Dance

The Washington Post critics choose their favorite shows of the week. Dance

Cathy Paine, one of the area's most notably inventive dancer-choreographers, presents new and older work at a Glen Echo Festival concert this afternoon featuring Cathy Paine & Friends.

Dance Place, directed by Carla Perlo, is Washington's liveliest multipurpose dance center; and with the help of a grant from the Cafritz Foundation, and cosponsorship by the D.C. Department of Recreation, Perlo has assembled a summer ensemble to conduct a round-robin tour of the District's eight wards, with free dance and music programs featuring new choreography by Alvin Mayes, Tyrone Murray, Cathy Paine and Perlo, and live music by Steve Bloom. The tour continues this week at several sites (see the "Openings" listings) throughout the city.

The Wolf Trap Modern Dance Festival is bringing four companies from Great Britain and the United States to the Meadow Center for two nights of varied contemporary offerings, thereby returning modern dance to a place within the Wolf Trap orbit. England's Second Stride and Philadelphia's Philadanco are the troupes featured Tuesday night; the Rachel Harms Dance Company and Nina Wiener and Dancers will perform Wednesday evening.

The Dance Place is affording Washington dance artists of an improvisatorial turn of mind a special showcase Saturday and Sunday when the center presents its Second Annual Dance Improvisation Festival, featuring Washington dance artists David Appel, Beth Easterly, Roger Neece, Diane Hunt, Robyn Bowie, Esther Geiger, Nancy Galeota and the TALUS ensemble.

Film

"E.T." (PG)--Steven Spielberg's delightful science fiction-comedy-fantasy-suspense thriller that traces the development of a profound emotional bond between an ugly/beautiful little creature from outer space and a valiant, resourceful kid from the American suburbs.

"Young Doctors in Love" (R)--A ribald spoof of soap operas about lovelorn or sex-crazed members of the medical profession, with Sean Young and Michael McKean.

"The Secret of NIMH" (G)--An animated adventure fantasy about the struggle of mother mouse to protect her brood, derived from the Newberry Award-winning novel "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH."

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (PG)--A revival engagement of last summer's greatest hit.

Pop

Four festivals in three states, with three distinct styles of music, highlight this week's activities. The second annual Lake Fairfax Park Bluegrass Festival near Reston runs today with the Seldom Scene, Bryan Bowers, Doug Dillard, Foggy Bottom and some cloggers. Also today, at the Lion's Den of the Burtonsville (Md.) Lion's Club, it's a country music jamboree, the largest such outdoor event ever held in the metropolitan area, with Charley Pride, Terri Gibbs, Ronnie McDowell, Janie Fricke and several local acts. On Saturday, it's more country with the hottest new group in the field, Alabama, and Fricke again, plus several others, at Laurel Racecourse. And in town, it's kick-out-the-jams and hit-the-funk-button time at RFK Stadium as Rick James, Ray Parker Jr., Cameo, Lakeside, One Way, Zap and Washington's own Experience Unlimited start up a groove that could run well into the night.

Roy Clark, who grew up in Washington, is well known for his work on "Hee Haw," the stages in Las Vegas, Reno and Tahoe and everybody's TV specials. In other words, he's a great country entertainer. At Wolf Trap on Thursday, he may even show off the guitar picking that's made him a legend among musicians.

Elton John is making one of his patented comebacks with an introspective and thoughtfully crafted new album; Quarterflash has made a splashy entrance with its hook-laden debut. On Thursday and Friday, they'll be sharing the stage at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Music

The only major event of the week in classical music would appear to be the University of Maryland's 12th Annual International Piano Festival and Competition, but it is fairly formidable.

Here's the concert lineup: Dimitris Sgouros, the 12-year-old Greek prodigy today; Jorge Bolet, tomorrow; Earl Wild on Tuesday; duo pianists Anthony and Joseph Paratore on Wednesday; pianists Diane Walsh and Mark Westcott on Thursday; Nelson Freire on Friday; and the finals among the 41 contestants on Saturday.

Art

"El Greco of Toledo" offers a rare opportunity to view the great artist's life work, in the largest collection ever assembled in a single place. At the National Gallery of Art.

After a century in a Smithsonian attic, the world's largest and most important collection of Eskimo art and artifacts finally comes to light in a show titled "Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo." At the Museum of Natural History.