Donald’s list: Weekend choices (March 23)

At the top of my list for promising events this weekend are two prominent arts offerings — and one so-cute-it-barks dog event, just for the heck of it: The Orpheus chamber ensemble offers “Four Centuries of Beautiful Music” in a Friday night concert at Fresno State. The annual Danzantes Unidos Festival’s Showcase Concert Series features more than 40 Mexican folk dance groups from across the U.S. with a variety of weekend events.

And don’t forget a celebration of puppies on Friday at Bitwise.

Here’s a roundup:


orpheus logo

In just 90 minutes, you’ll be able to travel through the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. “Four Centuries of Beautiful Music” features the talents of pianist Christoper Guerrerio, flutist Teresa Beaman, violinists John Morrice and Cynthia Stuart, cellist Nancy Skei and accordionist Daniel Cantrell.


A highlight will be the premiere of artistic director Jack Fortner’s “Three Studies for Solo Piano.” which consists of three pieces — “With a Tip of Your Thought,” “Bossa Baixa” and “Aeolian Sea” — composed in Brazil over a period of 13 years.

The program also includes Johann Sebastian Bach’s “French Suite” No. 5 in G major and Sergei Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata in D major.

For local fans of chamber music, Orpheus is a welcome treat with top-notch musicians and fascinating programs.

“This will be a fascinating evening of varied fare, guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning music lover’s taste,” Fortner says.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday, March 23, Wahlberg Recital Hall, Fresno State. Tickets are $15 general, $5 students.


Danzantes Unidos

The theme of this year’s festival is “Cultura Sin Fronteras,” which honors the ongoing work of folklorico artists sharing culture and traditions across the United States and in Mexico. More than 2,000 participants are attending dozens of workshops.

The highlight for the general public is the Showcase Concert Series, which is features more than 40 Mexican folk dance groups from across the U.S. There are three major concerts at the Warnors Center for the Performing Arts: 6 p.m. Friday, March 23; 6 p.m. Saturday, March 24; and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 25. Tickets are $15.

There’s also a Children’s Showcase Concert at noon Saturday, March 24, at the Reagan Educational Center Amphitheater in Clovis that is free and open to the public.

A couple of other festival highlights:

Classes for parents: Designed for folklorico parents and enthusiasts, DUF Parent Pavilion provides free workshops and demonstrations in various subjects related to folklorico and the cultural arts, including hair and make-up. The piñata-making workshop is extended to groups registering at least five dancers for dance workshops, and sewing and multimedia classes are extended to groups registering more than 10 dancers. The workshops and demonstrations will be held on March 24 and 25 at Reagan Educational Center and are perfect for individuals not enrolled in a workshop.

A one-night fandango: Dancers, musicians and the community will come together at DUF Fandango to play and dance to son jarocho music at 9 p.m. March 23 at Warnors Center for the Performing Arts. At this free event, the community will participate in an impromptu jam session.

A two-day marketplace: Attendees can shop for cultural and dance related items and food at DUF’s Mega Mercado on March 24 and 25 at Reagan Educational Center.

Pupwise at Bitwise

And, finally, for the dog in your life: On Friday, March 23, Bitwise Industries presents “Pupwise,” a three-hour party for canines and humans. As the Bitwise folks describe it:

Mabel’s Cafe, Bitwise’s on-site eatery, will serve up gourmet, handmade doggie biscuits, along with something for the humans, their tasty Franklin dogs. Cafe Valparaiso, located inside of Bitwise South Stadium, has devised a delicious, doggo-approved puppuccino.

(By the way, can you imagine if dogs really did drink coffee? They’d be so hyper in the morning that they’d burn holes in the floor.)

The event, which celebrates National Puppy Day, is 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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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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