Family Picks

Symphony and dancers present story of Babar

CorrespondentJanuary 24, 2013 

The 12th Annual African American Cultural Celebration on Jan. 26 will feature the Winston-Salem State University Burke Singers, a nationally known female a cappella group that has performed internationally.


This weekend offers an affordable way to introduce your children to the symphony. The Durham Symphony will team up with the African American Dance Ensemble to perform “Babar the Little Elephant.”

The performance is at 4 p.m. Saturday at Riverside High School, and tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children. Kids 3 and younger are free.

Babar is the story of a young elephant who is chased out of the jungle by hunters and has adventures around the world. The show will tell the story through the music of Francis Poulenc, a French composer who was inspired by the original Babar books.

Dancers in elaborate costumes will act out the story.

Before and after the performance, kids can try out musical instruments in the “Instrument Petting Zoo.”

Both the Durham Symphony and the African American Dance Ensemble are Durham-based nonprofits. The symphony is a group of semi-professional musicians who work to encourage music appreciation and keep high-quality musical performances accessible to all.

The dance ensemble works to preserve African-American history through traditional dance.

For tickets, go to or call 919-491-6576.

• There are also two big free family events this weekend in downtown Raleigh.

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will host Astronomy Days Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.

Kids can make bottle rockets, find out how much they weigh on other planets and learn about the mission to Mars. Kids can even use an Xbox to land a virtual rover on the Red Planet. There will be special presentations on constellations and meteorites. Those are only a few of dozens of activities, including the chance to look at the sun through solar telescopes.

For information, go to

• The N.C. Museum of History will hold its annual African American Cultural Celebration Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

More than 75 musicians, storytellers, dancers, historians and artists will help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the United States.

For information, go to

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