Worth a Look

This week's art and entertainment highlights

This week, celebrate autumn at the historic Filoli estate, check out unusual family portraits at the Palo Alto Art Center, and revel in the beauty of classical Indian dance at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.


Autumn at Filoli

Autumn is officially upon us, and how better to celebrate the season than with a visit to the historic gardens of Filoli? The Woodside country estate's annual harvest celebration and fundraiser takes place this Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Established as a private residence in 1917 and opened to the public in 1976, Filoli's 654-acre property is now managed by the Trust for Historic Preservation. In addition to taking a docent-guided tour of the extensive grounds, festival-goers can press cider, try their hand at autumnal floral arranging or taste heirloom fruits from Filoli's Gentlemen's Orchard. Kid-friendly activities include face painting, magic shows and bobbing for apples. Those with extra energy may want to explore the estate's hiking trails, while younger visitors can choose and decorate a pumpkin from the Filoli Pumpkin Patch.

Admission to Autumn at Filoli is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers and $5 for children between the ages of 5 and 17. Children 4 years and younger are free. Space is limited; advance reservations are recommended but not required. Go to filoli.org or call 650-364-8300, ext. 508.


"I'll Show You Mine"

Subtitled "Contemporary Artists Explore Family Portraiture," this exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center holds its opening reception Sept. 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. and runs through Dec. 14. Stop by the main gallery on Friday night to meet the artists involved in this show, which explores the impact of family connections on artistic creation. The works on display give a peek into the personal lives of the artists at the same time as they touch on universal issues, among them love, identity and mortality.

As part of the reception, artist David Sandoval of San Francisco will invite members of the public to engage in "awkward dinner conversation" with help from karaoke-style prompts. Among the other participating artists is Los Angeles-based Amir H. Fallah, whose collage and painted portraits showcase personal possessions and mysteriously obscured figures.

The Palo Alto Art Center is located at 1313 Newell Road and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, go to cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-617-3530.


"Nritya Sangam"

North and south, feminine and masculine come together in a classical Indian dance production this Sunday, Sept. 28 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. "Nritya Sangam" features acclaimed Indian dance artists Shambhavi Dandekar and Parimal Phadke in a show that borrows from the Kathak dance tradition of northern India and the Bharatanatyam style of the south.

After decades of performing, choreographing and teaching in India, Dandekar relocated to Mountain View two years ago, where she opened Shambhavi's International School of Kathak. "Nritya Sangam" has toured nationally and internationally; this weekend marks its Bay Area premiere.

Those interested in the music of India will note the blending of Hindustani and Carnatic traditions in this production. The power of "Nritya Sangam" lies in these stylistic contrasts, as well as in the tension between the graceful Laasya (feminine) dance and the more vigorous Tandava (masculine) dance. At the same time that the show draws on ancient dance traditions, the artists incorporate modern themes, western music and dance.

Catch "Nritya Sangam" on the Peninsula while you can; there's only one show at 2:30 p.m., followed by a post-performance "chat and chai" with the performers.

To learn more about the artists, go to kathakshambhavi.com or parimalphadke.com. For tickets, go to mountainview.gov or call 650-903-6000.

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