DIANA SHPUNGIN & NICOLE ENGELMANN Their video work is not quite ready for prime time, their photographs are blurry video stills, and the installation leaves much to be desired. But after all, they only graduated from SVA last year, and already their first slaphappy video has been imprinted on our memory. Now they go through their latest paces in "Routine." Flopping four interchangeable legs over the back of a tufted sofa, bouncing on each other's laps, or feeding one another sloppy spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate pudding, they leave us to draw conclusions about the mutual game of collaboration, codependency, role reversal, and the satisfaction of behavioral tricks. THROUGH APRIL 19, Arena, 526 West 26th Street, 646-734-2261. (Levin)

TYPE A Translating formerly smart art moves (minimalism, conceptualism, earthworks) into pure dumb physicality, this duo use their own bodies in art-related ways to make points about opposing territories, shared space, competition, dependency, and comic masculinity. In Mark, an impressive projection, they act as protractors, templates, and erasers, drawing chalk circles and marks on a floor. Point restates the old hand-and-knife game as a video triptych. Stand, a group of photos, levels their playing field (in terms of weight and height) with sand, bricks, and a makeshift seesaw. Simple on the surface, the works exude arcane references stretching from Pollock to Polanski. THROUGH APRIL 15, Sara Meltzer, 516 West 20th Street, 212-727-9330. (Levin)

Remote control: tune in for another perspective on "War Culture," including Ward Sutton's "That’s Entertainment" (see open city).
illlustration: Ward Sutton
Remote control: tune in for another perspective on "War Culture," including Ward Sutton's "That’s Entertainment" (see open city).


EIFMAN BALLET Boris Eifman's St. Petersburg-based troupe has torn passion to tatters in fraught biographical ballets about monstrous men and fragile women. He veers sharply from such scenarios in his new, comic Who's Who, derived from Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot. In his high-tech Russian version we have ballet dancers—pursued by gangsters—who don drag and go to work in a nightclub, and music ranging from Ellington, Strayhorn, and Count Basie to Samuel Barber and Sergey Rachmaninoff. FRIDAY AND TUESDAY AT 8, SATURDAY AT 3 AND 8, SUNDAY AT 3, AND APRIL 9 THROUGH 20, City Center, 131 West 55th Street, 212-581-1212. (Zimmer)

RISA JAROSLOW & DANCERS Jaroslow's Strings Attached explores the world of female string players in professional orchestras, and the progress they've made since the '60s, when they were first allowed entry into previously all-male precincts. Perry Gunther's set is itself a stringed instrument, capable of producing sound. Diedre Murray, a jazz cellist, composed the score, which will be played live. Completing the bill is Fidl, set to traditional and new klezmer tunes by Alicia Svigals of the Klezmatics. WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND SATURDAY AT 8 AND SUNDAY AT 3, the Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street, 212-415-5552. (Zimmer)


'CHAIN TIMES THREE' Jem Cohen's politically sharp films usually avoid logo-laden environments in favor of nostalgic, decaying regionalia, but for his ongoing Chain project, he documents the faceless "super-landscape" head-on, creating a melancholy global study of disorientingly similar, anonymous corporate spaces. Chain Times Three is a onetime theatrical version, presented as a triple-screen 16mm movie driven by Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s ominous, discordant score. FRIDAY AT 6, MOMA at the Gramercy, 127 East 23rd Street, 212-777-4900. (Halter)

'THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST' Aki Kaurismäki's celebration of lower-depths esprit is a deadpan comic romance with a tragic lyricism as tense and spare as any '50s B. If the sardonic tone is ultimately muted by sentimentality, Kaurismäki's deepest feelings are reserved for cinema. The mise-en-scène never falters; the sight gags are perfectly uninflected. This is a movie of sustained stylistic integrity—and it has the power to make you laugh. OPENS FRIDAY, Lincoln Plaza, Broadway and 62nd Street, 212-757-2280. (Hoberman)

'THE NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL' The 10th edition of this popular festival features work from Chad, Ghana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe; the highlight is a mid-career retro of Mali's best-known filmmaker, Abderrahmane Sissako, whose rueful, chastely gorgeous ode to third-world rootlessness, Waiting for Happiness, is running daily throughout the festival. OPENS SATURDAY, THROUGH APRIL 10, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, 212-875-5600. (Hoberman)

'THAI TAKES' Thailand's most expensive movie ever (the historical Suriyothai, out this summer) and its premier art-house star, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Blissfully Yours), are conspicuously absent. But this mini-showcase for Southeast Asia's most robust film culture fills in the middle ground nicely, with several shorts programs and a pair of recent fest-circuit hits: Pen-ek Ratanaruang's dulcet country musical comedy, Mon-Rak Transistor, and Mingmonkol Sonakul's oddball valentine to Thai radio soaps, I-San Special. THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, 212-288-6400. (Lim)


COMMON Common's most maddening trait to some is also his most endearing to others: his unapologetic earnestness. Some wrangle over his wearing of obvious black bohemian influences on his tie-dyed sleeve (blame Erykah!), but what drives his latest, Electric Circus, is an honest exploration of personal shortcomings and musical ambitions. Along with mentor Questlove, he even made Stereolab work in a hip-hop context—before Pharrell! SUNDAY AT 6:45, Roseland, 239 West 52nd Street, 212-777-6800. (Patel)

THE D4+ELECTRIC SIX Danger! Hyped Detroit dance-punk band with White Stripes connections. Danger! Hit single in Britain. High voltage! They sing about starting a nuclear war in a gay bar. Danger! Man with saxophone approaching. Danger! Hit is a disco song. High voltage! If Electric Six, who are funnier, catchier, more interesting, and just plain better than New Zealand garage rock lame-os the D4 haven't been switched to the headlining slot by Monday night, I'm holding a walk-out in protest. With Candys. MONDAY AT 8:30, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111. (Phillips)

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