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San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Santa, 'Motown' And Free Dance Lessons

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December 22, 2017 1:20 p.m.

San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Santa, 'Motown' and Free Dance Lessons


Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar

Related Story: San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Santa, 'Motown' And Free Dance Lessons


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

I am Alison St. John, in for Maureen Cavanaugh. It is that time of year when you may have family in town and more time on your hands. You may be baffled by the number of Christmas type plays and bellies and concerts on offer. So, here to give us a few pointers of what is on is KPBS arts -- Nina Garin. We have many local traditions that you hear about every year. Tell us about some of the good ones that you think would be worth going to see again.Well, of course everyone knows about the Grinch, happening at the old Globe. That is probably the most popular, traditional show in San Diego. And then there are still a few nutcrackers left like the San Diego Valley does there's this weekend. And then, the Casbah actually has a tradition where they perform music by the Rolling Stones on Christmas eve and that is free. It is called exile on Kettner Boulevard.So, it is something that happens every year? And they do different Rolling Stones?Yes. It is free, have some beers and get into Christmas Day.Great. Now, on the other hand -- the San Diego Symphony -- looking at the new more classical approach, is building another tradition with something called Noel Noel. Tell us about something -- tell us about that.It is becoming a new favorite. What it is -- they perform classical music, favorites, there is a sing-along and a visit from Santa.Okay, now when you say holiday favorites are you talking about things like jingle bells, are you talking about classical music favorites?I would say more traditional classical music like the dance of the sugarplum fairy from the Nutcracker, and the march of the three Kings, and the sweet from the movie Polar express.Well, let's listen to the fair and all, which is known as the march of the three Kings by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Europe. [ Music ].That is part of this year's Symphony orchestras Noel Noel performance. There will probably be children in the audience, so do they do anything special for children?Yes. So, they actually have a narrator telling you what you are listening to. And there are performances by the San Diego master chorale and the children's choir.So that is Noel Noel happening Friday night at 8 PM. On Saturday there are two shows, one in the afternoon at 2 PM, and one at 8 PM. Next, you are going to tell us about something happening that after Christmas that is good for working off all of those holiday calories.Yes. It is the free day of dance. You get free dance lessons all day at liberty station.Can just anyone go, or do you have to be an experienced dancer?Well, that is the good thing about this, it is all levels. Even if you have never taken dance before, or if you take dance all the time, they have a variety for you.So, I understand that these classes have been taught by some pretty big names in the dance world?Yes, locally -- Javier Velasco of the San Diego ballet, he is teaching a stretch class. And then you can get some modern classes by faith Jensen and Blithe Barton, she has her own dance company. And then Karen Foster, who is my personal favorite, she is teaching ballet class.Where can people find out the schedule and the description?There is a website that has a very easy to use schedule, and class description on San Diego dance, the free day of dance happens all day Tuesday, December 26 at the Dorothy dance Place at liberty station. Also happening is Motown, the musical. What is that about?This is about the life of Motown founder Berry Gordy. And it is kind of a musical journey about him going from a boxer to a music mobile.Give us some examples of the kind of music that you developed?So -- basically he led the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, anyone who was assigned to Motown in the 60s and 70s.What is the story to the musical?I would not go if you are expecting a narrative. It tells you his journey, but it is more about hearing the music. There are about 50 songs in the show. You can also see all of these different dances. So, you are really going for the Motown experience, not really like the story.Okay, let's hear some story from Motown the musical, here's a clip from a live medley performed at the Tony awards. [ Music ].That is Motown the musical, it opens the 26th and runs through the 31st at the San Diego civics theater. Inc. you so much for all of those great ideas Nina.Happy holidays.