LEWISTON — Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, a six-piece women’s drumming and world music ensemble, will perform an all-ages show at 7: 30 p. m. Saturday at the Franco Center, 46 Cedar St.

Reserved seating tickets for the all-ages show cost $16 for adults or $14 for students and seniors.

“ Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, is a percussion and vocal ensemble that explores the heritage and rhythms of West Africa, through original arrangements and compositions invoking ancient traditions of the drum,” a Franco Center release states. “Inanna was originally created by the participants of a drum class in Alna 20 years ago. Since that time, Inanna has recorded and released five, fulllength albums and has performed at numerous percussion festivals and community events.”

Inanna’s name derives from an ancient Sumerian goddess, who held reign more than 4,000 years ago during a period when it is believed that drummers and dancers were predominantly women. “The ensemble chose the name of this ancient goddess to express their ties with earlier traditions,” the release states.

The group’s members are Annegret Baier, Tori Morrill, Lizzy Derector, Andrea Antognoni, Shirsten Lundblad and Anne-Marie D’Amico.

All members play a variety of percussion instruments such as: Djembes, Kpanlogo, Africa bass drums (Doundounba, Kenkeni and Sangba), Congas, Balafon (an African Xylophone), kalimba (thumb piano), shekeres and a variety of bells and other small instruments. The ensemble also plays frame drums, which are found in almost every culture and are the ancient instrument of women drummers.

Tickets are available online at www.francocenter.org.

‘The Nutcracker’ dances onto Merrill stage

PORTLAND — Maine State Ballet’s holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker,” returns to Merrill Auditorium for seven performances, beginning Saturday.

“The Nutcracker” also features live music by the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, the Musica de Filia Girlchoir and the Westcustogo Youth Chorale.

Besides marking artistic director Linda Miele’s 35th year as the director of “The Nutcracker” in Maine, this year is also special because there will be new faces in major roles. Two teenagers from Falmouth, Michael Holden and Elise Bickford, take center stage as the Nutcracker Prince and Clara. Holden, a junior who has been accepted at the School of American Ballet in New York City, has been with the Maine State Ballet since he was 3 years old.

Bickford, a freshman at Falmouth High School, also has the athletic ability, grace and intangibles that Miele looks for in a lead role, according to a Maine State Ballet release.

The list of dancers includes 292 individuals, ranging in age from preschool to advanced adult.

Tchaikovsky’s popular score will be brought to life again this year by the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Karla Kelley.

Performances are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. Dec. 2; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. Dec. 4.

Tickets for the Nutcracker are on sale now through Porttix at 842- 0800, online at www.porttix.com, or at the Merrill Auditorium box office, which is open from noon to 6 p. m., Monday through Saturday.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $55, and discounts are available for groups, seniors and children. For more information, call Maine State Ballet at 781- 7672, or visit www.mainestateballet.org.

Freeport arts group conjures sale, auction

FREEPORT — The Art Guild Gallery of Freeport’s sixth annual Art Guild Holiday Show and Silent Auction to benefit Freeport Community Services begins at 5 p.m. today in the gallery, 140 Main St., next to Sianno’s Restaurant.

The show features paintings, photography, pottery, glass and jewelry. Carrie Green of Pownal will show large scale equine paintings.

The silent auction features donated pottery, jewelry and art. Proceeds will support the ongoing work of Freeport Community Services.

An artists’ reception runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Art Guild of Freeport is a nonprofit community organization of artists and art lovers from the greater Freeport area. The Guild hosts numerous events throughout the year including workshops, painting events and shows.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 865-5413.

Railway village books ‘North Pole Express’

BOOTHBAY — From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and again at the same times on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, the Boothbay Railway Village will run the “North Pole Express.”

“ This entertaining train ride will consist of a comfortable seat in a steam-heated train with free cookies and hot chocolate,” a Boothbay Railway Village release states. “The train will carry you through the village and is scheduled to depart about every 60 minutes.”

Santa Claus will visit with riders on each train, and holiday stories will be told.

Admission costs $10. Children age 2 and younger will be admitted free.

Tickets will be available online at www.railwayvillage.org.

“By purchasing your tickets early you will be able to choose the train time of your choice and arrive prior to its departure and avoid any wait for the next train,” the release states.

Boothbay Railway Village is on Route 27. For more information, call 633-4727.

Bowdoinham guild lines up 2-day show

BOWDOINHAM — The eighth annual Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans holiday sale and show will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Bowdoinham Town Hall.

“The annual event features high quality local arts and crafts in a festive holiday atmosphere,” a release from organizers states. “Ongoing music will be provided by local musicians.”

More information about the artists and musicians can be found on the Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans’ Facebook page.

Church hosts chefs, musicians Sunday

PORTLAND — First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 425 Congress St., will host Chefs and Musicians for Safe Harbor at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Chefs and Musicians for Safe Harbor is an event to launch fundraising efforts for the First Parish Legal Fund for Asylum. It aims to draw attention to the need to assist new immigrants and asylumseekers who arrive in Maine.

For more information, contact Kitty Coughlin at 767-4614 or [email protected]

Contradance supports folk dance outfit

NORTH YARMOUTH — Down East Friends of the Folk Arts (DEFFA) will hold its annual fundraising contradance from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Wescustogo Grange Hall. Dancing begins at noon, with a dance medley at 2: 30 p. m. Beginners and singles are welcome, and all dances are taught throughout the event.

Bill Olson and Kim Roberts will call dances for Rock the Boat, a band made up of Jim Tolles, Muriel Hendrix, Sandy Davis and Pete Stevens, and Frigate, composed of musicians Glen Loper, Steve Muise and Fred White.

Admission costs $15 or $12 for DEFFA members.

For more information, call 491- 0628 or visit www.deffa.org.

West Bath School renews fair tradition

WEST BATH — The 40th annual West Bath School PTO Christmas craft fair and café will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at the school.

For more information, call Deb Bruce at 504-4603.

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