Owner Bethany Hooks’s dancing skills landed her in such Broadway shows as Grease, My Fair Lady, and Rent. Her impressive résumé also includes an assistant choreographer position for Holland America Cruise Line, which took her to Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico. She now runs Just B... Dance & Fitness, where students as young as 2 years old can learn ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip-hop dance moves.
Alongside with her accomplishments as a dancer and choreographer, Oanh Tretter always wanted to lead her own dance company. Ariel Dance Productions lets her realize her long-held passion, where she can create a fun and non-competitive environment for dancers of all ages. The studio's broad swath of classes run the gamut from the precise steps of ballet and show choir to the more fluid undulations of belly dancing. The family-oriented studio also bring parents and students together for frequent recitals and seasonal talent shows.
Peninsula Symphony, founded in 1949 with the goal of enriching communities with affordable musical productions, grew from a grassroots ensemble to a 90-plus-member orchestra of well-trained local musicians. Music Director Mitchell Sardou Klein leads the ensemble with a steady baton, a sharp ear, and the stamina to carry on through the inevitable triple encore.
Made up of acclaimed musicians who have played with Boston, Sammy Hagar, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the December People spike holiday carols with the power chords and epic drum solos of classic rock. Using its collective experience and a team of songwriting elves kidnapped from the North Pole, the band turns wailing works by rock ‘n’ roll powerhouses such as Santana, ZZ Top, Boston, and YES into industrial-strength holiday music. Carol lyrics are transcribed over favorite rock hits, juxtaposing “Joy to the World” with The Who's “Won't Get Fooled Again” and “The Night Before Christmas” with “Stairway to Heaven.” While audiences lift lighters and illuminate their noses, camera crews capture the concert for the TV series Backline, scheduled for national release next year. As crowd members may appear in the video, they should dress according to the rules of television, eschewing white or striped clothing, hats, visible brand names or logos, and greenscreen bodysuits. In addition to savoring hard-rocking Christmas cheer, attendees delight in the joyous feeling of benefiting Sobrato Arts, a nonprofit organization that mentors and trains Bay Area high-school students interested in the arts.
Since 2003, sjDANCEco has been dazzling audiences with contemporary dance performances by local artists and exciting guest performers, earning a glowing mention from Culture Vulture. After doors open at 7 p.m., patrons can find their spot in the California Theatre’s chandelier-clad 1,100-seat auditorium before the curtains rise at 8 p.m. Guest dancer Raphael Boumaila joins 23 of the community’s finest dance artists in choreographer José Limón’s classic Missa Brevis. The performance also showcases the timekeeping and fly-swatting talents of conductor Barbara Day Turner as she leads the San José Chamber Orchestra in stirring musical accompaniment. Dancers leap, twist, and twirl through Limón’s intricate, contemporary choreography, whose depth and complexity surpasses even that of the legendary Macarena. The performance also showcases new works by company members Heather Cooper Allen, Maria Basile, and Gary Masters.
San Jose Improv, part of a national network of chuckle clubs, features an ever-changing lineup of jesters and laugh inducers on its stage. Today’s deal gets fans of funny two trips to improvised hilarity: enjoy the Improv stand-up comedy competitions on select Tuesday nights at 8 p.m., or save your tickets for shows featuring Doug Benson (a $20 per-ticket value), Todd Glass, who competed in two seasons of Last Comic Standing (a $10 per-ticket value), or the multilingually amusing Sugar Sammy, who was recently named one of the top-10 rising comedians by the Hollywood Reporter (up to a $17 per-ticket value). If all the mirth makes your mouth unmoist, water it with a drink from San Jose Improv’s bar, which is loaded with premium liquors, beers, and California wines.