EVERY YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME, the National Symphony Orchestra offers us a welcome helping of music by Mozart. This year, the subtitle is "Mozart and Marriage"--and, appropriately, there will be several selections from the composer's most sublime and multifaceted creation, "The Marriage of Figaro." The festival at the Kennedy Center begins on Thursday, with performances of the "Te Deum" (K. 141), selections from the early opera "Ascanio in Alba" and the "Haffner" Serenade, among others. But Saturday is the big night, with the Mass in C Minor (K. 427) and the promised excerpts from "Marriage of Figaro," featuring students from the Juilliard School's Department of Vocal Arts. Christopher Hogwood will conduct and offer his own wry commentary on the music. The New York Baroque Dance Company and the Washington Bach Consort Chorus will also be on hand throughout the festival.
Thursday night at 7; Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30. The Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $12 to $30. Information: 202-467-4600.
THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE continues its series "New Films From Spain" this week. Playing today at 6:45 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and next Sunday at 6:45 is "Bwana," in which a bourgeois father must face his feelings when his daughter meets an African. Then there's "Hello, Are You Alone?" (Friday at 6:30 p.m. and next Sunday at 4:45 p.m.), in which two 20-year-olds committed to the simple life discover one of their moms with a man, a Russian no less. Finally, in "The Good Life" (Friday at 8:15 p.m. and next Sunday at 6:30 p.m.), 15-year-old Fernando Ramallo learns that the good life isn't necessarily so good as he comes of age. The films are in Spanish with English subtitles.
At the American Film Institute's National Film Theater at the Kennedy Center. $5.50 for members, $6.50 for nonmembers. Call 202-785-4600 or visit www.afionline.org/nft
SHIRLEY HORN TOOK HOME her first Grammy a few months ago when "I Remember Miles" won for best jazz vocal performance. It was Horn's beautifully conceived tribute to one of her first mentors, Miles Davis, who drew the singer/pianist to New York in the early '60s. Now Horn, one of the most acclaimed singers in jazz, is helping introduce another means of remembrance--the Buddy, an inexpensive device that offers women a visual monthly reminder to perform a breast self-examination. To bring attention to the Buddy--which will cost about $10--the Shirley Horn Trio will perform at a benefit hosted by television news anchors Andrea Roane and Jim Vance, with proceeds benefiting the National Cancer Institute for Breast Cancer Research and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, National Race for the Cure.
Saturday at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th St NW. Reception with dancing from 8 to 9:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 10. Tickets are $50 and available at Ticketmaster at 202-432-7328.
FOOTWORKS PERCUSSIVE DANCE ENSEMBLE is based in Annapolis, but this high-caliber group--which performs Appalachian clogging and Irish step dancing, among other hard-hitting styles--has become so popular on the touring circuit that you hardly see them in this area anymore. The group makes a guest appearance next weekend as part of "100 Feet of Rhythm," the annual concert of the local student tap group Tappers With Attitude. Also on the bill will be Step Afrika!, a Washington-based dance troupe that mixes South African dance traditions with the stepping routines of African American fraternities and sororities.
At Duke Ellington School of the Arts, 3500 R St. NW. Saturday at 8 p.m. $15; $10 ages 12 and under. 301-495-0395.
CAPTION: Christopher Hogwood, bringing in the Mozart.
CAPTION: The hard-stepping Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble.