As we officially transition from the relaxed pumpkin spice portion of the year into the “T-minus seven weeks ‘til Christmas!” rush, it’s always a good idea to pause, breathe and take in the eclectic events throughout the Bay Area. This week promises plenty of unique dance performances, film festivals, immersive experiences and the first official sign of winter (hint: it involves ice skates and hopefully some hot cocoa).
Skate into the season
If you had any doubt that the holiday season is officially upon us, know that the iconic Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square is here! The annual favorite has been setting up shop in the landmark location since 2008, and everyone of every skating aptitude is invited to enjoy the sights and sounds. In addition to open skate time, there will also be plenty of themed events throughout the season (e.g., Drag Queens on Ice, Flashback Fridays and Polar Bear Skate). An opening celebration is slated for tomorrow, 9:30–10 a.m.
Wednesday, November 3–Monday, January 17, 2022
See a unique and colorful live performance
If you haven’t yet ventured back out to catch a live performance, ROLL OUT might be the perfect point of re-entry. The joyful show features 18 performers giving it their all in the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco’s spacious Pottruck Family Atrium. Presented by Garrett + Moulton Productions, the free live performances feature the sounds of Marc Mellits’ music recorded by Quatuor Debussy, and will incorporate Garrett + Moulton’s “signature Ball Passing and movement choir elements.” It’s a unique and colorful experience for sure, and audience members are even invited to participate in a post-show mini-workshop to learn the art of Ball Passing.
Thursday, November 4, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Friday, November 5, 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Peruse a new art exhibition at this North Bay destination
American artist, landscape architect and graphic designer Barbara “Bobbie” Stauffacher Solomon debuts her latest art collection at Sonoma County’s Sea Ranch Lodge, including her new Supergraphic, Land(e)scape. The 93-year-old Solomon got her start at the Lodge, so the exhibition is a sweet return to her roots. After studying lettering with Armin Hoffman in Switzerland and the philosophy of language with John Searle at Berkeley, Solomon dedicated her work to analyzing the relationship between form and meaning. This particular series is inspired by the sight of the sea at night; the paintings surround the spacious Lodge.
Now through December 5
Celebrate a musical and literary icon
Even if you’ve already taken in the immersive artworks of the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Experience Leonard Cohen, you can further celebrate the legend at the weeklong San Francisco Leonard Cohen Festival. Commemorating the words, music and legacy of Cohen, the multi-artist, multi-event festival is hosted by San Francisco’s Conspiracy of Beards, a choir dedicated to capturing the sounds of his signature songs. Events include a night of music from artists like Sylvie Simmons, Melinda Becker and Musical Art Quintet, as well as an evening of poetry, literature and music with Bobby Coleman & Friends.
Through Sunday, November 7
Explore earth and beyond at the Cal Academy
Don’t miss the California Academy of Sciences’ newest original, all-digital planetarium show, Living Worlds, which premieres this week. Attendees will have the chance to explore the ways the earth’s surface has changed over the course of time and take a peek into space. Narrated by Daveed Diggs, the immersive film was named the winner of the 2021 Dome Fest West #BestOfEarth award for Science and Education.
Premieres Friday, November 5
Watch this dance tribute to an endangered species
San Francisco’s ODC Theater presents inkBoat, a showcase of multiple artistic disciplines and viewpoints that draws from the Japanese performing and martial arts, improvisational arts and Daoist internal arts. Interdisciplinary artist and choreographer Ann Carlson will premiere These are the Ones We Fell Among, a performance inspired by the mythology and movement of endangered elephants. Featuring a duet between Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga as well as original music by Carla Kihlstedt and Shahzad Ismaily, the show “grapples with elegance in the face of extinction.”
Friday, November 5, and Saturday, November 6, 8 p.m.; Sunday, November 7, 4 p.m. (available for on-demand viewing November 12–19)
Appreciate the art of movement through these short films
The McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents We Belong, a selection of short films focused on the power of dance, showing at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater. The wide-ranging subject matter touches on everything from Black trans femme love to the Chinese diaspora and more. Terrence Paschal kicks off the program with a solo dance performance dedicated to the kitsune (fox) from Japanese mythology. Following the screening, Eric Garcia will moderate a filmmaker Q&A with Jody Stillwater and Jenny Stulberg.
Sunday, November 7, 2–4 p.m.
Welcome this legendary dance troupe home
For two nights only, Alonzo King LINES Ballet returns to its hometown stage at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with Coming Back Home. The company will perform AZOTH, a collaboration between choreographer Alonzo King and jazz musicians Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran, along with excerpts from four of King’s most renowned works.
Saturday, November 6, 7:30 p.m. (includes post-show conversation with Alonzo King); Sunday, November 7, 5 p.m.
Take in some of the year’s best nonfiction films
SFFILM’s seventh annual Doc Stories film series kicks off November 4 at the Castro Theatre and Vogue Theatre. Film enthusiasts who want to catch the programming at home will also be able to stream live talks and films. The showcase celebrates many of the year’s most important nonfiction works. The 2021 festival features 17 films and four live-streamed conversations. Themes and topics run the gamut from healthcare to music to refugee stories.
Thursday, November 4–Saturday, November 7
Raise a glass and toast to the weekend
Fans of Sonoma County’s annual Wine & Food Affair will be happy to know the vino extravaganza is making its triumphant in-person return this week, with plenty of tasting experiences to take in along the Wine Road in Northern Sonoma County. Guests will have a chance to visit more than 40 participating wineries and indulge in food pairings as well. Many of the wineries will also provide recipes so attendees can replicate the winning combos at home.
Friday, November 5, and Saturday, November 6