburgh with a new feature-length show. Shen Yun’s productions may seem, at first, like a cross between Bollywood spectacle and some odd hybrid of Western dance, but they are distinctly Chinese. The performers’ mesmerizing movements and astounding leaps are from classical Chinese dance, which evolved over the millennia to incorporate elements of martial arts, acrobatics, storytelling pantomime, and spiritual expression. These elements are combined with modern stagecraft to dramatize folk tales and true stories from China’s long history. 7:30 p.m. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (M.V.)
2) The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is debuting a new concert series, Soul Stage, at the Greer Cabaret Theater. This four-night-only performance series at the Greer Cabaret Theater features some of the top hip hop/R&B performers and DJs in the ‘Burgh. The series runs this weekend and next, and includes both free and ticketed performances. Tonight’s lineup consists of notable recording artists Jordan Montgomery and Chandra Rhyme. Montgomery is the founder and CEO of Driving While Black Records and a highly skilled rapper in his own right. Rhyme is a very talented hip hop/R&B performer and has a hot, new music video out for her song “Bullet.” Both are popular acts on the local scene. Providing the spins for tonight’s show is beatmaker, producer, and DJ, pvkvsv. Free, registration is recommended. 655 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (R.H.)