OFF THE RAILS
Even those entrenched in the local arts scene are sometimes surprised to learn San Diego has some internationally respected modern dance companies. Malashock Dance, PGK Dance Project and Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater are just a few examples of local companies that do exciting and innovative things.
But if there's one particular dance event that has garnered a reputation for being both technically innovative and accessibly entertaining, it's the annual Trolley Dances. Now in its 17th year, the Jean Isaacs-produced event features site-specific performances in public spaces throughout San Diego. Starting at the County Administration Building (1600 Pacific Highway), viewers are transported to each site by using Metropolitan Transit System trolleys.
"The formula has always been that we don't have a formula," says Isaacs. "It's really different every year and this is a really shiny one."
This year's "Catch the Rapid" theme wasn't chosen because of some kind of water performance (although there is one at the fountain in Waterfront Park), but because, for the first time ever, viewers will have to catch more than just the trolley. In conjunction with the centennial anniversary spirit, many of the dances will be held in Balboa Park this year. The only problem: The trolley doesn't stop at Balboa Park.
"Most people don't think about taking the bus to the park," says Isaacs, explaining this year's inclusion of MTS's new Rapid buses to get people to the dances. "The new buses go quickly up Park Boulevard and right up to Balboa Park."
Once there, audiences can catch Seattle-based choreographer Mark Haim's show in Spanish Village or a performance under the Moreton Bay Fig Tree in front of the Natural History Museum. Bonus: If patrons still find themselves light on their feet, they can stop by the Mingei International Museum for free admission with their Trolley Dances ticket stub. Those tickets range from $15 to $35. The dances happen six times a day every Saturday and Sunday starting Saturday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 4.
PEDALING FOR A PINT
San Diego is quickly becoming a more bike-friendly city, but we're also very beer-friendly. Those two don't always mix, but one exception is New Belgium Brewing's annual Tour de Fat, which pedals its way into Golden Hill Park (2590 Golden Hill Dr.) on Saturday, Sept. 26. Kicking off at 11 a.m. with a bike parade, the all-day, costume-friendly festival includes a circus tent that includes everything from improv to cabaret. There will also be music acts, a fashion show featuring some of the day's best costumes, and a 1,000-person dance contest. And stick around for a performance from afroed comedian and musician Reggie Watts. Oh, and of course beer will be flowing at $5 a glass. All donations and proceeds benefit local non-profit bicycle organizations.
When it seems like there's a music festival almost every weekend, we understand how it can be hard to filter out which ones are worth attending. Featuring 110 musical acts on eight stages, the Adams Avenue Street Fair is definitely worthy. The free music marathon will showcase headliners like local rock band The Rugburns and Grammy-nominated reggae group The Wailing Souls, alongside more than 30 craft beer choices available at four beer gardens. In addition, the fair offers carnival rides, an abundance of food choices and hundreds of arts and crafts vendor booths. Held between 32nd and 35th streets. on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, the 34th annual event goes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28.