As part of its "Dance Series 1" production, Smuin Contemporary Ballet will honor musician Johnny Cash with a ballet inspired by the latter part of his career, choreographed by James Kudelka. Trading their ballet slippers for cowboy boots, four dancers perform ballet with country-western dance influences, "telling an emotional journey that captures love, loss, grief, desperation, resilience, and determination — a gritty portrait of the American working-class," according to a press release. Also featured in the program will be Rex Wheeler's "Take Five," choreographed to the music of Dave Brubeck, and the revival of founder Michael Smuin's "Carmina Burana."
"Dance Series 1" performs at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., through March 1. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25-$79 and are available at tickets.mvcpa.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=335.
Raphaella Smits, Davisson Duo
Acclaimed Belgian classical guitarist Raphaella Smits, who plays an eight-string guitar and other historical instruments, will perform Saturday, Feb. 29, at 7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 600 Homer Ave. in Palo Alto. Tickets for the performance, which is sponsored by the Peninsula Guitar Series, are $15-$25 and are available at brownpapertickets.com/event/4499192. Opening the show will be local siblings Jack and Elle Davisson, a classical guitar duo. Jack, 15, and Elle, 12, are students at Gunn High School and Fletcher Middle School, respectively, and have been featured by National Public Radio. The talented youth will also be performing a benefit show for Guitars Not Guns at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco on March 29, as well as at NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series in early April, according to their mother, Monica Davisson.
An evening with Common
Multi-award-nominated musician, actor and activist Common is coming to Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium (551 Jane Stanford Way) on Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Common will discuss his artistic career, including his new book, "Let Love Have the Last Word," and his social-justice advocacy work in the areas of mass incarceration, mental health and voting. The conversation will be led by Stanford education professor Adam Banks and is presented by Stanford Live and Stanford Arts Institute. Tickets are $10-$52 and available at stanfordlivetickets.org.
Palo Alto Camera Club
The Palo Alto Camera Club will open its spring print exhibition on March 2 at the Community School of Music and Arts, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. Featured will be 59 color and monochrome photos created by 27 club members with genres including landscape, portrait, flora, fauna, travel and more. The show runs through March 30 and admission is free. An artist's reception will be held at CSMA on Saturday, March 7, 3-5 p.m. More information is available at pacamera.com.
50 years of opera scholarships
The Henry and Maria Holt Memorial Opera Scholarship
Fund is celebrating its 50th year of supporting promising opera singers with its annual competition on Sunday, March 8, at 1 p.m. at the Lucie Stern Ballroom, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Young opera singers will compete and hear feedback from judges. Winners receive scholarship support for the continuation of their opera training. Admission to observe the competition is free and open to the public. More information is available at holtscholarship.org/.
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