“A lot of people lost their sanity because of art,” says Mikhail Baryshnikov, sounding decidedly sane during a phone interview. “Art is divine madness. You have to be totally committed. A lot of people are blessed by talent, but being an artist is a disease, like any other psychological disorder. We’re all a bit crazy, trying to discover some secrets of art.”. Art and madness are the subjects of “Letter to a Man,” Baryshnikov’s solo performance piece inspired by the travails of Vaslav Nijinsky, the iconic Russian dancer who helped bring modernism to ballet in the early decades of the 20th century. Directed by the celebrated theatrical innovator Robert Wilson, the production explores the devastating six-week period in 1919 that saw the onset of Nijinsky’s schizophrenia, which the dancer chronicled in extraordinary diary entries.
Many readers may not be familiar with de Zoete and Spies, which makes Roy’s graceful reanimation of them even more enchanting, De Zoete manipulates everyone around her with a quiver of intimidation, wheedling and wit, Spies, meanwhile, is almost preternatural: He first appears to Myshkin by swimming across a river, “as unlikely as a penguin or a giraffe.” Curious about all things and talented in all the arts, he seems incapable of discouragement, These two foreigners remain shimmering stars in the night sky of Myshkin’s past, from when his “universe was real and dreamlike in equal measure.” But as the chaos of World War II metastasizes around the globe, ballet shoes kids toddler ballet pointe shoes shirt t-shirt tee their lives are devoured by the same mystery that swallows his mother..
For information and registration, call Brentwood Parks and Recreation at 925-516-5444 or go to www.brentwoodca.gov/emotion. Student art exhibit returns. BRENTWOOD — A Visual Voices encore show returns with an exhibit of unique student art, created in Brentwood’s Summerset III’s drawing class. Instructor Peggy Magovern brings the student’s diverse and creative body of work. A reception will be held at 3 p.m. March 30 at the Gallery on Second, 741 Second St. Admission is free. The exhibit runs March 27 through March 30. For information, call 925-516-2741.
Divas for Life 2012, 7 p.m, May 21, Benefit for multiple-myeloma survivor Laura Toby, Divas for Life accompanied by Billy Liberatore, Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave., Los Altos, $25-$75 advance, $30-$80 at the door, divasinconcert.com, San Mateo County History Museum, Playing Grown-Up: Toys from the Harry P, Costa Collection, through Dec, 31, Toys from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s that allowed children to mimic the activities of adults, such as a pedal-car fire truck and airplane, Tonka work trucks, an electric 1929 Lionel Stove & Oven, a G-men Fingerprint Set, a “Miss Friday” mechanical doll and a Lionel train, “Romance of the Rail,” oil paintings by Burlingame artist Fred Sinclair, Jr, of trains that have traveled on the Peninsula, May 8 through Sept, 9, San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City, ballet shoes kids toddler ballet pointe shoes shirt t-shirt tee $3-$5; free to Association members, www.historysmc.org or 650-299-0104..
“In Aeternam” (Latin for “In Eternity”) is an arresting crystallization of grief, the freezing failure to “process” a turn of events — and the need to move on and feel the beat of life. It has feverish moments; Alsop and the orchestra controlled them with stenciled precision. Earlier in the weekend, on Saturday at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, there was more, including composer Kevin Puts’s valiant solo performance in his own piano concerto, “Night,” a work of beauty and economy, for all its virtuoso demands. There was also “Dalliance” by Sean Hickey, dusky and fragrant with firefly detail. And there was John Adams’ “City Noir,” which claims inspiration from Ellington and film noir, but which bears Adams’ wildly idiosyncratic stamp. It’s thick, tumultuous, nocturnal and loony, and I like it better with every hearing.