New African Films Festival The ninth annual roundup of films from Africa includes 11 titles, beginning with the Kenyan “Nairobi Half Life,” by David “Tosh” Gitonga, about a young would-be actor who becomes immersed in a life of crime when he moves to the capital to chase his dreams. In English and Swahili with English subtitles. 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception. Festival continues through Tuesday. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720. www.afi.com/silver. $11.50, seniors $9, age 12 and younger $7.
Montgomery Philharmonic The orchestra performs works by Saint-Saens, Mozart, Holst and Tchaikovsky. Proceeds will benefit the Watkins Mill High School instrumental music program. 7 p.m. Watkins Mill High School, Timothy O’Shea Theater, 10301 Apple Ridge Rd., Gaithersburg. 240-398-8870. www.montgomeryphilharmonic.org. $10, seniors and students $5, age 11 and younger $1.
Lula Washington Dance Theatre Two African American-themed shows incorporate different styles such as jazz, ballet and street dancing. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 301-528-2260. www.blackrockcenter.org. $30-$32.
Cirque Ziva Danny Chang, artistic director of Golden Dragon Acrobats, brings a new acrobatic troupe to the stage. 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. www.strathmore.org. $25-$45.
Bethesda Art Walk Six galleries showcase paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, fiber, glass, ceramics and other media for this after-hours event. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Bethesda. 301-215-6660. www.bethesda.org. Free.
Heavy Breathing Strathmore’s Friday Night Eclectic series continues with a D.C. rock band that employs a sequencing and sampling machine. Doors at 8 p.m., concert at 9 p.m. Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. www.strathmore.org. $20 online, $22 at the door.
IDOBI Meltdown Festival Indie rock bands Circa Survive and Minus the Bear headline this lineup with the Menzingers; I Am the Avalanche; Kevin Devine; Vinnie Caruana; the Front Bottoms; Now, Now; Koji; Diamond Youth; Coasta; Laura Stevenson and the Cans; Markets and Dwellers; the Soviet; and Brick + Mortar. 11 a.m. The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-960-9999. www.fillmoresilverspring.com. $27-$50.
“Sleeping Beauty” and “Gershwin Times Three” The Rockville Civic Ballet performs two shows for the price of one. Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Rockville Civic Center Park, F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville. 240-314-8690. www.rockvillemd.gov/arts/ballet. $16, seniors and age 12 and younger $12.
Dance Bethesda The ninth annual event showcases seven area companies selected from a pool of 50 contenders: Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (contemporary), Furia Flamenca (flamenco), Jason Garcia Ignacio (contemporary), Karen Reedy Dance Company (contemporary), Silk Road Dance Company (Central Asian), Teelin Irish Dance Company (Irish) and the Washington School of Ballet (ballet). Although the main event happens Saturday at 8 p.m. at Round House Theatre, there will also be an Open Studio Night featuring free lessons, demonstrations and parties Friday 8 p.m.-10:30 p.m. at several Bethesda dance studios: Dance Bethesda Dance Studio, Dansez! Dansez!, Du-Shor Dance Studio, Joy of Motion Dance Center, and the Mindfulness Center. 8 p.m. Round House Theatre, 4545 East West Hwy., Bethesda. 301-215-6660. www.roundhousetheatre.org. www.bethesda.org. $20, age 12 and younger $10.