5 things to do this weekend, including a dance battle in Boston and a folk fest in Lowell

I hereby challenge you to a dance-off, Boston. (Starts dancing like Elaine from “Seinfeld.”) Okay, you win. But I also challenge you to watch a dance-off, visit an indie film fest, see art in bloom, head on the road to Lowell à la Jack Kerouac, then immerse yourself in Aladdin’s magic carpet ride. Yup, complete my list — or a few here — and tag me. I’ll shout you out on social media.

Catch Indie Films at IFFBoston

Wednesday, April 26-Wednesday, May 3

Stream Netflix on your couch anytime. This week, it’s all about catching indie shorts and features in real theaters with fellow Boston movie lovers. The 20th annual Independent Film Festival Boston runs a full week, screening some 48 features and 42 shorts at the Somerville, Brattle and Coolidge Corner Theatres.

Highlights this weekend includes “Stephen Curry: Underrated” from award-winning filmmaker Peter Nicks on April 27 at the Somerville theater, which is billed as an “intimate look” at the NBA superstar. Meanwhile, at the Brattle on April 27, watch Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton in “Master Gardener," directed by Paul Schrader. And, on April 28, “King Coal," a documentary about coal mining in Central Appalachia, screens at Somerville Theatre. Director Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Producer Elijah Stevens are expected at the fest. [Read more on what to expect at IFFBoston here.]

See 'Art In Bloom' At The MFA

Friday, April 28-Sunday, April 30

Love art? Love flowers? You, my friend, will love “Art in Bloom.” The MFA’s 47th annual “Bloom” presents 45 works of art, from ancient to contemporary, “paired with floral interpretations created by New England-area garden clubs and professional designers,” according to the MFA. Check out preview day on Thursday to see the recently installed arrangements, or take guided tours over the weekend.

I devoured Netflix’s “The Big Flower Fight” and HBO’s “Full Bloom,” so a lecture and demonstration from floral designer Jimmy Guzman looks so fun. There are still limited tickets left for “Cherishing Moments of Being with Flowers” on April 30, where you can watch Guzman build a ceremonial arch and tablescape.

Get on the road to Lowell for a Two-Day Folk Fest

Friday, April 28-Saturday, April 29

With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that, I’d often dreamed of going northwest to Lowell to see the music fest, always vaguely planning but never taking off.

Yup, ol’ Jack Kerouac said that (or something near-about). So now, hop in the car for a road trip, and let’s go to this big beautiful, mad festival of arts and music in Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell: The Town and The City Festival. Billed as “celebrating the adventurous spirit” of Kerouac and named after Kerouac's earliest novel, the two-day fest features an eclectic line-up of local and national artists, including the winner of the 2022 NPR Tiny Desk Contest Alisa Amador, Buffalo Tom, Peter Mulvey, Ali McGuirk, Future Teens and more. This here fest is sprawled around various venues — it’s the kind that burns, burns, burns like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle, you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes, “Awww!” (Sorry. Once you start Kerouac-ing, it’s hard to stop.)

Watch a Red Bull dance battle

Friday, April 28

We’ve got a dance-off. Get a load of Boston’s moves as Red Bull Dance Your Style hits Boston City Hall Plaza. Watch local freestylers face off in a dance battle in this free event: popping, locking and krumping their way through a single-elimination bracket. Each dancer will perform to randomly selected jams and will be tested on their musicality and charisma. The winner earns a spot at the Red Bull Dance Your Style National Final in Chicago. The judges? You.

Plus, catch a performance by the awesome Afrobeats Dance Boston on this beat-laden night hosted by Boston Celtics in-arena host Melisa Valez, Boston’s DJ Real P and DJ Bbay Indiglo.


Immerse Yourself in Disney Animation

Through Sunday, Aug. 13

Eight-year-old me is freaking out. (And current me is, too.) No need to fly to Florida. Bring the whole fam to the Lighthouse ArtSpace Boston at the Saunders Castle in Park Plaza to experience the most beloved Disney stories in a new, fully immersive way. The event is billed as an “innovative celebration that takes you inside” Disney hits. Presented by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Lighthouse Immersive Studio, kids can feel like they’re at Pride Rock as Rafiki presents Simba, take a magic carpet ride to see a whole new world with Aladdin and Jasmine, sing along with Elsa and more.

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Lauren Daley Culture Writer
Lauren Daley is a freelance culture writer for The ARTery.



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