If you’re interested in experiencing cutting-edge music, dance and performance art from all over the globe, you should get to know ArtPower, a sparkling gem in the crown of UC San Diego. And this month would be a great time to start.
Kicking things off Jan. 17 is one of Europe’s hottest touring dance companies, Compagnie Hervé Koubi, making its San Diego debut at Mandeville Auditorium on campus with “What the Day Owes the Night.” These 12 French-Algerian and African male dancers will be kick-boxing, back-flipping, head-spinning, free-falling, whirling, tumbling, even doing some impressive unison breathing in a piece that combines martial arts, acrobatics, Algerian break-dancing, modern dance and ballet.
Accompanying all this is imagery from Eastern paintings and Islamic architecture and a score that includes Bach, traditional Sufi music, Nubian lute-master Hamza El Din, and the Kronos Quartet.
Next up, on Jan. 19, is a young quartet from Cleveland who have been adding a new level of excitement to old classics and introducing newer works to enthusiastic crowds around the world. Hailed as “high-octane,” the Aeolus Quartet will precede their Prebys Hall concert of pieces by Haydn, Beethoven and Philip Glass with an intimate art talk at The Loft.
The following week, on Jan. 25, you can hear the soulful sounds of gospel singer Liz Vice in The Loft’s club-like setting, where you can enjoy drinks, flatbreads and other small bites along with the music. Vice, who mainly sings songs that celebrate the joys of a spiritual life, has been known to cover Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as well.
Closing out the month on Jan. 31 is a very special performance that is part of San Diego Symphony’s “It’s About Time” Festival, Jan. 11-Feb. 11. (Read the Festival story online at lajollalight.com) Roland Auzet is a remarkable French artist who has made a name for himself as composer, percussionist, theater director, dancer and circus performer. His “Bare Hands” is a fascinating portrait of a car that will begin with an empty stage and then fill the auditorium with a dazzling mix of drumming, movement and visuals.
If all this sounds good to you, don’t wait too long: tickets may sell out, and prices sometimes rise close to showtime.
IF YOU GO: All shows start at 8 p.m. at venues on UC San Diego campus. Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Wednesday, Jan. 17, at Mandeville Auditorium, $28-$46. Aeolus Quartet, Friday, Jan. 19, Prebys Concert Hall, pre-performance talk at The Loft, 7 p.m. $45-$59. Liz Vice, Thursday, Jan. 25, The Loft, $18-$25. Roland Auzet, Wednesday, Jan. 31, Mandeville Auditorium, $15-$25. Tickets: (858) 534-8497 or boxoffice.ucsd.edu