A visit from the controversial human rights activist and artist Ai Weiwei, a celebration of Asian art punctuated by music and refreshments, an intimate panel on the 2012 presidential campaign are just a small sampling of upcoming eventson the Princeton University campus. For a complete schedule, visit www.princeton.edu/events. Events are free unless otherwise noted.
A campus map is available online at etcweb.princeton.edu/pumap.
Wednesday, September 26, 7 to 9 p.m. “Celluloid Swans: Russian Dance on Film” presents “The Red Shoes.”
“The Red Shoes” will be the newest installment in this semester’s Slavic film series. The focus on dance is a logical choice. The 19th century resurgence of ballet was thanks largely to Russian dance companies, which reintroduced the art form — and a number of masterful artists — to the West. If you have ever seen Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” you have probably seen a performance relatively unchanged since 1954, when the Russian-born George Balanchine choreographed a production for the New York City Ballet.
“The Red Shoes” is the story of a deadly struggle between sacrifices for art and love in a ballet company overseen by the tyrannical Boris Lermontov. As Lermontov cultivates the talent of promising new dancer Victoria Page, his interest shades into obsession. Meanwhile, Page falls in love with a young composer of her debut ballet (“The Red Shoes”) and is forced to choose between passion and dance. Films in the series, which continues on select Wednesdays throughout the semester, will include English subtitles.
Sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature and the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies. 609-258- 4726. East Pyne Hall 010.
Wednesday, October 3, 7 to 9 p.m. Mary Evelyn Tucker on “Journey of the Universe”
Yale University’s Mary Tucker joins human speculation and scientific discovery in her discussion of “Journey of the Universe.” A book and an Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Journey of the Universe” juxtaposes the metaphysical and the scientific. Informed by scientific discoveries about the birth of stars and the unfolding of life on earth, “Journey of the Universe,” which Tucker co-authored, offers an expansive vision of how the development of our world aligns with that of humanity itself.
Dr. Tucker will weave together insights from the sciences with philosophical ideas about the history of our world and place in it. The nature of the universe? The relationship between Buddhism and the environment? Attendees will have the chance to ask Dr. Tucker questions such as these.
Sponsored by the Princeton Environmental Institute. 609-258-5985. Lewis Bowl Classroom 120.
Saturday, October 6, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Asian Adventures: A Festival of Music and Art”
“Asian Adventures” presents visitors a day of family-oriented delights. The exploration of Asian art will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the latest installment of the Museum’s Art for Families program titled “Dragons, Guardians and Caravans.” Activities include a self-guided tour of the museum and an art project making dragon kites. Refreshments will be served and guests can explore the museum’s Asian art collection. At 2:30 p.m. the Princeton Symphony Orchestra will perform a family concert in Richardson Auditorium. Oh, and did I mention that the scavenger hunt?
Sponsored by the Princeton University Art Museum. 609-258-3788. Princeton University Art Museum.
Sunday, October 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m. “Partisan Loyalties: Jews, Blacks and the 2012 Election” — a panel discussion.
In the spirit of the election season, Princeton’s James Madison Program will host a discussion between two prominent figures in the current political landscape. Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III is a cofounder of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, an organization that aids at-risk African American and Latino youths. Mona Charen is a syndicated conservative columnist, author, and political analyst. Madison Program director Robert George will moderate.
Sponsored by the James Madison Program. 609-258-5107. Lewis Library Bowl, Classroom 120.
Wednesday, October 10, 2:30 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. “A Princeton Day with Ai Weiwei.”
If you are unfamiliar with Ai Weiwei, you won’t be after this. Ai is a contemporary Chinese artist and high-profile political activist famous for his outspoken critiques of the Chinese government’s attitude toward human rights and democracy.
A series of 12 10-foot-tall bronze sculptures, “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” by Ai are currently on display in Scudder Plaza (outside Robertson Hall). Ai will participate in a discussion on “Art in a Democratic Society” and deliver a public talk, “Human Rights and Public Policy,” moderated by the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Bart Gellman. There will be a screening of a newly released, award-winning documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” on Monday, October 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Dodds Auditorium.
Sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Princeton University Art Museum. 609-258-2943. The discussion will take place at McCormick Hall 101. The public lecture will be held in Richardson Auditorium. Note that details for these events are tentative. Check for updates at: www.princeton.edu/aiww/index.xml
Tuesday, October 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Nobel laureate and Princeton University professor Toni Morrison will give a public reading from her newest novel, “Home.” The event is free, but tickets are required. For more details about the reading and tickets, go to www.princeton.edu/africanamericanstudies/events/viewevent.xml?id=281. Richardson Auditorium.
Saturday, October 13, 10 to 11 a.m. “The Football Lectures.”
Consider this a unique kind of pre-game show for Princeton’s football season. Mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Michael McAlpine opens the series with “Tooth Tattoos and Other Biointerfaced Nanodevices.” The game between Princeton and Brown follows. 120 Lewis Library.
Monday, October 15, 4:30 p.m.
In “Pakistan: Beyond Jihad,” former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Hussain Huqqani will speak about Pakistan. The country plays a significant role in the Middle East and has diplomatic relations with the U.S. that are at best complex and at worst, in the words of the Washington Post, “plagued by mistrust.” 219 Aaron Burr Hall.