One consequence of the passage of time is that we lose sight and memory of the cultures of many indigenous people--their customs all but forgotten once they are no longer practiced.
Chumash ancestor Antonio Romero Sr. recognizes such dangers and has waged a years-long battle to preserve the heritage of his people.
Romero founded the Dolphin Dancers--a performance troupe specializing in Chumash song, dance and storytelling--to share the native customs with the public and to bequest the heritable torch to future generations.
"Romero realized that if their cultural traditions weren't performed, they'd be lost forever," said Suzanne Farwell of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
The Dolphin Dancers of the Santa Ynez Indian Reservation, dressed in authentic, colorful regalia, will perform at the museum 2 p.m. Sunday. The program, in part, honors the legacy of the Chumash's relationship with nature and features the ritualistic bear, swordfish and coyote dances, among others.
These dances, Farwell said, have not been performed for more than a century, except for those re-enacted by Romero's group during the last 25 years.
The program, commemorating the Year of the Indigenous Peoples, is free with paid museum admission--$5, $3 for children. The museum is at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road. Call 682-4711.
Santa Barbara rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket will perform a special benefit concert Saturday in Carpinteria.
Special because proceeds are earmarked for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center--and because the event will serve as a bon voyage for cyclist Sheri Wright, who will embark on a nationwide tour to raise awareness of sexual assault issues.
"Day on the Green," held at the Santa Barbara Polo Grounds, will kick off at 3:30 p.m. with opening acts Cadillac Desert and Jayne Wayne.
During the concert, Wright will commence her estimated 69-day trek to New York, which will take her through 13 states.
"One of the things motivating me is the need for networking and dialogue that I feel is needed between the shelters," Wright said.
Wright will make rest stops and hold discussions at women's crisis centers along the way.
"Some of the places are lucky to have a phone line, much less a crisis center," she said.
A backstage party is scheduled at 2 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders ($30); here's your chance to schmooze with Toad members and get preferred lawn seating. General admission for festival seating is $20. Tickets are available at the Arlington Theater, Ticketmaster outlets and at the gate.
The Polo Grounds are at 3375 Foothill Road. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Call 963-4408.
Gainey Vineyard's courtyard concert series will conclude with a pair of shows this weekend.
Friday: arranger-composer-conductor Mary Paich will lead a 22-piece big band through a "A Tribute to Stan Kenton." Tickets are $26.
Saturday: Randy ("I Love L.A.") Newman assumes the stage for the evening. Tickets are $28. Both concerts commence at 7:30. Courtyard gates open at 5:30 and picnicking is encouraged. Order tickets by phone, 688-0558. The vineyard is located three miles east of Solvang on Highway 246.
This week's schedule of concerts at the Music Academy of the West:
The Academy Series, featuring small ensemble performances by faculty members, continues Tuesday with "Telemann: Quartet in d minor from Die Tafelmusik II" and "Stravinsky: L'histoire du soldat."
The concert will commence at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20.
The campus is at 1070 Fairway Road, Montecito. Call 969-4726.
This week's celluloid presentations from UC Santa Barbara's Arts & Lectures:
Tonight, Gerard Depardieu stars in "Tour les Matins du Monde," winner of seven 1991 Cesar Awards, the French equivalent to the Oscars. The movie is set during the age of Louis XIV and explores the imagined relationship between Baroque composer Marin Marais and his young apprentice M. de Sainte Columbe.
"Strictly Ballroom," about a dancer booted from competition for performing unauthorized moves, plays Sunday. Shot in Australia, this PG-rated, 1992 flick combines spoof and romance during a look inside the world of competitive ballroom dancing.
Show times are 8 p.m. for both movies, which are held in the campus' Campbell Hall. Tickets are $5, $4 students. Call 893-3535.
Taking honors at the 1959 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, Marcel Camus' "Black Orpheus" comes to Santa Barbara Monday and Tuesday at the Bluebird Cafe. Presented by The New Vic Theater, this classic film features a rhythmic score and a couple who fall in love during Rio de Janeiro's Carnival.
The movie starts at 8:15 p.m.; tickets are $5. The cafe is at 1221 State St., Santa Barbara. Call 563-1438.