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San Diego's Top Weekend Events: From 'Firebird' To Flamenco

San Diego Ballet opens its 2016/2017 season with Joplin and Firebird.
Manuel Rotenberg
San Diego Ballet opens its 2016/2017 season with Joplin and Firebird.
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: From 'Firebird' to Flamenco
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: From 'Firebird' to Flamenco GUEST: Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar

Legendary is a good way to describe our event on our weekend preview . Works from legendary artists are featured as a new season begins at the San Diego belly and a Latin flamingo singer comes to town. Then we also have something brand-new to talk about a service to answer your personal arts questions. Joining me is Nina Garin. So the Senecal belly opened the season with Trent 26 and Firebird. It is based on the folktale and full of magical adventures. It is about a magical bird and the bird helps to feed a villain and has all sorts of interesting characters like a prince and 13 princesses. It translates beautifully on the stage. Were some of the famous ballerinas who dance the role of the Firebird. I think everybody will remember that Misty Copeland and Firebird was redone in 1949 by George. It is beautiful. Margot dance to in the 50s. In San Diego we have the ballerina Stephanie. You say it was redone in the 40s and originally from about 1910. As I understand it, the Firebird score is a famous modern-day music quick It was Igor Stravinsky first ballet. When it was first staged in Paris the principal ballerina who was supposed to be with Firebird refused to do it because she hated the music. I think that tells you how forward thinking and modern it was. We have a clip from Firebird. [ Music ] Tell us about the second piece that is inspired by different music. It is a piece that features ragtime music and the dancers will be free to move like themselves. This is a chance to see the choreographer Javier Velasco. The Symphony welcomes the Sinatra of Flamingo. His name is Diego El Cigala. He has lots of Grammies and he embodies the life and lifestyle of the music. We have a clip from Diego El Cigala. [ Music ] He doesn't stick to just Flamingo. No he is known for mixing it up. He has a very distinct style and likes to makes other influences and in 2003 he worked with the Cuban pianist and mixed a lot of tropical and Cuban sounds and most recently released salsa album. The concert that is happening will have a 10 piece band. It will be really unique and great if you love all kinds of Latin rhythms. The salsa album is called indestructible. He's had some really rough times and last year the musician lost his wife and manager and the love of his life died of cancer. He went on stage to perform two days after that. Last month his mother passed away and I watched a lot of Latin interviews with him and you find solace in performing. Diego El Cigala perform Saturday at the music Center. Now do something you. Your new feature on the arts calendar is called asked KPBS arts. This is a new feature I am starting where you are pressing arts questions every Thursday. People who come up to me all the time and say how exactly does film festival work? Or my mom is coming into town and I don't know what things to do. I thought what I can answer this on a more public platform and now we have this. These are specific arts questions from listeners and viewers and it's not just about where to go this weekend. No, it is not. I will answer whatever you need to know like this week somebody asked me where they could take art classes or performing classes. It is still related to our but how to be more involved in it. So I answered and it is on our website right now. Pimentel is working you go. You can go to Bravo school of Art in liberty Station and they have classes almost every day and all kinds of meetings and she's also looking to perform or learn to perform and that is harder but culture shock has hip-hop classes and contemporary dance classes. There is stuff out there. You also hear some advice to someone who asked you they were sort of discombobulated after the election and wanted some place to have a good time. Yes, just go to a happy place and you can still do this. My answer was to go see the Grinch because that is always a lovely play and there is unique new cast members. Working people submit questions to ask KPBS arts? They can email me and also through twitter which is at Nina Garin and the stories appear on the website. You can click on the story and there's a little link at the bottom that you can submit questions. I'm sure some of the answers to these arts questions will be popping up on the weekend. Yes. I've been speaking with Nina Garin. Thank you.

This weekend's arts events share a common theme: fiery passion.

San Diego Ballet's Joplin and 'Firebird'


San Diego Ballet opens its season with a modern retelling of "Firebird," the story of a magical bird who helps defeat a seemingly immortal villain. Choreographer Javier Velasco fuses modern dance with ballet, mixing classical dancers with hip hop artists, in this piece by Igor Stravinsky.

The Joplin piece focuses on ragtime music, allowing the performers to dance as themselves, but within the construction of classical ballet.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown. $25 to $50; find tickets.

Flamenco musician Diego El Cigala.
Courtesy of the San Diego Symphony
Flamenco musician Diego El Cigala.

Diego El Cigala


The San Diego Symphony welcomes "the Sinatra of flamenco," Diego El Cigala.

The singer has a distinctive voice that's earned him multiple Latin Grammys (plus an appearance on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series). El Cigala was raised in Spanish Gypsy heritage, and has also performed in the Argentine tango tradition.

The San Diego Symphony Orchestra does not appear on this program.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. Jacobs Music Center, 750 B St., downtown. $20 to $65; find tickets.

Singer/songwriter Neko Case.
Neko Case
Singer/songwriter Neko Case.

Neko Case


Singer/songwriter Neko Case is known for performing everything from alt-country and folk to pop and country. Perhaps that's why Rolling Stone described her as "one of America's best and most ambitious songwriters."

Case was recently in San Diego to perform with K.D. Lang and Laura Viers, but she's back to headline a show at an intimate Poway venue. Incidentally, Case also performed a Tiny Desk Concert on Halloween.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, Poway. $35 to $45; buy tickets.

Cinema @ The Balboa: 'West Side Story'


Find San Diego's best arts events on the KPBS/Arts events calendar.

If the last few weeks have made you want to escape into a musical, head over to Cinema @ The Balboa on Saturday night.

"West Side Story" will be screened as a sing-along event, which means you can rumble, fall in love and cry while singing at the top of your voice. The story, which is an updated version of "Romeo and Juliet," follows the love story between members of two rival gangs. It features iconic choreography by Jerome Robbins and performances by Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno and Richard Beymer.

The Academy Award-winning musical "West Side Story" is rated PG and runs 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday. Balboa Theatre. $9 to $11; buy tickets.