Raves, deejay sampling, jazz, Latin and African rhythms and other sounds will mix together in "Asphalt," a show that will have its Washington area premiere Friday and Saturday night at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Maryland. Jane Comfort and Company, a dance theater group based in New York City, performs a dance-opera whose central character is Racine, an artist abandoned as a child. He is squatting in a condemned New York City tenement filled with others who regularly throw ritualistic raves. An aspiring disc jockey, Racine uses elements of jazz, classical musical and trip hop to transcend his urban reality and enter a more uplifting world of music. The show starts at 8 p.m. in the Ina and Jack Kay Theatre, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Stadium Drive and Route 193, College Park. Tickets are $25. 301-405-2787.
A poster created by art students from Laurel High School will be unveiled Sunday at the opening reception of Harmony Hall's celebration of Black History Month. The winning group of the 14th annual poster competition was led by the school's art department chairman, Diana Fitzwater, and Hyattsville artist Michele Brinson, a graphic designer and illustrator. Depicting African American childhood traditions, the winning poster will debut in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition "We the Children: A History of African American Childhood," which examines the contrast between the simple pleasures of childhood and the historic realities that confront African Americans. Jazz group Bertell Knox and Generations will perform at the reception, and the poster will be free at county black history events. The reception goes from 2 to 4 p.m. at Harmony Hall's John Addison Concert Hall, 10701 Livingston Rd., Fort Washington. 301-203-6070.
It's all power and punch in the twice-weekly aqua kickboxing classes at the Glenarden/Theresa Banks Complex pool. Easy on the joints and a way to relieve stress, underwater kickboxing is designed to maximize water's built-in resistance. Even those with bad backs or weak knees can improve flexibility and stamina while learning the kicks, jabs and uppercuts. Ages 18 and up can drop in and test the waters from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8615-A McLain Ave., Glenarden. Classes are $6 for non-residents and $5 for residents. 301-772-5515.