Harrison Ford in Blade Runner.
Cedar, not Swan: When you think “ballet,” pink, frilly tutus probably come to mind. But that's not what Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet is all about. With every performance, Cedar Lake rethinks dance in its traditional forms. The “contemporary” in their name is no joke; their moves are a unique combination of what looks like hip-hop, karate and modern dance with distinctive ballet poses scattered throughout. They've performed all over the world, and on Saturday, April 24, they'll do two shows at the Birch North Park Theatre (2891 University Ave.) at 2 and 8 p.m., giving us the chance to see what ballet in 2010 looks like. www.birchnorthparktheatre.net.
The candy man: We hope Dale Chihuly is flattered, and not insulted, if we say that his glass sculptures remind us of the scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version) with the edible, almost transparent sugary flowers. Chihuly's art is synesthetic to the extent that you can practically smell (taste?) his brightly colored pieces of hand-blown glass with shapes that blur the boundaries between real and fantastic. More than a dozen Chihulys will be on display, outdoors, at the Salk Institute (10010 North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla) from Thursday, April 22, through Wednesday, April 28. To see them, you must purchase a ticket ($15) for an hour-long, guided walking tour. The Salk itself is architectural eye candy; adding in some Chihuly only sweetens the experience. www.salk.edu/chihuly.
Band amp: Mount Righteous is what happens when a high-school marching band liberates itself, tosses out the double-breasted jackets and plumed hats and replaces the pomp and circumstance with punk and improvisation. The nine-member group from Grapevine, Texas, produces large-scale, mobile indie that seems inspired by Sousa and Super Bowl half-time shows. Earlier this month, they released a debut album (produced by John Congleton, who also handled the similarly epic and self-worshipping collective Polyphonic Spree), and this week, they'll be hawking it in San Diego. Mount Righteous marches with MC Jre & the Eteam, Boyscout and Ugly Winner on Saturday, April 24, at Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon in City Heights. The show starts at 9 p.m. $6. www.sodabarmusic.com.
Roots run deep: In a time when some Texans talk of secession and some Virginians honor the Confederacy as if slavery never happened, it's important to separate the South's political reputation from its musical traditions. The Adams Avenue Roots Festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, proves that music from the plains, bayous and Appalachian hill country doesn't disagree with the West Coast frame of mind. All the styles considered Americana—bluegrass, blues, folk, Zydeco, cowboy, rockabilly—will be represented by more than 40 performers at the free event, which will also feature food, carnival rides and craft displays. The festival begins at 10 a.m. both mornings and runs through the evening at various venues along Adams Avenue between University Heights and Kensington on Adams. For a full program visit www.adamsaveonline.com/RootsFestival.
Ping to the pong: Ping-pong (or “table tennis,” as it's called in the Olympics) is the great unifier, isn't it? Can you think of anyone who doesn't appreciate the sound of that paddle hitting that ball and that ball hitting that table? From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, The Pearl Hotel (1410 Rosecrans St. in Point Loma) holds its 3rd Annual Social and Ping Pong Tournament. If you want to play, $50 includes entry to the tournament, lunch, Trumer Pils beer and cocktails. If you just want to watch, $25 gets you in plus lunch and drinks. Sit next to the Pearl's oyster-shaped saltwater pool and watch the ultimate people's game. All of the proceeds go to the School of Business at San Diego High School to help fund a senior trip to New York City. www.thepearlsd.com.
Over the hill: For 40 years, Barrio Logan's Chicano Park (on Logan Avenue beneath the Coronado Bridge) has meant different things to different people. For some, it's one of the few public-art sites in the city, with amazing murals. For others, it's a celebratory representation of the Mexican and Chicano communities and the civil rights struggles of the past. But for all, it's what any great park should be: a gathering place for friends and family in the heart of one of the city's most unique neighborhoods. And that's what the 40th Chicano Park Day Celebration is all about. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, you can join in on the fiesta, which will include dance performances, art workshops and craft vendors. Also, be sure to hit up “Reggae in the Day” at some point between noon and 5 p.m. at The Roots Factory (1878 Main St.) for a live performance from popular reggae band Revival. www.chicano-park.org.
Food to the people: The effort to create a more healthy, just and sustainable system of delivering food to the public is perhaps the most positive grassroots movement in the modern era. You can help maintain the momentum by attending the third annual Cultivating Food Justice Conference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, at San Diego State University. In addition to a series of workshops, there will be entertainment, a healthy lunch and keynote speeches by author and food-justice activist Raj Patel and Barry Logan, owner of La Milpa Organic Farm in Escondido. And it's all free of charge. You can register in the Arts and Letters Building between 8 and 9 a.m. Find directions, contact info and the schedule of workshops at www.sdfoodjustice.org.
Cool runner: It's hard to believe that Blade Runner was a box-office dud. Ridley Scott's vision of 2019 Los Angeles, about a cop (played by Harrison Ford) hunting down genetically engineered humans (replicants), changed the sci-fi genre forever and has since been selected for preservation at the Library of Congress and called one of the greatest American films of all time by the American Film Institute. It's one of the few movies you get something new out of with each viewing, and if you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to hit up the Pop Thursday event at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22, for drinks and a screening of the film (which starts at 8 p.m.). Otherwise, the moment, to paraphrase Rutger Hauer in the movie, will be lost in time like tears in rain. $6. www.mopa.org.