SWAN OF THE DEAD
Local arts organization youTurn Contemporary Arts Exhibition is all about quality over quantity. Rather than doing monthly or semi-regular events throughout the year, the collective of artists and choreographers take their time to carefully curate one annual event that combines dance, visual art, music and even food.
"We're in our sixth year of producing the youTurn event," says youTurn co-founder and choreographer Erica Buechner. "We always do things slightly differently every year, but the goal has always been to bring together visual and performing arts, and make the event more of an arts experience."
Buechner's summarization certainly extends to this year's performance, The Dying Swan: Revisited/Re-envisioned. Based on a 1905 show created by ballerina Anna Pavlova and the legendary Russian choreographer Mikhail Fokine, Swan centers on the final moments in the life of a particularly gorgeous bird. While the original was a three-minute solo piece, Buechner's revision has seven dancers and runs for 45 minutes. Still, she says her take on Swan is as true to the original work as any she's seen.
"I came across the original Anna Pavlova on the Internet and became really inspired," says Buechner, who researched the piece extensively in preparation of creating her own. "People have made newer versions of it, but it has become way too much about the athleticism of the body, but for me it was much more about the emotion on Pavlova's performance. I was really drawn to the whole idea of, 'What if this is your final dance?'"
Harpist Harmony Negrin and violinist Kris Apple will provide the music for the night while acclaimed nature-based, mixed-media artist Stacie Birky Greene created two new works that, for the first time in youTurn's history, will be fully integrated into the performance. Local spread makers Nut 'n Bean will provide the grub. It all goes down at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11, at White Box Live Arts at NTC Liberty Station (2590 Truxtun Road). Tickets are $20 at youturnarts.com.
There are plenty of summer music festivals to choose from, but let's be honest: Most of them don't offer a truly cultural experience. That's why for 20 years, the Sherman Heights Music Festival (aka the Latino Music Festival) has been a nice alternative to the typical festival happenings. This year's fest, happening Saturday, June 11, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight at Bread & Salt (1955 Julian Ave.), will feature some great indie acts such as Gaby y la Buena Onda and the dance-friendly, horn-tastic La Sucursal de la Cumbia. There's also food from neighborhood eateries and vendors like local jeweler Sui Generis. All ages are welcome, but there is a drink area for adults. Best of all, it's free, but donations are welcome and benefit the programming at the Sherman Heights Community Center. facebook.com/shermanheightsmusicfest
Almost everything is interactive these days and concerts are no exception. On Sunday, June 12, San Diego Makes Music calls for all musicians to come together for an immersive experience. While Music Director Michael Francis conducts high-level musicians and members of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage (Pan American Road E.), audience members will also be chiming in. Musicians of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to bring their own instruments and join in from the crowd. It's sort of like the ultimate jam band without the pretense and patchouli smell. There are three opportunities to practice with the orchestra before their concert at 3:30 p.m., which follows an organ concert. Check out mainlymozart.org for full schedule and times.