Metro Weekly

Dance: Ballet, Modern, International

Fall Arts Preview 2009


Doug Varone Dance
Doug Varone & Dancers

University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

Emio Greco/PC — In choreographer Emio Greco’s POPOPERA, acollaboration with composer Michael Gordon (Bang on a Can), seven brilliant dancers oscillate along the seam between music and movement, based on the structure of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Contains adult themes and nudity; not recommended for children under 18 (9/24-25)

Daniel Burkholder/The Playground — This group joins with Arachne Aerial Arts, Coyaba Dance Theater and Devi Dance Theater to revisit My Ocean is Never Blue, a piece drawing on the traditions of African and Indian dance and music, and incorporating aerial feats but wrapped within a contemporary dance vocabulary (10/8-9)

Take Five: Dana Tai Soon Burgess & CompanyExploring the Hyphen: Multifaceted America and the Creative Process, an exploration of Asian-American identity through the use of inspiring images from video pioneer Nam June Paik (10/13)

April Gruber and Vannia Ibarguen — These two UMD MFA candidates present their thesis works, with Gruber exploring the noble crane in Birds of a Feather, while Ibarguen uses technology to reach dancers in remote locations all while exploring through dance the idea of keeping in touch across distances (10/22-23)

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company — Known for her innovative collaborative processes, choreographer Margaret Jenkins has infused Other Suns with the creative energies of dancers from China’s Guangdong Modern Dance Company along with her own company members (10/29-30)

Step Afrika! — This 15-year-old company focuses on stepping, an art form born at African-American fraternities and based in African traditions (11/12-13)

27th annual Choreographer’s Showcase — The center partners once again with Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to present outstanding contemporary dance from the region (1/30/10)

Doug Varone & Dancers — The program pairs lyrical and lush movement with the music of contemporary masters: Lux, a work for the full company with music by Philip Glass; Egalite, duets set to music by John Adams; and Varone’s newest work, Alchemy, inspired in part by Daniel Pearl, the American-Jewish reporter murdered in Pakistan in 2002 (2/5-2/6/10)

Gesel Mason — Through dance, personal stories and video images, Women, Sex, & Desire: Sometimes You Feel Like a Ho’, Sometimes You Don’t challenges pre-programmed cultural assumptions and reflects the struggle, humor and pleasure humans encounter as sexual beings. Contains nudity, adult themes and language; not recommended for children under 18 (3/25-3/26/10)



Concert for Peace featuring Alif Laila — This annual concert commemorates Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (10/4, venue TBA)

Alarmel Valli, the award-winning Bharata Natyam danseuse (10/23, Lincoln Theatre)

Madhavi Mudgal, the award-winning Odissi danseuse (10/24, Lincoln Theatre)

Leela Samson, the award-winning Bharata Natyam danseuse (10/24, Lincoln Theatre)

Dreams— Dakshina performs this piece by Anna Sokolow along with other award-winning works (11/20, Baltimore Theatre Project)


3225 Eighth St. NE

UniversesLive From the Edge showcases the ensemble’s special brand of ”fusion theater” that evolves from poetic language of childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry and theater, hip-hop and gospel (9/19-20)

Tehreema Mitha Dance Company — This company’s highly athletic and theatrical style blends both Indian and Western music and dance (9/26-27)

Nejla Yatkin/NY2DanceDancing with the Berlin Wall asks us to reflect upon what the wall and its removal meant to the Western world in its broadest sense (10/3-4)

Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company — The new Island is a groundbreaking multi-media dance in the round, telling the story of Asian immigrants trying to enter America through Angel Island, Calif., in the early 20th century (10/9-11)

El Teatro de Danza de Contemporanea de El Salvador — This company, founded by artistic director Miya Hisaka Silva, presents powerful and elegant contemporary, classical and indigenous repertory reflecting on poignant Central American issues with an expressive, passionate and exuberant style (10/17-18)

Laura Schandelmeier & Stephen Clapp The Loving Project: E-Race is an interactive dance performance exploring interracial marriages and non-traditional partnerships in historical and present-day contexts (10/24-25)

Aysha Upchurch: Life, Rhythm, Move Project — The award-winning D.C.-based ensemble, which combines hip-hop and other dance forms with spoken word, presents new works by Upchurch and guest choreographers at its first season opener here (11/7-8)

Diallo Sumbyr — In The Greatest Hip Hop Cover Story Ever Told, Sumbyr journeys through the life of hip-hop from birth to its omnipresent present. Parental advisory: explicit lyrics (11/21-22)

Carla & Company — Founding director Carla Perlo shares the miracles that happen daily at Dance Place as the dancers and technical staff change the studio into the theater, rehearsal into performance. New works include Transparency, Songs From My Youth (Dances for Daddy) and The Perfect World, a collaboration with the Dance Place Step Team (12/5-6)

Lesole Maine Dance Projects — New work Nna part mixes elements of African ritual with various styles of African-American-generated step, while Without a Home explores the life of kids in the streets of Johannesburg and here in the U.S. (12/12-13)

Kwanzaa Celebration — Coyaba Dance Theater performs in celebration of the holiday (12/19-20)

Cynthia Oliver/ CoCo Dance Theater Rigidigidim De Bamba De: Ruptured Calypso reveals the nature of calypso as an agent of Afro-Anglo Caribbean identity across geographical, national and aesthetic borders (2/27-2/28/10)

EDGEWORKS Dance Theater — Led by founder and award-winning choreographer Helanius J. Wilkins, the city’s premier all-male company of mostly black men celebrates its ninth anniversary season performing an evening of new and signature works including In Progress: Traveling (2009) and a sneak peek of Trigger (3/13-3/14/10)

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company — The company presents an evening of dance featuring Bharata Natyam, modern dance and fusion works (5/1-5/2/10)

Dance Africa 2010 — This 23rd annual festival celebrates the dance and music of the African diaspora while honoring traditional heritage and its transformation into contemporary forms (6/5-6/6/10)

Sharna Fabiano Tango Company — Inspired by authentic tango aesthetics and social themes, the company explores the deep nostalgia, intimacy and longing inherent to the form while challenging gender roles as women and men exchange following and leading (8/7-8/8/10)


4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Va.

Richard Alston Dance Company — One of the largest and most prominent contemporary-dance companies in Great Britain performs some of Alston’s latest pieces as well as some of his most seminal works (10/10)

MOMIX — In Best of MOMIX, this acrobatic dance company known for works of delightful inventiveness and physical beauty presents a collection of mesmerizing pieces of dance movement (10/31)

Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company — A renowned folk ensemble known for its masterful dance prowess (11/7)

Circo Aereo — This Finnish ”New Circus” company mixes time-honored circus arts, such as juggling and aerial work, with innovative cabaret theater, masterful movement and charming humor (11/8)

Mark Morris Dance Group — One of today’s most highly esteemed choreographers and his company an international dance phenomenon, Morris presents V as well as two Washington-area premieres: Visitation, which is set to Beethoven, and Empire Garden, set to Charles Ives (2/5-2/6/10)

Garth Fagan Dance — The Tony Award-winning choreographer for Broadway’s The Lion King, Fagan blends ballet, modern and Afro-Caribbean movements (4/10/10)



Travel Tales Too — A concert recalling dances from the past 12 years (11/7-8, Gunston Theatre One, Arlington)

The Floor is Sticky — Dances driven by poetry, spoken word and theater (12/12-13, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)

Mint Condition — Performances by dancers ages 20 through 60 (1/23-1/24/10, The Athenaeum, Alexandria)

Of Bones & Bridges — Tension and connection between humanity and the natural world (2/27-2/28/10, Source)

Outside/In (4/10-4/11/10, Woolly Mammoth)



Inside/Out Anniversary Performance — Celebrating 33 years of serving the greater Washington area, this dance center leaps out of the studio and onto the stage to present its annual dance concert, where arts and community come together (10/17, Atlas Performing Arts Center)

Dance Project Fall 2009 – A Choreography Showcase — This unique bi-annual event offers opportunities to witness cutting-edge and original works presented by novice and established choreographers (12/5, Jack Guidone Theater)


2700 F St. NW

Pilobolus — The 38-year-old company, known for a contemporary dance style verging on gymnastics, presents several pieces, including Darkness and Light, a collaboration with puppeteer Basil Twist (10/3-4, Eisenhower)

Keigwin + Company — Director Larry Keigwin and company are known for provocative, witty dances such as Elements (Water, Fire, Earth and Air) (10/22-23, Terrace)

Pennsylvania Ballet — The Philadelphia-based company presents the D.C. debut of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (11/24-29, Opera House)

New York City Ballet — The company will perform a mixed repertory, including Mozartiana, Dances at a Gathering and Liebeslieder Waltzer (12/9-13, Opera House)

American Ballet Theatre — ”America’s Ballet Company” returns with a program of mixed repertory and a full-length production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet (1/26-1/31/10, Opera House)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — Judith Jamison carries on the Ailey legacy of remarkable vision and extraordinary artistry (2/2-2/7/10, Opera House)

Mariinsky Ballet — As part of the center’s two-week ”Focus on Russia,” the St. Petersburg classical dance company presents Sergiev’s 1952 The Sleeping Beauty (2/9-2/14/10, Opera House)

Bolshoi Ballet — As part of ”Focus on Russia,” the Moscow classical dance company presents its former director Yuri Grigorovich’s Spartacus (2/16-2/21/10, Opera House)

Susan Farrell Ballet — Presenting two mixed repertory programs, including Balanchine’s Haieff Divertimento and Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun (3/3-3/7/10, Eisenhower)

Shen Wei Dance Arts — Performing Re- (I, II, III), a triptych featuring choreographic journeys to Tibet, Angkor Wat and the New Silk Road (4-29-4/30/10, Eisenhower)

Compañía Nacional de Danza — One of Europe’s premier contemporary dance companies makes its Washington debut performing Multiplicity: Bach, a tribute to the composer (5/14-5/15/10, Eisenhower)

Ballet Across America II — The biannual program explores the breadth and depth of the art form and the nation’s various companies, including Tulsa Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre among others (6/15-6/20/10, Opera House)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, Md.

LADO — Celebrating 60 years, the Croatian music and dance company features 14 live musicians, 34 dancers and more than 1,200 costumes (10/9-10)

Circo Aereo — This Franco-Finnish circus, known for its daring and beautifully choreographed movement and striking visual imagery, performs Espresso on its first American tour (10/25)

Louis van Amstel— Television’s Dancing with the Stars champion van Amstel directs and choreographs Ballroom with a Twist, a dazzling production featuring dancers from that hit reality-TV competition as well as So You Think You Can Dance (11/20-21)

CityDance — This modern dance company’s new piece by artistic director Paul Gordon Emerson captures the energy and emotion of contemporary dance (12/4-5)



Don Quixote — The ballet explores the joyous power of love and devotion in this tale of passion and comedy, with new staging by Anna-Marie Holmes (10/14-18, Eisenhower Theater)

The Nutcracker — Artistic Director Septime Webre re-imagines this classic with George Washington as the Nutcracker and England’s King George II as the Rat King (12/18-27, Warner Theatre)

WAM! (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) — The childhood of the prolific composer is chronicled in this witty, athletic ballet, with vocalists from the In Series (1/23-1/24/10, Atlas Performing Arts Center)

The Great Gatsby — Septime Webre re-imagines the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic set in the “roaring ’20s Jazz Age,” with a score by Billy Novick (2/24-2/28/10, Eisenhower)

Shoogie, The Tail of My Wiener Dog — Septime Webre returns to the stage for the first time in 15 years in this hilarious nod to his Texas upbringing (4/21-4/25/10, The Washington Ballet’s England Studio)

Genius3 — The third installment of this series, focused on dance masters, features Twyla Tharp’s witty Push Comes To Shove, Mark Morris’s fluid Pacific, Nacho Duato’s passionate Cor Perdut and George Balanchine’s modernist masterpiece The Four Temperaments (5/19-5/23/10, Harman Hall)



VelocityDC Dance Festival — Modeled after the highly successful Fall for Dance festival in New York, this new annual festival features world-class artists and dance companies presented in a fast-paced gala format. Among participating organizations are The Washington Ballet, CityDance Ensemble, EDGEWORKS, Gesel Mason and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (10/2-3, Harman Hall)

Sweet Honey In The Rock w/Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — This Grammy-winning D.C.-based gospel a cappella group celebrates 35 years in a performance with the Ailey troupe of Go in Grace (10/23, Warner)

Ron K. Brown and Evidence — The Brooklyn-based dance company fuses African dance with contemporary movements and spoken word (4/30-5/1/10, Harman Hall)