THE SAN FRANCISCO BALLET is a collection of some of the most interesting dancers in America today, so it's appropriate that the company will bring Jerome Robbins's 1969 masterpiece "Dances at a Gathering," a work for 10 soloists, to the Kennedy Center for its week-long season. "Dances" spawned dozens of imitations -- all those ballets with women in filmy dresses and men in poet shirts mooning around to Chopin piano pieces were choreographed in its wake -- but the original is much richer and more daring, and it's rarely performed. Only the New York City Ballet (for which the ballet was created), London's Royal Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet have danced the work, and it hasn't been seen in Washington since 1979.
The repertory also includes two Balanchine ballets ("Ballo della Regina," a virtuoso romp to music of Verdi, and "Serenade") and three new works, one by modern dance master Mark Morris and two by company director Helgi Tomasson. Dancers to watch, drawn to SFB from all over the world, include Lorna Feijdo (Cuba), Gonzalo Garcia (Spain), Sherri LeBlanc (United States), Muriel Maffre (France), Yuri Possokhov (Ukraine), Yuan Yuan Tan (China), Pierre-Francois Vilanoba (France), Vanessa Zahorian (United States) -- and at least a dozen others.
-- Alexandra Tomalonis
At the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tuesday-Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (except on Thanksgiving), Saturday and next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. $26-$65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org
IT'S OFTEN NOT FUN to be a young woman in the Third World, but one place where it's especially awful is Juarez, Mexico. In that city, more than 250 women have been kidnapped, raped and murdered since 1993. The story of these disappearances is told in "Senorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman," a documentary directed by Lourdes Portillo, which will be shown tomorrow night to honor the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. A panel composed of mothers of some of the victims will assemble after the screening. Proceeds will benefit Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, a victims' aid group from Juarez.
-- Stephen Hunter
At Visions Cinema, 1927 Florida Ave. NW. Tomorrow at 7 p.m. $10; $8 for seniors and students. Call 202-544-0200, Ext. 482, or visit www.aiusa.org/women
IT OUGHT to be worth the trip to Baltimore to catch baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in a work that might have been written for him -- Modest Mussorgsky's chilling "Songs and Dances of Death." Indeed, the entire program the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will present this weekend is of enormous interest to Russophiles, containing Mussorgsky's luminous prelude to "Khovanshchina" and the rarely heard Symphony No. 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich, often interpreted as a musical portrait of Stalin. Yuri Temirkanov will conduct, and he knows the turf.
-- Tim Page
At Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. $26-$72. Call 410-783-8000 or visit www.baltimoresymphony.com
THIEVERY CORPORATION makes smooth, soothing and thoroughly chilled-out music that brings dry martinis and Bond babes to mind. A little bit trip-hop, a little bit jazz. Thievery's CEOs, Eric Hilton and Rob Garza, are much bigger and far better known in Europe, where they tour frequently, than they are in their home town: Washington. With a wonderfully languid new album out, "The Richest Man in Babylon," the duo play an altogether too rare show right here.
-- David Segal
At the 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. Saturday at 11:30 p.m. $20. Call 202-393-0930 or visit www.930.com