San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Project [BLANK], Dance Film, False Cast And The Symphony

Our picks for art and culture this weekend include a new gallery space in Hillcrest, Project [BLANK]’s new performance work, a short dance film filmed in Nigeria and the Symphony.

A still from the dance film

Credit: Ridwan Adeniyi and Jacob Jonas

Above: A still from the dance film “Kaduna” features dancers Victory and Marvel Abinum. The short film screens as part of the Films.Dance festival, through Sunday, Jan. 31.

There’s an exciting blend of art and culture out there this weekend, including a bite-sized dance film viewable on demand, livestreamed performances from beautiful venues, in-person gallery visits and even a new outdoor sculpture installation that involves a little hike.

‘Kaduna’: Films.Dance Festival

Dance

Brothers Victory and Marvel Ebinum set some stunning choreography about family and connection against the sometimes lush and sometimes stark landscapes of Kaduna, Nigeria, where the brothers are from. Films.Dance is a project out of the Los Angeles-based Jacob Jonas company in partnership with the London-based Somewhere Magazine, which covers art, culture, fashion and style. It’s the first in a series of short films in a spread-out, virtual dance film festival. And this is really, really easy to watch. You can find it on the landing page of their website, literally just films dot dance, or on their Instagram. They’ll spotlight a new short film every single week through early May. “Kaduna” is a striking way to kick things off.

Details: On demand through Sunday. Online. Free.

‘Rise’ At False Cast

Visual Art

There’s a new gallery in town, folks. False Cast, founded by Mark Navarro and Vivien Ebright Chung at the end of last year, has opened their first exhibition. It’s a group show featuring work from some locally connected artists as well as people making waves in other cities — which is kind of their mission as a gallery space, to bring emerging regional artists together with the global contemporary scene. It includes works by Paul Verdell, Ellie Vanden Busch, Aryo Toh Djojo, Patrick Dunford, Chantal Wnuk and more.

They’re open for appointment-only viewing in their space on the border of Hillcrest and University Heights. It just opened last weekend, so you can be one of the first to check it out.

Details: By appointment through March 19. 4075 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Free.

More visual art: The outdoor installation by Beatriz Cortez at Lux Art Institute kicks off an evolving cast of outdoor works in conversation with each other. Beginning this weekend, you can view Cortez’s massive raw steel piece, “Glacial Erratic” on the wild grounds of Lux — wear decent shoes because it’s a short, uphill hike on a trail to reach it. (Combining nature trails and art? Sign me up.) Throughout the next few months, you can come back to see how the exhibit has changed with new large-scale sculptures installed every few weeks, but also how each piece adapts to the elements outdoors. You can read my feature on Cortez and the residency here. By appointment, beginning Saturday.

‘O’Mensch!’

Choral Music

Project [BLANK] kicks off their inventive 2021 season this weekend with a livestreamed performance in an incredible setting. Pascal Dusapin’s “O’Mensch!” is a song cycle for a single voice and piano, performed here by baritone Jonathan Nussman and pianist Kyle Adam Blair. It draws on the work of Nietsczhe, creating lyrical settings for the German philosopher’s texts. Sculptor and interdisciplinary artist Joshua Moreno was brought on to create a visual art component for the performances. Moreno’s work plays with the space — a church that has been transformed into part of Casa Familiar in San Ysidro. Light is really integral to Moreno’s work, and in this sculptural installation created for a live musical performance he uses a lot of sheets of plastic and manmade fibers that sort of shimmer in the light. It promises to be a rich visual and musical performance.

There’s two shows, Friday night and a Sunday matinee and my inner nerd is almost tempted to check out both just to see how the daylight and artificial light work in different ways with this.

Details: Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Virtual. $10-20.

‘Wagner Meets Mozart’

Classical Music

The Symphony is back, taunting us with the sounds and sights of a concert hall performance… sans audience. The first of their 2021 monthly series is Friday’s “Wagner Meets Mozart,” featuring the works of (you guessed it) Wagner and Mozart. They’ll play two Wagner works arranged for a brass ensemble, from act III of “Die Meistersinger,” and “Siegfried’s Funeral March” from Götterdämmerung. Those selections are particularly tense and powerful, heavy on the horns already, so I’m excited to hear a brass arrangement. They’ll round things out with Mozart’s “Symphony No. 29,” which should feel like a dainty contrast to the brass works. It’s delicate and prancy. Rafael Payare is on the podium, and as with all of the programs he leads with the Symphony, this is a great showcase of his curation skills and his penchant for showing off their broad strengths as an orchestra.

Details: Ticketed livestream Friday at 7 p.m. $20.

More music: The Athenaeum delivers a Monday night livestreamed jazz fix with Gilbert Castellanos on trumpet and Gerald Clayton on piano. And be sure to check out this week’s feature on Castellanos — he made you a playlist. The show livestreams at 7 p.m. on Monday, and tickets are $15-20.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar, and be sure to sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter.

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Photo of Julia Dixon Evans

Julia Dixon Evans

Arts Calendar Editor and Producer

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI write the weekly KPBS Arts newsletter and edit and produce the KPBS Arts calendar. I am interested in getting San Diegans engaged with the diversity of art and culture made by the creative people who live here.

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