SAY THIS for conductor Valery Gergiev: He's taking the Kirov Orchestra into unexpected territory. What may be Russia's finest orchestra comes to town on Tuesday with -- surprise! -- Gustav Mahler's angst-ridden Symphony No. 9, a late exemplar of a proud Viennese tradition. Mahlerphiles will have to be there, of course -- few composers attract such a passionate audience. At the very least, it ought to be interesting -- and exciting.
-- Tim Page
At the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tuesday at 8 p.m. $30-95. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
TWO LOCAL ENTITIES are joining forces in a concert with a point of view. "A Celebration of Black Choreographers" unites choreographer Gesel Mason and the group CityDance Ensemble, headed by Paul Emerson. Mason will be performing solos created by Bebe Miller and Andrea E. Woods, and CityDance will perform works by local choreographers Alvin Mayes, Adrain Bolton and Vanessa Williamson, as well as a new work by Mason.
-- Sarah Kaufman
At Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., next Sunday at 4 p.m. $18; $14 students, seniors, members and artists; $6 ages 17 and younger. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
SHORTS, OFTEN the work of aspiring feature moviemakers, usually turn up at film festivals. But a series of nine mini-movies, all of them Oscar nominees, will be playing all week at Visions. The international showcase includes two American shorts, one featuring Mike and Sulley of "Monsters, Inc." and the other introducing the animated inhabitants of the planet Glorf. Other countries provide more sober fare. Australia deals with apartheid, Poland with spiritual quests and Germany with the nature of mankind. And from France comes a primer on picking up chicks.
-- Rita Kempley
At Visions Cinema/Bistro/Lounge, 1927 Florida Ave. NW. For show times and ticket prices, call 202-667-0090 or visit www.visionsdc.com.
"FOOT FUNGUS cream! I draw the line at foot fungus cream!" yelped a member of the Datsuns when asked whether there was a product the band would refuse to endorse. That's another way of saying that this quartet isn't above anything because they're already so low. Ramones-style, each member of this New Zealand-based band -- Christian, Dolf, Matt and Phil -- has taken Datsun as a last name, and you can hear the influence of punk's first and glue-sniffingest family throughout the group's recently released self-titled debut. Rock's latest saviors keep it simple and stupid, loud and barely literate, with riffs that summon the memory of punk as well as '70s guitar pummelers like ZZ Top, the MC-5 and Ted Nugent. How serious are the Datsuns about all this homage? Listen to the beginning of "At Your Touch" and remember these two little words: cow bell.
-- David Segal
At the 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. Thursday at 10 p.m. $10. Call Call 202-393-0930 or visit www.930.com.