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.
The instructors at Firebird Dance Studio, who have been teaching for 22 years, share their passion for dancing through lessons for students as young as 14 months. Aspiring dancers learn contemporary, ballroom, folk, Latin, and modern dance styles. Classes also give students opportunities to perform. Additionally, the studio has won the Best of Mountain View Award for two consecutive years.
A family-friendly stage adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling tells the story of a homely bird who suffers through years of name-calling from his peers for looking different. Children follow along with the duckling's plight as live actors guide audiences through the barnyard drama until the duckling transforms into a beautiful swan and the rest of the animals finally invite it to poker night. This adaptation serves as an entertaining teaching tool for young audiences, gently imparting its message of the importance of kindness and personal transformation.
The experienced staff at The Peninsula Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance nurture awkward appendages into free-flowing figures with their dance and fitness classes. Learn the sultry style of Latin-based beats during the beginning folklorico course with Norberto Martinez, or join flow yoga with Patti Stafford to elongate a rigid endoskeleton. The beginning ballet class enables novice dancers to pirouette to work and the grocery store, and the synergy Pilates class swiftly strengthens the core for upcoming sit-up competitions against the neighborhood snap bracelet.
Using audience suggestions as a creative springboard, Made Up Theatre’s quartet of resident performers conjures chortles with fully improvised scenes, games, and musical numbers every Saturday night at 8 p.m. Classes grant guests of varying performance backgrounds an opportunity to sample the art of improv before climbing through three ranks of classes that emphasize quick responses and structuring longer-form scenes. Made Up Theatre also totes its trick bag to the corporate world with team-building seminars that draw upon improv’s communicative foundation to improve group interactions and send stress off to take up residence in rant-fueled standup comics.
Drop into hip-hop (Tuesday, 8–9 p.m.) to energize your stale disco moves; materialize in tap (Wednesday, 7–8 p.m.) to invigorate your toes with rhythm; dance and shake off the calories, Latin-style, with Zumba (Thursday, 8–9 p.m.); or open up a can of grace with ballet (Saturday, 12–1 p.m.). With five gleaming studios and a full squad of certified dance instructors breaking the beat together under a single roof, this much dance has not been gathered in one place since the release of YouTube as a DVD box set. The drop-in classes are designed to accommodate dancers of all skill and experience levels. The small class size ensures the type of personal attention formerly only children longed for upon the arrival of a newborn baby brother. Sign up with a few friends to gain new moves and lose a few pounds in the process.
When The Retro Dome first opened its doors three years ago, it was with the knowledge that its life would be brief and yet explosive. From the start, the owners of the building planned to demolish it at some point in the future. Yet that didn’t stop the staff from making use of the former Century 25 Theater’s stadium-style seating, refurbished chairs, and massive dome. They decked out the interior with vintage, retro-modern décor, complete with a candy counter slinging Pop Rocks and JujuBees. The foreseeable, yet fuzzy ending has recently come into sharp focus, though. The Retro Dome will go dark on January 31, 2013, bringing to an end nearly four years of live music and sing-along cinema.