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5 things to do in NEO: Lunar New Year, Christian McBride and more

Kwan Lion Dance group at Asia Plaza in Cleveland's AsiaTown.
Lisa Wong
OCA Greater Cleveland
Kwan Lion Dance group at Asia Plaza in Cleveland's AsiaTown.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year all weekend in Cleveland’s Asia Town neighborhood, or learn a little local history through a new performance from Ohio Contemporary Ballet.

Lunar New Year celebrations

Ring in the Year of the Dragon around Northeast Ohio with Lunar New Year celebrations. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Cleveland’s Asia Plaza comes alive with traditional dances, cultural demonstrations, arts and crafts and delicious food from restaurants in the area. There’s plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy while celebrating a year of health, power and good fortune.

Christian McBride: ‘The Movement Revisited’

Eight-time Grammy award-winning bassist and bandleader Christian McBride makes a stop in Cleveland to present his acclaimed musical composition, “The Movement Revisited.” The multi-part suite honors Civil Rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali, accompanied by a big band and gospel choir. The performance is at the Maltz Performing Arts Center Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

History-inspired ballet

Ohio Contemporary Ballet brings local history to life through dance with a premiere of “Cleveland Inspirations.” A reimagined “Bacchanale” draws inspiration from a bronze sculpture of famed ballerina Anna Pavlova at the Cleveland Museum of Art, while another new work tells stories about Daisy Hill, a friend to the Van Sweringen brothers, known for developing Shaker Heights and Terminal Tower. The performance is Saturday at 8 p.m., at the Breen Center for Performing Arts in Cleveland.

Symphonic sounds in Alliance

The Alliance Symphony Orchestra presents its February concert Winter’s Respite on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Giese Center for Performing Arts at the University of Mount Union. Headlining the event is Maira Liliestedt, professor of piano at Mount Union, who will perform Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2.”

Gospel Meets Symphony in Akron

An annual tradition for 30 years, the Akron Symphony Orchestra will again join forces with the Gospel Meets Symphony choir for an evening of inspirational songs and music. In addition to the area’s top musicians and vocalists, the voices of the GMS 2.0, the junior gospel choir, are also featured in this performance at Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Jean-Marie Papoi is a digital producer for the arts & culture team at Ideastream Public Media.