February 20, 8 pm
Returning after her captivatingly theatrical War and Peace program in 2016, radiant mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato showcases her more playful side with Songplay. The lighthearted recital program mixes Italian Baroque arias with jazz ballads and songs from the Great American Songbook, and features a versatile ensemble of piano, drums, bass, bandoneon, and trumpet seamlessly connecting the improvisational spirit of Baroque ornamentation with the free-spirited charm of American popular music. “The perfect 21st-century diva—an effortless combination of glamour, charisma, intelligence, grace and remarkable talent” (The New York Times).
February 22 & 23, 8 pm, and February 24, 3 pm
Montreal’s award-winning contemporary circus troupe presents its latest creation, an exploration of the role ancestors play in the shaping of modern identities. For Reversible, each of the company’s cast members researched generations of family history, interviewing grandparents and great-grand-parents about their aspirations, struggles, and secrets. Through acrobatics, aerial stunts, and dance movement, the artists build an intergenerational bridge between past and present, then and now.
March 2, 8 pm, and March 3, 5 pm
Revered dancer, choreographer, and theater artist Akram Khan is known for physically demanding, visually spellbinding solo productions that combine Indian kathak with modern dance, and mine personal and cultural histories in works of sublime storytelling. XENOS is Khan’s final solo creation before his planned retirement as a performer, and reveals the beauty and horrors of the human condition through the myth of Prometheus, from the perspective of an Indian soldier recruited to fight in the trenches of WWI for the British Crown. “Xenos” means “stranger” or “alien” in Greek, and the work explores the soldier’s alienation as he is trapped between two cultures in the colonial system.
For more information, visit the Cal Performance website.