Do It Today: Florida Dance Fest kick-off, Gulf oil spill forum, Maxwell and Jill Scott, and pay-what-you-can at American Stage's November

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Starting today, choreographers and dancers descend on the University of South Florida for the annual Florida Dance Festival, a summer dance school that boasts an intensive series of performances open to the public at bargain ticket prices. The full line-up stretches through June 26, but Tuesday’s inaugural performance—featuring Arch Dance Company—is sure to be a highlight. The Brooklyn-based group, which has performed at New York’s Lincoln Center and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, combines hip-hop and modern dance. Other offerings include “Florida Dances,” a compilation of works by Florida-based or affiliated artists; “Disavowal,” a performance by David Dorfman Dance of New York, inspired by the biography of abolitionist John Brown; and a festival finale showcasing work choreographed by festival faculty and performed by students. All performances take place at USF’s School of Theatre and Dance except for “Hello Dalí” by Sarasota’s Fuzión Dance Artists, a multimedia tribute to the art of surrealist Salvador Dalí, staged at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Pete. (Pictured: Fuzión Dance Artists perform “Hello, Dali”. Photo by Gini Smith) . June 15-26, University of South Florida, School of Theatre and Dance, 305-310-8080, Arch Dance Company, Tues., June 15, 8 p.m., USF Theatre I, $22 general, $15 students/seniors. Florida Dances, Thurs., June 17, 8 p.m., USF Theatre II, $10 general, $6 students/seniors. Faculty Concert, Sat., June 19, 8 p.m., USF Theatre II, $12 general, $8 students/seniors. Fuzión Dance Artists, Wed., June 23, 8 p.m., Salvador Dalí Museum, 1000 Third St. S., St. Petersburg, $12 general, $8 students. David Dorfman Dance, Thurs., June 24, 8 p.m., USF Theatre I, $22 general, $15 students/seniors. Festival Finale, Sat., June 26, 7:30 p.m., USF Theatre II, $6. A Florida Dance All Access pass if available for $79 general, $49 students/seniors. —Megan Voeller

Having no luck in the love department because you’re too busy to get out and meet people, sick of online dating disharmony, don’t have a million bucks to hire a matchmaker, or all of the above? Then clear your calendar for Tuesday’s Pre-Dating speed dating event at Floyd’s in the Hard Rock Hotel. During the two-hour love-fest, you’ll go on six-minute, face-to-face “pre-dates” (saving you the hassle of wasting a whole evening on just one) with 29-to-39 or 37-to-47-year-old professionals where you’ll get to chat and flirt it up — and heck, maybe you’ll even meet someone you want to see again. Admission also includes appetizers and two complimentary drinks (thank God). 7-9 p.m. Tues., June 15, Floyd’s at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 N. Orient Road, Tampa, $25, —Katie Machol

Two modern singer-songwriters of contemporary soul and R&B have joined forces for a 20-city U.S. summer tour. Maxwell (pictured) headlined solo at Ruth Eckerd last August and continues to promote his 2009 studio LP, BLACKsummers’night, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and became his fourth platinum-selling album. Jill Scott is a three-time Grammy-winning vocalist who’s also an actress (she starred in Tyler Perry’s feature film, Why Did I Get Married?, and the BBC/HBO series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) and a poet who uses her distinctive lyrical style and imagery in her songwriting. Scott’s been in the studio recording the follow-up to her 2007 album and this string of performances with Maxwell paves the way for her forthcoming 2010 release, The Light of the Sun. 7 p.m. Tues., June 15, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, $37-$163, —Leilani Polk

It's pay-what-you-can night at November (read CL theater critic Mark Leib's review here). It's  David Mamet's politicomedy about a cash-strapped incumbent president who taps the turkey industry for funds. Thanksgiving's getting a makeover; there's a live, televised lesbian wedding to officiate; and, American Stage warns, "very strong language (Mamet REALLY likes to use the "F" word)." Farce? June 9-July 4, 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. matinees Sat.-Sun., American Stage, 163 Third Ave.  N., St. Petersburg, $26-$45, $10 student rush tickets 30 minutes prior to curtain, —Franki Weddington

Tonight's community forum on the Deepwater Horizon gulf spill, "From Crisis to Solutions," gathers an impressive cross-section of scientists,  activists and media at The Palladium Theatre  in St. Pete from 6-9 p.m., sponsored in part by Repower America and Clean Energy Works. The event will be broken into three one-hour discussions:  “About the Gulf Oil Spill” from 6:10-7 p.m.; "The Media's Perspective" from 7:10-8 p.m.; and "Solutions" from 8:10-9 p.m. Speakers include FSU oceanographer Dr. Ian McDonald, a  vocal critic of BP and government action (or inaction) re the spill; USF College of Marine Sciences Dean Bill Hogarth; journalists from the St. Petersburg Times, Channel 10, WMNF and Creative Loafing (our own Mitch Perry); and representatives from organizations like the National Resources Defense Council and the Florida Business Network for a Clean Energy Economy. Admission is free. The Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N. in St. Petersburg, [email protected] Register here, or visit the event's Facebook page.

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