WATCH THE AUDITIONS The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival auditions start in Berkeley this weekend (continuing in San Francisco on Jan. 19-20) and are open to the public. According to those who have attended in the past, it’s a great event to see with each performance of a few minutes offering an incredible variety of dancing. Kids go free, adults $10 and it’s in-and-out privileges, so you can watch for a while, go out to lunch, come back and watch some more. Auditions take place on Saturday and Sunday Jan. 12 and 13 at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus from 11am – 7pm. For details visit the Festival’s website.
DISCOURSE IN THE GARDEN This is the last weekend for the Natural Discourse exhibition at Berkeley’s UC Botanical Garden. The show closes on Jan. 20. Berkeleyside readers may remember one of the show’s installations — ‘SOL Grotto’ by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello — caused something of a brouhaha among right-wing bloggers, Fox News and the House Energy and Commerce Committee who were outraged by the artists’ use of materials. The piece uses 1,368 glass tubes salvaged from Solyndra, the Fremont-based solar cell manufacturer that went bankrupt despite a $527 million loan from the federal government. Such attacks aside, ‘SOL Grotto,’ which its creators describe as “a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude,” is well worth seeing. Visit UC Botanical Garden website for details.
THE REAL DIRT If you’re an organic gardener and are eager to learn the itty bitty nitty gritty of soil health, you could do worse than to join Urban Worm, The Institute of Urban Homesteading and soil scientist Paul Holowko for The Real Dirt: Soil Health and Soil Science for Gardeners at Urban Adamah Farm in Berkeley on Sunday. On the agenda: meet the invisible world of micro-organisms that populate your soil; learn how to use compost teas to improve plant and soil health; understand how nitrogen cycling affects your plants; and view your own soil under the scope. Sliding scale tickets, $45-75. All proceeds go to support Urban Worm and IUH. Sunday, January 13, 1-5pm, Urban Adamah Farm, 1050 Parker Street, Berkeley. For information, and to sign up, visit the Institute of Urban Homesteading.
SONGS ABOUT CARS You’ve heard them on Car Talk, you’ve sung them while driving on the freeway. Now’s your chance to share your repertoire of automotive songs. First Person Singular’s “Hoot” event on Sunday, 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at St. Alban’s Church is titled Drive, She Said: Songs about Cars, the Road, and Getting from A to B. “We’ll spy Maybellene in her Coup de Ville, pick up the little old lady in Pasadena, then get our kicks on Route 66 … We’ll ride the expressway to your heart, and with luck (and stamina), maybe even see paradise by the dashboard light,” they write. Read the rules and find out about signing up at First Person Singular’s website.
FREE MOVIE Sunday sees the screening of the D.W. Griffith film Orphans of the Storm (1921) with musical accompaniment at The Tannery at 708 Gilman Street in Berkeley. The screening is part of the Movies on Film Community Cinema series presented by Berkeley Underground Film Society (BUFS), a club for collectors, researchers, and film enthusiasts. BUFS’s goal is to review and share a selective film history of movies on film. Every Sunday it screens buried, rarely projected, or otherwise obscure 8mm, Super 8, and 16mm prints in its collection. All ages welcome, free parking and wheelchair accessible. Donations accepted. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., screening at 7:30 p.m. More information at BUFS.
Don’t forget these other weekend events previously covered on Berkeleyside:
Fated for Fado: Ramana Viera at La Peňa on Friday
Hitchcock’s ‘Sabotage’ plays Pacific Film Archive on Friday
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To find out about more events in Berkeley and nearby, visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. We also encourage you to submit your own events.