CalArts kicks off annual World Music and Dance Festival

Jean Rhee performs on the Korean changgo drum with the Samulnori Ensamble on during the CalArts World Music & Dance Festival held at CalArts in Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Wild Beast Concert Pavilion and The Remo and Ami Belli stage were filled with the colorful attire of skillful dancers and the sounds of music Friday as attendees of the annual World Music and Dance Festival enjoyed a vendor village complete with instrument makers, raffles, giveaways and food trucks at California Institute of the Arts.

Since the early 1970s, the annual festival has brought celebrated artists from around the world to perform alongside faculty and students from CalArts’ renowned World Music Program, and this year’s event is no different as the school intends to hold more than 20 free outdoor concerts featuring music from Japan, Iran, India, Bali, Ghana and Bulgaria by the end of the festival Sunday.

Local families and other interested community members are invited to CalArts throughout the weekend to catch any of the scheduled acts that will occur once the festival continues on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lead singer DianaTeixeira performs with the CalArts Afro-Perulian Ensamble on during the CalArts World Music & Dance Festival held at CalArts in Valencia on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Saturday will feature international musical acts like the percussionist Pranesh Khan and sarod master Aashish Khan, who represent the first family of North Indian classical music, the CalArts Salsa Band, which intends to delight viewers with the sounds of timbales and conga drums, among other instruments.

Santa Clarita Valley residents I. Nyoman Wenten and Nanik Wenten will be featured in the 2019 documentary film, “Bali: Beats of Paradise,” that will be shown in a special screening at 3:40 p.m. Sunday, and Sulley Imoro, a Ghanaian master of Dagomba drum, dance and song, will conclude the weekend-long event with an African music and dance routine that’s scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday.

School officials suggested that attendees reserve a space by visiting, but those who don’t will still be able to enter.

The event will also be streamed live via a webcast that can be accessed at, and if you’re interested in catching a specific group or dance routine, a full schedule of the weekend-long festival can be found on the CalArts’ website at

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