The Live Arts Fest put on by Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater is truly a shoestring event—on Saturday, Isaacs was working as a stagehand, handling props. So it’s all the more remarkable that the ten-day festival offered a rich palette of work by international artists, including Christine Dakin, longtime principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company, doing Graham’s legendary solo, “Cante Jondo.”

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When the Tijuana dance company Lux Boreal made Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2008, I wrote that they were raising the bar for dance in Tijuana. And, whether or not it’s Lux Boreal’s influence (I suspect it is), the six mostly-from-Baja works in “4×4 TJ Night,” curated by the company, were super, the best of them showing complexity and wit, as well as serious technical chops.

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Savoring every moment in life is the mantra of Charlene Baldridge, a writer and poet who shares unbearable personal loss with grace. Her cathartic and empowering play “Warriors’ duet” at the Fringe Festival may cause the most stoic viewer to weep. The play asks viewers to grieve and celebrate life en mass, and the experience is profound.

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