Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Nov. 3)

Here’s a roundup of promising arts/culture picks for the weekend:

Ballet Hispánico

Simply put, this is one of the prime dance events of the year, and it’s thanks to the Lively Arts Foundation. The New York-based Ballet Hispánico is making a special “run-out” to the West Coast just for Fresno.


Direct from New York: Ballet Hispánico performs Saturday in Fresno.

Plus: I’m giving away a pair of tickets to Saturday’s Saroyan Theatre performance to a lucky reader of The Munro Review. (Details on the giveaway are below.)

Diane Mosier, artistic director for Lively Arts, who prides herself on keeping up on the contemporary dance scene, has followed Ballet Hispánico for about six years.


“With their new Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the company is excellent,” she says. “I saw the company at the Joyce Theatre (known as a premier dance venue) in New York in April and was impressed with the repertory and the dancers.”

Here’s a description from the company:

This internationally renowned Latino dance company celebrates and explores the Latino heritage and its multiple Latin cultures through a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance reflecting America’s changing cultural landscape. With its legacy of captivating style, crisp technique and charismatic bravado, the company, under the leadership of Eduardo Vilaro is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual and historical essence of Latino cultures.

There will be works from three choreographers:

• In “Con Brazos Abiertos,” Michelle Manzanales explores iconic Mexican symbols that she was reluctant to embrace as a Mexican-American child growing up in Texas. (This one is Mosier’s favorite. “This dance speaks about racial identity in a very entertaining way,” she says.)

• Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa’s “Linea Recta” presents an intriguing aspect of flamenco: the conspicuous absence of physical contact between the dancers.

• And in Vilaro’s “Danzon,” Afro-Cuban social dance movements are fused with classical dance forms.

Overall, it will be a memorable evening, Mosier says. “It is enjoyable contemporary dance which the Fresno audience can easily connect with.”

Details: Ballet Hispánico, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, Saroyan Theatre. Tickets are $25-$62, with student discounts available.

Win tickets: I’m giving away a pair of tickets to Saturday’s performance of Ballet Hispánico. Here’s how you enter: Leave a comment on this post telling us if you’ve ever been to a Lively Arts Foundation production before. (Or, if you’re not sure, just say why you’d like to go to this performance.)

I’ll pick one winner at random. You’ll be able to pick up your tickets at Will Call. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3. I will email the winner on Friday evening.


Good Company’s “A Christmas Carol”: Noel Adams as Scrooge.

Hello, Tiny Tim

If it’s the first weekend of November, it must be time for the kickoff of local Christmas theater. Good Company Players gets in on the act with its classic production of “A Christmas Carol,” now in its opening weekend. It runs through Dec. 23.

Noel Adams plays Scrooge. Dan Pessano directs. Somehow I think everything will turn out in the end.

I’ll be catching up with Adams soon to talk about ghostly visitations and such.

Details: Tickets are $20 general, $17 students and seniors.

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Sierra Rep’s “White Christmas”: Fiona McIntryre, Chaz Feuerstine (standing), Jordan Cyphert, Hannah Zilber (sitting).

More Christmas

And if that’s not enough pre-December Yuletide cheer for you, consider a road trip to Sonora’s mighty fine professional theater company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, for the opening weekend of the cheery musical “White Christmas.”

Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs. It’s playing at the Fallon House Theatre through Dec. 17. Jerry Lee directs.

Details: $37 general (adult and senior prices vary depending on day and time of performance), $20 children 17 and under.

fern spring

Photography auction

And, keeping the holiday theme going until Santa’s reindeers run out of gas … Original photographs make great Christmas presents! Spectrum Art Gallery’s annual benefit event at Arte Américas includes a live and silent auction, food and beverages, and live music featuring the band Lisa’s Big Night Out.

Among the items available: an Ansel Adams print. This event is the primary annual fundraiser for Spectrum Art Gallery, a non-profit organization.

Details: 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave. The first live auction segment begins at 5. Tickets are $5.

Choral concert


Anna Hamre, conductor of Coro Solare.

Coro Solare, an ensemble of the Fresno Community Chorus, is in its second season as a daytime classical choir. It’s grown to more than 70 musicians, giving dedicated singers who’d rather rehearse during the day a musical outlet.

The group will perform Martini’s “Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina,” portions of Haydn’s “Little Organ Mass,” and Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine.” A professional string ensemble will provide accompaniment.

Anna Hamre conducts.

Details: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, College Community Church Mennonite Brethren, 2529 Willow Avenue, Clovis. Admission is free, and a goodwill offering will be taken.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (15)

  • Jackie Ryle

    Thank you, Donald! You make it all sound extra good! It’s just too much! That’s the problem with this darned Fresno – there’s just too much going on and I can’t get to it all! Heaven knows I try!

  • SBR

    I’m a fan of modern dance, actually all dance. It’s such a lovely language. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to a Lively Arts show, which are always quality experiences. I would be super stoked to win tickets to Saturday’s performance. Pick me! Pick me!

  • Chester A. Miszewicz

    I have never been to a production put on by the Lively Arts Foundation. Seeing the human body move through space is a wonder.

  • Renee Newlove

    I’ve been to a few of the Lively Arts Foundation’s performances (a Flamenco group and a Tango group) and they are always top notch! This show looks to be just as fantastic as the other shows. Thanks for the information Donald!

  • Kristy

    I would love to go and no I’ve never been to a Lively Arts program!

  • Lee M Garciq

    I have never attended a Lively Arts program before but I am open to new to experiences.

  • Gloria Burrola

    I am going to be 71 soon and have just recently started taking Senior Ballet classes with Cynthia Merril after more than 50 years of not dancing. It would be fun to see this.

    • Lively Arts Foundation

      I hope you picked Ms. Burrola I love this post!!!

  • Jose Munoz

    I’ve never been to a Lively Arts Foundation performance but would love to take my wife to this.

  • Sara Schwandt

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Lively Arts Foundation performance, but this sounds amazing!

  • Jasmin Kloos

    I’ve been to many Lively Arts performances, most recently DTH last year. I would love to see this performance, please pick me!

  • Natalie

    Not sure if ive been to a lively arts production but I’m long overdue for a dance performance! Would love to go!😀

  • Lively Arts Foundation

    Can you just give them all Free Tickets ……dam hard decision.

  • Adriana Ross

    Love, the arts. Having the Ballet Hispanico coming to Fresno is such a previlage.

  • Donna Silva-Bunce

    I have never, now I want!
    Dance is the roots of life reaching back and into now. This movement is our soul, spirit. Imagine the connection of timelessness to all sister and brother dance… Poets who write words with their arms and legs, body slang.


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