Let's face it: Modern dance isn't for everyone. However, if there's one dance company in the local scene that's managed to bridge the gap between cerebral and accessible, while also maintaining a reputation for exquisite choreography, it's John Malashock. The artistic director of Malashock Dance isn't afraid to take chances either. Need proof? Check out Snakeskin, which makes its world premiere on Friday, May 15, for three performances at the La Jolla Playhouse's Forum Theatre (2910 La Jolla Village Dr.). Described as an "evening-length dance drama," the show is a collaboration between Malashock, the UC San Diego Department of Theater & Dance and local choral group SACRA/PROFANA. Culture vultures may remember the latter as the chorus that backed up the actors during the La Jolla Playhouse's production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And just like Malashock, SACRA aren't afraid to mess with the idea of what's expected of a professional chorus (see their cover of Prince's "Purple Rain").
"It's an incredibly eclectic score, because I have incredibly eclectic influences and John really appreciates that," says SACRA creator and choir director Krishan Oberoi. "It's a piece that moves very quickly through many different music and dance styles. John's ability to take all the different elements I've thrown at him and shape it into a very compelling, coherent story has been very cool to see."
The story, told through singing, instrumental music and Malashock's choreography, is based on the plays and characters of legendary playwright Tennessee Williams, and centers around a small, Southern town dealing with issues like bigotry, infidelity and classism. Oberoi also recruited an eight-member chorus who could double as musicians, so viewers can expect some surprising musical interludes within the performance.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. throughout the weekend and tickets range from $15 to $45. There is also the option of a "backstage pass" ticket for Saturday's performance that includes admission to a post-show meet-and-greet with the performers, complete with beer, wine and bubbly.
Unlike many SoCal cities, San Diego hasn't completely succumbed to the automotive shackles. City leaders want to expand freeways while bike lanes take a back seat. Keep this in mind on Friday, May 29 as folks celebrate Bike to Work Day 2015 (Editor's note: Bike to Work Day was originally scheduled for May 15, but postponed due to rain). For those commuting on two wheels, more than 100 pit stops will be available throughout the city between 6 and 9 a.m., including San Diego Zoo's pit (2920 Zoo Dr.) and UC San Diego's pit at Warren Athletic Field at Gilman and Voigt Dr. For a complete list of pits, visit icommutesd.com. Also, look for other bike-related events throughout the month, including a screening of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 at the Pacific Beach Taylor Library (4275 Cass St.) and the Bike Month Bash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 30 at the Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd).
PAINT THE TOWN
If they held a festival on the street where you worked, wouldn't you go? The 19th annual North Park Festival of Arts happens right outside the CityBeat offices, and sure, we welcome the masses to our 'hood. This arty party is centered at the intersection of University Ave. and 30th Street, and happens on Saturday, May 16, running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Of course there'll be a wide variety of art on display and for sale, including a Live Art Expo. Bring your own skate deck, or favorite inanimate object, and try to get a participating artist to customize it. A Kids Art Block, music and dance performances, food trucks and a beer garden will surely only enhance the experience. Bonus: The festival is free and donations benefit the nonprofit North Park Main Street organization.
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