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Weekend Highlights: Belly Dance, Free Yoga and the Gospel According to Robert Mitchum

Practitioners of the ancient art of Ras Sharki hold not one but two summits of shimmy this weekend. You're invited!

When: Film opens Friday 4:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.; Saturday's showing includes a Q&A with director Harry Shearer at 4:30 p.m.

Where: , 2966 College Ave, Berkeley

Why go: Spinal Tap "mockumentarian" Harry Shearer (“The Simpsons”) gets serious in his first nonfiction film. The Big Uneasy follows three remarkable people -- the leaders of two scientific investigation teams, and one whistleblower -- as they reveal why New Orleans flooded and why it could happen in other cities across America. It's the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented, told by the people who were there. 

When: Friday, July 8, 2011, 7:00pm–9:30pm

Where: , 2220 Cedar St, Berkeley

Why go: "What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she loses one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she finds it?" Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), preacher of love and hate — as tattooed on his knuckles — whole-heartedly pursues his mission in The Night of the Hunter (1955, 93 minutes, English). This movie is one in a series of entertaining and enlightening free films at the church.

Where: , 2081 Addison St, Berkeley

When: Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m.; Tuesdays at 7 p.m.; Wed-Sat at 8 p.m.

Why go: Mark Jackson directs the first U.S. professional production of David Farr and Gísli Örn Gardarsson's take on Kafka's classic. It's drawn and has been extended through July 24. 

When: Saturday, July 9, 2011, 1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Where: La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Why go: There's nothing like belly dance to make a woman feel her power. As the dance team Raks Africa, Etang Inyang and Tammy started Girls Raks to bring two weeks of this transformative force to at-risk teenagers. The ladies showcase the results in a show that includes Nanna Candelaria, Ahava, and more of the best Middle Eastern dancers in Northern California. 

But wait, there's more...

 When: Saturday, July 9, 2011, 10 a.m.–4p.m. 

When: July 10, 2011, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.

Where: Both events at 390 27th St, Oakland, CA (Humanist Hall, between Broadway and Telegraph)

Why go: Sunday's annual extravaganza is community-friendly, affordable and fun. All are welcome to watch and even join in on eight hours of belly dance inflected with fusion, rock, flamenco, gypsy and old-world folk dance, plus shopping, live music and food/drink for sale. There's live music by Doug Adamz from 2:40 to 4 p.m., along with an open floor where everyone can dance. 

Sunday's Fantasy Festival is preceded by a day of  for belly-dance students on Saturday, led by acclaimed Berkeley dancer/teacher  and other experts in Ras Sharki, Central Asian dance and related traditions. These workshops are designed for people with some dance experience. Discounted admission to Sunday's Fantasy Festival with workshop fee.

Where: , 2982 Adeline St, Berkeley

When: Daily except Sunday, 12 p.m.–6p.m.

Why go: In this heat, it's eerily cooling to imagine oneself swanning around in this lovingly preserved collection of sheer, antique ladies' underwear. One forgets that the antique ladies also had to wear about six layers of additional stuff.

When: Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where: , 1834 Euclid Ave, Berkeley, CA

Why: Even losers have a chance to win hotel stays, wine, show tickets and other door prizes in this fundraiser for La Val's Subterranean Theater. 

When: Saturday, July 9, 2011, Sunday, July 10, 2011, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St., Berkeley

Why go: Change the world and starve, or feed at the corporate trough, sell out, and be the mouthpiece for The Man? The Mime Troupe explores this perennial question in its tale-within-a-tale of a struggling theater group. Look out for a preview coming on Berkeley Patch!

When: Sundays, 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Where: , 2720 Hillegass Ave, Berkeley, CA

Why go: Lululemon Athletica sponsors this free weekly vinyasa flow class by Regina Brown from Yoga To The People. All levels welcome! Mats and post-session snacks provided.

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