Weekender: Go Virtual With Performances, Dance and Pink Martini Too

Christmas Carol
Manual Cinema brings holiday cheer with a live-streamed visually stunning adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless "A Christmas Carol" through Mondavi HomeStage. (courtesy photo)

All ready for the holidays and nowhere to go? Don’t despair. Lots of virtual events are on tap throughout the region: attend a virtual concert or play, or make something. And it’s virtual, so you can wear your comfortable home clothes. We even have events listed up through New Year's. Tie definitely optional. Read on.

Also, the Arts Blog, like UC Davis, will be on hiatus from Dec. 21 until Jan 4. So, we’ll catch you in 2021. This blog compiled my Michelle Villagomez, UC Davis Media Relations Intern

UC Davis Music holds concerts anytime

Cello Ensemble: "Flight of Freedom," free

"Flight of Freedom," written by area composer Biljana Bojović, was commissioned via an instructional mini-grant given by the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis. Written for a quartet of cellos, Bojović says of her new composition that "freedom, as much as it is a gift, requires our constant willingness and effort.... There is never enough freedom; rather it is an endless and breathtaking process." The UC Davis Cello Ensemble is an ad hoc chamber ensemble — this quarter made up of four student cellists at UC Davis. It is led by UC Davis lecturer in music Susan Lamb Cook. Each cellist recorded their part separately from home and the recording was produced and edited by Stephen Bingen, the music department's audio engineer. Watch on your own time here

Michael Petris, horn (a junior recital)

Ken Davies: Kaleidoscope with V. Leone Rivers, vibraphone Johann Strauss: Les Adieux with Sakurako Kanemitsu, piano Wolfgang A. Mozart: Concerto No. 3 with Sakurako Kanemitsu, piano. Watch here.

Mondavi Center HomeStage presents Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol

In this world premiere online event for audiences of all ages, world-renowned performance collective, Manual Cinema brings holiday cheer with a live-streamed visually stunning adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless A Christmas Carol.

An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to present her late husband Joe’s annual Christmas Carol puppet show from the isolation of her Chicago apartment — over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s classic ghost story. Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol features hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes, and a live original score in an imaginative re-invention of a cherished holiday tradition. Learn more about the event on the Mondavi Website

Get your tickets here. $5 for UC Davis students and $15 regular price. 

The online event will be next weekend, Dec. 18-20 (times vary):

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 - 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 - 5 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020 - 4 p.m.

State advocacy efforts mobilize local artists

The following excerpts are taken from Wendy Weitzel’s summary of this month’s Arts Alliance Davis meeting. To read the full story, check the Davis Enterprise

Artists need their work to be seen and heard. But a statewide arts advocate says the arts industry is being overlooked in the pandemic.

Julie Baker, executive director of California Arts Advocates and for the statewide nonprofit Californians for the Arts, told some 25 participants at a Dec. 9 Arts Alliance Davis video meeting that their organizations need to demonstrate how essential they are.

“We want to be seen. We want to be part of the solution,” Baker said from her Nevada City base. “We’re an industry. We’re not a cause. We can support California socially and emotionally. We know that’s what the arts can bring.”

Arts Alliance Davis was formed a few years ago as a grassroots effort to give artists and their supporters the opportunity to gather, collaborate and create meaningful impact. Meetings, typically every other month, are open to anyone. Each meeting includes introductions and announcements from participants, who shared these ideas and updates:

Davis resident NJ Mvondo, who runs Multiculturalism Rocks!, an organization celebrating cultural diversity in the arts, suggested help in the form of technical support to artists trying to develop an online presence. “Christmas is usually a time when artists make the bulk of their sales,” she said. Help could be formulating messaging that promotes their COVID safety protocols, assistance setting up a website, or serving as a matchmaker linking artists with teaching opportunities.

Lorie Hammond, founder of Peregrine School, said it’s offering good pay to artists to teach online classes that will replace its usual after-school sessions. The 10-week series is January through March, but single workshops will be considered. Those interested in teaching may email Rachel@peregrineschool.org.

Yelena Ivashchenko, owner of Bohème Hip Used Clothing, said the Davis Downtown Business Association has a “Season of Hope” theme for the holidays, and is letting bands play ambient music downtown in the E Street Plaza, for a small stipend and tips. There’s also a coloring contest, photo backdrop in the plaza and more.

The organization plans a Valentine’s Day message: “United Community: From My Heart to Your Heart.” She’s also hoping to work with an artist to develop an original song “about why we love Davis.”

Stacie Frerichs, director of Davis Arts Center, just published a book on the city’s centennial that’s a creative natural history guide of Davis. The book, for sale for $25, features the hand-painted work of more than 500 people, and 100 items of natural history significance to the community. Book orders may be placed here.

Learn Japanese flower arranging

Friday, Dec. 18, 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m., free, via Zoom.

Are you interested in the concepts of the Japanese floral arrangement? Tune into this event to work on a small table arrangement. After you register, you will be emailed a list of suggested materials to bring. This event is presented by Haruko Sakakibara, professor emeritus, East Asian Languages and Cultures. This virtual workshop is part of the Nature Rx series, presented by the Arboretum and Public Gardens and Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being. 

For more information and registration for this session, click here

Get into the Christmas spirit with a virtual dance party 

Daybreaker, is a morning dance community of 500,000-plus members in 28 cities around the world that inspires humans to start their day unlike any other — by waking up and dancing in iconic spaces, sober, first thing in the morning. They start with a one hour yoga and fitness experience and then dance with reckless abandon for two hours before work. As the holidays are approaching, Daybreaker is holding ‘Tis the Season to dance: An ugly sweater + pants party. This virtual event is free and will take place Saturday, Dec. 19 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Register here


8 a.m. — Joyful beginner-friendly DOSE Yoga Flow led by Karine Plantadit featuring Lexie Lowell playing on the harp.

8:50 a.m — Guided Dance Party Experience with Daybreaker Founder + Mama Radha, featuring live performances by The O’Jays and a live DJ set by Jasmine Solano

9:50 p.m. — 10 p.m. – Closing Ceremony with Dionne Warwick

Go see Santa

Saturday, Dec. 19 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., free, via Zoom, sign up for a slot here.

The Davis Musical Theatre Company is welcoming kids, pets and anyone who would like to meet with Santa at their virtual venue. Slots are first come first serve, so sign up as soon as you can. Once you register, you will be sent a Zoom link for your meeting. 

Robert Klein Gallery online exhibition, ‘On Photographs’

Robert Klein Gallery presents On Photographs, an online exhibition from Nov. 10 through Dec. 31. The exhibition takes its name from a new book by David Campany, a curator and writer based in London and New York. David Campany was an undergraduate student when he met Susan Sontag. During a friendly discussion about her groundbreaking and influential book On Photography, Company asked about her assessment of photography without including specific photographs. “My book is more about photography as a phenomenon, social and artistic,” she replied. “Perhaps one day you will write a book titled On Photographs.” Campany has accomplished the goal Susan Sontag set out for him with On Photographs, published this fall by MIT Press.

In the spirit of the book — exploring the meaning of photography and its history by focusing on specific images—the exhibition On Photographs surveys 20 images from 18 leading 20th century photographers including Eugene Atget, Ilse Bing, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mark Cohen, Walker Evans, Mario Giacomelli, Ralph Gibson, Bill Jacobson, György Kepes, Andre Kertesz, Helen Levitt, Man Ray, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, Edward Weston, Francesca Woodman, and Masao Yamamoto. The exhibition presents an opportunity to commemorate Robert Klein Gallery’s 40th anniversary as most of the photographers in On Photographs have been in multiple exhibitions at the gallery.

View the online exhibition here

Coming up

Crocker’s winter break from home series Monday

Monday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. Free for members and $5 for non members. Via Zoom. Register here.

Kids (and adults) might be stuck at home, but outside the birds are flying free. Take inspiration from the skies and artwork from the Crocker’s collection and join us for Winter Break From Home, a three day virtual art program for curious kids and their grown ups! Young artists in pre-K through 5th grade will be introduced to real birds of prey, receive online sketching lessons, meet new friends, and stick their heads in the clouds.

Bird of Prey
Young artists in pre-K through 5th grade will be introduced to real birds of prey, receive online sketching lessons, meet new friends, and stick their heads in the clouds in this Crocker at-home lesson. (Courtesy photo)

Take flight with our friends at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and become an expert on local birds of prey when you get up close with live raptors. Examine their unique adaptations, discuss their role in the environment, and find out how to protect these winged hunters. Make sure to have pencil and paper on hand so you can practice sketching one of them! Geared towards grades 3 – 5, but everyone in the family is welcome to join us online.

Looking for more winter break fun? Be sure to sign up for our other "Winter Break From Home" programs:

Winter Break From Home: Sketching

Winter Break From Home: How to Identify Birds

Winter Break From Home: Writing

More information here

End the year with Mondavi Center’s ‘Pink Martini’

Ring in the new year with everyone’s favorite “little orchestra” and say, “Good Riddance 2020!” Filmed in band leader Thomas Lauderdale's home, this concert features lead singer China Forbes with special guests Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, Edna Vazquez, Jimmie Herrod, Sofia von Trapp and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana.

Airs at 6 p.m. PSD and will remain available to view for 48 hours after completion of the broadcast. Tickets are $15 and you can purchase them here.

More about the event here.

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