Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Nov. 10)

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

Keyboard Concerts

This highly regarded series has brought some of the world’s most famous, seasoned pianists to Fresno. But the series is also a way to experience some of the most accomplished young talent as well.

Daniel Hsu, pianist

That’s the case with Daniel Hsu, who will perform as part of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series at Fresno State. Hsu is winner of the bronze medal at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which made him an instant star. The 19-year-old Bay Area native on Friday will present a virtuoso program consisting of works by Schubert, Chopin, J.S. Bach/Busoni, Rachmaninoff, and Marc-André Hamelin’s Toccata on “L’homme armé.

His resume is beyond impressive: Hsu won the bronze medal at the 2015 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan and was named a Gilmore Young Artist in 2016. He’s already given acclaimed recitals at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series in Chicago and Merkin Concert Hall’s Tuesday Matinee series in New York.


Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 general, $18 seniors, $5 students.

Fresno Film Festival

This weekend is a biggie for Fresno Filmworks. The non-profit organization’s annual festival celebrates the types of films that don’t usually make it to your neighborhood multiplex. (“It” is not on the festival lineup.) Here’s a rundown provided by Filmworks:


• The festival opens Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. with “Django,” a wartime biopic centered around the globally acclaimed jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Directed by French writer and producer Etienne Comar, the film focuses on the brief and tumultuous period that Reinhardt, who was of Manouche Roma origins, spent escaping the Nazis during the Second World War.

•  Saturday, Nov. 11 brings a diverse program with something for everyone. The day starts at 12 p.m. with “The Force”, a documentary about the Oakland police department. At 2:30 p.m. the Swiss film “The Divine Order” follows an unassuming housewife as she leads the women’s suffrage movement . At 5:30 p.m. enjoy the Berlin Panorama Audience Award-winner, “In Syria.” Saturday ends with the 8 p.m. showing of the poetic Mexican drama, “I Dream in Another Language.”

•  The festival will conclude on Sunday, Nov. 12 with three exciting programs. Up first at 12 p.m., a primary school teacher is pulled into a mission to save Chinese novelist Mao Dun during World War II in “Our Time Will Come.” At 3:30 p.m. watch the hilarious Kate Micucci date the human version of her pets in “Unleashed” and stay for a discussion with the film’s director, Finn Taylor. Finally, at 7 p.m. we close out the festival with the Israeli dramatic comedy “The Women’s Balcony”, as the women of a synagogue in Jerusalem humorously band together to fight for their rights and traditions.(end block)

Details: Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave., Fresno. Festival passes are $50. Individual tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors.


Dance at Fresno City College

The City Dances fall concert is a combination of student and faculty works. The guest choreographer is Stephanie Powell, a past Fresno City College faculty member. Artistic director Cristal Tiscareno tells me that Powell has worked with high caliber performance arts organizations such as the Oakland Ballet, San Francisco Opera, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Donald Byrd/The Group, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater and and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Her piece is titled “RODEO!”

Tiscareno adds:

Another highlight for this performance is Amy Querin! Amy is the founder of Fresno Dance Collective (NOCO), a thriving and important catalyst to modern dance here in our Fresno community. She is finishing her last season as a dance instructor here at Fresno City College.

The dance she created for this season for her students includes aerial and modern dance in a captivating, alluring visual spectacle that leaves the audience with a powerful visual image. Amy will also be performing in this concert with former NOCO member and freelance artist Zachary Garcia. “7 Years” is a beautiful duet that pays homage to a seven year relationship! Viewers would be remiss if they miss out on the chance to see Amy execute movement with such clear intent and emotion … It pours out of her soul with each plié and extension and smile.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, Fresno City College Theatre. Tickets are $12-$14.



A violinist, a choreographer, and a guitarist. Put them together and you can have magic.

At least when we’re talking about artists of this level. Saturday’s “VIVO: A Chicano Performance” features three acclaimed performers from Fresno’s cultural scene: violinist Patrick Contreras, choreographer Jasmín la Carís, and guitarist Omar Naré. Together they’re sure to make a powerful combination:

VIVO exists at the intersection of modern and traditional. Mixing performance art, mariachi, modern violin, rock, and acoustic, the trio tells a familiar story in a truly soul-shaking way, evocative of the Mexican-American identity and the Central Valley’s unmatched culture.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Bitwise South Stadium, 700 Van Ness Ave., Fresno. A cocktail hour begins at 6:30. Tickets are $15.

Sequoia Symphony

For its second concert of the season, the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra in Visalia features “Beyond the Czar: Protest and Praise,” a lineup of Russian composers: Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Prokofiev and Borodin. One theme of the evening, says music director Bruce Kiesling, is contrasting those composers who followed the state line and those who rebelled.

Prokofiev was the rebel of the group, “first beloved by Stalin and then denounced as evil and bourgeois. Prokofiev was able to perform a clever balancing act, pushing the authorities to the limits and then mollifying them with a mellow piece of populism,” the orchestra states in a news release.

Guest violinist Adam Millstein will perform two Tchaikovsky pieces with the orchestra:
“Serenade melencolique” and “Valse-scherzo.”

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Visalia Fox Theatre, 208 W. Main St., Visalia. Pre-concert lecture begins at 6:45. Tickets are $10-$35.

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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.

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