The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of March 1-3

Image of dancer Akram Khan performing his work Xenos
British dancer/choreographer Akram Khan performs his solo work ‘Xenos’ at Zellerbach Hall on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Nicol Vizioli

XENOS British dancer/choreographer Akram Khan is bringing his final solo creation before retiring from solo performance to Cal Performances this weekend. Khan’s work is physically demanding and combines Indian kathak with modern dance. Xenos – stranger or alien in Greek – is “a powerful work that reveals the beauty and horrors of the human condition through the myth of Prometheus… told from the perspective of an Indian soldier recruited to fight in the trenches of World War I for the British Crown.” One London review raved: “A work of incredible potency, of emotional and cultural depth that sings and surges with the confidence of an artist at the peak of his powers.” Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m., Sunday, March 3, 5 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.

BILL FRISELL Guitarist, composer and arranger Bill Frisell is in the midst of a four-day residency at the Freight & Salvage. Frisell’s work is rooted in jazz, but incorporates elements of blues and other popular American music traditions. How’s this for range: “From Charles Ives and Aaron Copland to Buster Keaton and Bob Dylan, from Sonny Rollins and American Songbook ballads to country blues and Nashville twang.” Frisell is doing a solo concert on Friday, playing with Thomas Morgan and Rudy Royston on Saturday, and performing with Petra Haden, Hank Roberts and Luke Bergman on Sunday. Friday, March 1, 8 p.m., Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m., Sunday, March 3, 7 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP Perhaps you don’t understand the potential excitement of watching live chess. Tell that to the Norwegians. During the recent world chess championship, according to newspaper reports, the nation ground to halt because everyone was watching local heartthrob Magnus Carlsen defend his world title through a series of draws against US challenger Fabiano Caruana. On Saturday, you could see future world beaters in action as the Berkeley Chess School hosts the Girls Age-Level State Chess Championship. There will be four age groups competing: 5-7, 8 & 9, 10 & 11, and open (for ages 5-18). Winners of the open section get a $1,000 prize to cover travel to the national championships. Competition begins at 9 a.m. and the girls play five rounds. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Berkeley Chess School, 2622 San Pablo Ave.

BUSD YOUNG ARTISTS Every two years, the Berkeley Art Center celebrates students in Berkeley elementary and middle schools with an exhibition of juried works selected by Berkeley Unified art teachers. This year’s exhibition is entitled “Outside the Lines.” The event is held in conjunction with Alameda County’s Art is Education Month. The exhibition runs for two weeks, and there’s an opening reception on Saturday. Exhibition runs March 1-16. Reception, Saturday, March 2, 3-5 p.m., Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St.


SILK ROAD STORYTELLING Ashkenaz is hosting an evening of oral storytelling and traditional music from the mountains of Afghanistan on Sunday. Rabab player Maruf Noyoft and storytellers Jeff Byers, Tim Ereneta and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo (of Eth-Noh-Tec) weave together folktales, legends, and ancient melodies and open a window into the traditional cultures of Afghanistan. Sunday, March 3, 7 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Jenna Mammina charms at The Back Room in Berkeley
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Birds of Passage’ and ‘The Cold Heart’
Striking artwork by long-time Berkeley resident, artist Mildred Howard installed at OMCA