Metro Weekly

Dance: Fall Arts Preview 2014

Contemporary, ballet and other dance performances in DC, Maryland and Virginia

Photo by Todd Franson
Photography by Todd Franson

Now in its sixth year, the Velocity DC Dance Festival, held at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall, has become fall’s leading showcase of locally grown dance, featuring a veritable who’s who of D.C. dance doyens. But you hardly have to wait another month if you want to see the riches of D.C. dance. In fact, this weekend there’s the grand reopening celebration of the city’s leading dance venue — Dance Place. And nearly every weekend offers more dance to see at other celebrated institutions in the region, whether Strathmore, the Atlas, the Clarice Smith Center or, especially, the Kennedy Center — which, in addition to hosting dance companies of national and international import, frequently presents free performances through its Local Dance Commissioning Project. In other words, you can get your dance fix pretty much year-round these days.


McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave.
Mclean, Va.

  • Flamenco Vivo/Carlota Santana — “The Soul of Flamenco” (11/1)
  • Christopher K. Morgan & Artists — The Alden’s resident contemporary dance company, led by its gay namesake, presents a mixed-repertory with two world premieres including Inconstancy, a duet that asks if one can ever really be satisfied with what one has (11/14-15)


1501 East Jefferson St.
Rockville, Md.

  • Vicky ShickEverything You See is a collaboration between choreographer and three designers in which a group of 10 dancers perform two dances separately but simultaneously, reflecting the competing senses of commotion and intimacy in modern life (9/19-20)
  • Aszure Barton & Artists — Hailed by Mikhail Baryshnikov as one of today’s “most innovative choreographers,” Barton and her collective artists present Awáa, a piece meant to celebrate human experience and universal spirit (10/3-4)
  • Ivy Baldwin Dance — 2014 Guggenheim Fellow Ivy Baldwin offers Oxbow, a world-premiere evening-length dance exploring loss, love and loneliness and including original music by Justin Jones and a sculptural landscape set by installation artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen (10/17-18)
Vertigo Dance Company
Vertigo Dance Company
  • Vertigo Dance Company — This Jerusalem-based company performs Noa Wertheim’s Reshimo, which explores passages between endless motion and a defined moment, and is named for a Kabbalistic notion about flickering impressions (10/24-25)
  • Neil Greenberg — Prior to its December premiere in New York choreographer presents This, a new ADI Incubator work with designers Steve Roden on sound and Joe Levasseur on lights exploring the human desire to always make meaning (11/14-15)
  • Ballet ADI — ADI’s resident company returns with new works by its leader Runqiao Du, erstwhile a dancer with the Washington Ballet and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and guest choreographer Loni Landon, a Juilliard graduate whose work the New York Times says is “full of detail and surprises” (11/21-22)


1333 H St. NE

  • Oasis Dance Company — “El Passaporte” is company’s fourth annual gala featuring cocktails, dancers from all over the east coast, a runway fashion event plus awards and recognition to community leaders for distinguished service to LGBT youth (9/21)
  • Gin Dance Company — “East Meets West” with three new pieces including Face to Face, exploring technology and social media’s impact on identities and relationships (10/25)
  • Step Afrika! Magical Musical Holiday Step Show — D.C.’s internationally-known stepping company presents its annual interactive celebration of the holidays with furry friends from the animal kingdom, including DJ Frosty the Snowman (12/11-22)


1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • An Evening of Indian Dance — Wolf Trap presents classical and folk dancers and musicians in collaboration with the Indian Dance Educators Association (10/18)


CityDance Studio Theater at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • S.J. Ewing — CityDance OnStage Ignite Artist presents Australia Home Land, a free evening of dance with students from CityDance DREAM and members of her own eponymous company exploring home (9/21, Hill Center)
  • Jason Garcia Ignacio — Another CityDance OnStage Ignite Artist’s original work inspired by neo-impressionist art is presented in an impressionist art bastion, the Phillips Collection — accompanied by classical guitarist Piotr Pakhomkin, a Strathmore artist in residence (11/20, Phillips Collection)
  • Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras — A collaboration with CityDance offering a lively evening of dance and music (12/7, Music Center at Strathmore)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • NextNow Fest — Among dance highlights at this all-genres festival to kick off the season are performances by Australia’s daredevil aerialists the Fruits, Nichole Canuso Dance Company and NextDANCE, featuring some of the school’s finest choreographers (9/11-14)
When Wolves Come In
When Wolves Came In
  • Kyle Abraham’s Abraham.In.Motion: When Wolves Came In — This boundary-breaking gay choreographer presents three new works with his company reflecting on freedom, the Emancipation Proclamation and the connection between the Civil War and Civil Rights (11/8)
  • UMD Faculty Dance Concert — Dance Rhythm/Sound and Space (11/13, 11/14, 11/16)
  • Faustin Linyekula: Tales of Home, Congo/Mozambique — A two-evening program of intimately scaled dance theater from this choreographer featuring original music by Obilo drummers and guitarist Flamme Kapaya (11/21)
  • Delta Chi Xi Honorary Dance Fraternity: New Dances (12/11-12)
  • 32nd Annual Choreographers’ Showcase — A co-presentation with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and featuring some of the region’s most talented emerging choreographers (1/25/15)

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  • Malavika Sarukkai — A short performance, a reception and a screening of Sumantra Ghosal’s film The Unseen Sequence, about the unique voice and contributions of this choreographer to the field of dance and particularly the style of bharatanatyam (10/3, University of District of Columbia)
  • Shijith Nambiar and Company w/Parvathy Menon — The Indian Embassy and the ICCR co-present a performance featuring abstract works as well as a celebration of “Gandhi’s Legacy” in promoting peace (10/4, UDC)
  • Spirals: Anita Ratnam, Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan — A convergence of dance, poetry and music among artists who are longtime collaborators but appear together for the first time; dynamic dance duo Renjith Babu and Vijna Vasudevan close out the evening (11/6, Shakespeare Theatre)
  • Ananda Shankar Jayant and Alif Laila — One of India’s leading classical dancers, choreographers and dance scholars performs the bharatanatyam-based Moving from Myth to Abstraction after an opening performance by a great sitar player and Dakshina friend and featured artist (11/7, Harman Hall)
  • Shanta and VP Dhananjayan — Pioneers in the dance world, with their own distinct style of bharatanatyam, perform Light on the Path (11/8, Harman Hall)


3225 8th St. NE

  • Grand Re-Opening Gala Celebration & Performance — After extensive renovation and expansion, Dance Place celebrates its re-opening with performances by Coyaba Dance Theater’s Drum Core, PearsonWidrig Dance Theater, a collaborative piece choreographed by Shannon Quinn and Sylvia Soumah for ReVision dance company, and a commissioned work choreographed by Dance Place’s Co-Director Deborah Riley in honor of Howard and Geraldine Polinger (9/13)
  • Culture Shock — Dance Place Company in Residence corrals all its troupes to show off its world-renowned work in groundbreaking hip-hop performance (9/20-21)
  • Deviated Theatre — Local premiere of creature, an original apocalyptic fairytale that comes to life in a mix of acting, aerials and contemporary dance (9/27-28)
  • Hind Benali’s Fleur d’Orange — Moroccan choreographer/dancer offers new work Identity/Identité, a collaboration with Franco-Moroccan hip-hop dancer Soufiane Karim and original music by Mohcine Imrham, documenting Morocco’s warp and weft as a crossroads of past and present and Africa and Europe (10/4)
  • Pearsonwidrig DanceTheater — The premiere of Kré Kré Kré, set to the music of Korean contemporary artist Uh Uh Boo, in a program also featuring dance/spoken-word poem Take Me With You with original music by Michael Wall (10/11-12)
  • Daniel Burkholder/The PlayGround (10/18, Monroe St. Market)
  • Dance Box Theater & force/collision — A joint program featuring Stephen Clapp’s solo work Windswept examining climate change, and Jarman (all this maddening beauty), John Moletress’s collaboration with playwright Caridad Svich, inspired by queer filmmaking icon Derek Jarman (10/19)
Companhia Urbana de Danca
Companhia Urbana de Danca
  • Companhia Urbana de Danca — Brazilian dance sensation offers a bold blend of contemporary Brazilian dance and hip-hop (11/9)
  • ClancyWorks Dance Company — Premiere of Adrienne Clancy’s Dream Catchers plus additional works by guest artists of company known for inventive and daring partner work (11/15-16)
  • SerendibDance/Assanga Domask — Celebrating the ancient heritage of Sri Lanka and its folk dances in A Single Cycle of the Sun (11/22-23)
  • Fieldwork Showing — A showing of works-in-progress from all artistic disciplines and points of view and created through the peer-to-peer program The Field (12/3)
  • Urban Dance Theater Festival — A festival portraying the holistic and global representation of hip-hop dance culture, featuring Ariston “B-Boy ReMind” Ripoyla from Stockton, Calif.’s Style Elements Crew, Sara “Lil Flex” Hirn from Helsinki, Finland, G-Force from the Memphis Jookin and D.C.’s own Urban Artistry, whose Junious “House” Brickhouse is festival curator (12/6-7)
  • Kwanzaa Celebration — Coyaba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater and special guests celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa (12/13-14)


3333 14th St. NW

  • The 10th annual Flamenco festival includes Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company — Performance by festival curator Edwin Aparicio and his company (11/7-9)
  • Mariana Collado and Carlos Chamorro — Dancers from Madrid’s Fundacion Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas will be accompanied by talented cantaores and musicians (11/13-16)
  • Flamenco en Familia — Members of the Spanish Dance Society and other local flamenco artists will offer free interactive demonstrations with castanets, fans and zapateo for children and the entire family (11/15)



  • Cute Animals and Stop, Drop & Roll — Free outdoor performance of two programs, one a project with dogs, the other featuring two groups in a sequenced plan of competitive interaction and random opposition (9/20, Outdoors at Arlington’s Penrose Square)
  • The Big Meow – Adapted from the book by Elizabeth Spires (10/26, Alexandria’s The Athenaeum)
  • Third Thursday: A Niche in the Hall — A performance traveling through all three floors, cubbyholes and alcoves in dialogue with the art and architecture of the building (11/13, Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Arts Center)


3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, Md.

  • Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company — Celebrating the 40th anniversary of this revolutionary company that helped pioneer the concept of site-specific work (9/17)
  • Daniel Burkholder/The PlayGround — Two performances as part of a series of hands-on workshops (9/27, 10/18)



  • Fresh II (9/20)
  • H Street NE Festival (9/20)
  • Barracks Row Festival (9/27)
  • Youth Dance Ensemble Kickoff (9/27, Jack Guidone Theatre)
  • Teelin Dance Company (10/11, Guidone)
  • dissonance dance (10/18, Guidone)
  • Congressional Chorus & Youth Dance Ensemble (11/15)
  • Heart of Hip Hop (12/9, Atlas)
  • Fall Youth Company Concert (12/13, Atlas)


2700 F St. NW

  • Students from Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute — Through the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage programming, demonstrations of kung fu and capoeira from students of comprehensive course of traditional martial arts training (9/13, Millennium Stage)
  • Sivam, Inc.– Utsav: Celebrating India’s Maestros of Music and Dance (9/19-21, Terrace Theater)
  • Ceibadanza — A performance by this Ecuadorian contemporary dance company (9/24, Millennium Stage)
  • Arturo Garcia’s Danzante — The Arlington-based dancer/choreographer and his company perform Here & Now (9/25-26, Millennium Stage)
  • Martha Clarke — Adapted from Colette’s classic story of forbidden love, Cheri combines theater, live music and dance with ballet stars Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, actress Amy Irving and pianist Sarah Rothenberg (10/1-4, Terrace)
  • Beijing Dance TheaterWild Grass is a three-part performance by renowned choreographer Wang Yuanyuan inspired by poems of Lu Xun (10/22-25, Terrace)
  • Carmen De LavalladeAs I Remember It is an intimate multimedia portrait of legendary artist weaving together dance, personal writings and film (10/29-30, Terrace)
  • Sutra Dance Theatre of Malaysia — Kalanidhi Dance presents this company performing the Odissi dance Krishna, Love Re-Invented (11/9, Terrace)
  • Batsheva Dance Company — Israel’s acclaimed company returns with its director Ohad Naharin’s newest work, Sadeh21, created in collaboration with 18 dancers in a style he calls “Gaga” (11/18-19, Opera House)
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
  • The Suzanne Farrell Ballet — The Kennedy Center’s resident company offers three Balanchine works plus Jerome Robbins’s The Concert (or the Perils of Everybody) (11/28-30, Opera House)
  • Ballet West — In its 51st year this Utah-based company comes to the Kennedy Center to stage its version, developed by original artistic director William Christensen, of the seasonal classic set to Tchaikovsky (12/10-14, Opera House)


Old Mill High and Middle Schools
Millersville, Md.

  • Various dance practitioners lead workshops and perform at this 42nd annual festival, featuring all styles of dance, from ballet to tap to hip-hop to Pilates (10/31-11/2)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Exploring Indian Dance — A performance from three local dance companies and schools, Natyabhoomi School of Dance, Lasya Dance Academy and Nrityalaya (9/20, CityDance Studio)
A Very Electric Christmas
A Very Electric Christmas
  • Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas — As seen on America’s Got Talent, this full-body puppet-based company creates worlds of endless possibilities with costumes made of light (11/29, Music Center)
  • Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker – Now in its third decade of touring North America, this company’s cast of 40 astounding dancers relate the classic Christmas story with unique Russian zest (12/14, Music Center)
  • Step Afrika! — Celebrating 20 years as the world’s first professional company dedicated to the percussive dance tradition of stepping (1/18/15, Music Center)


Harman Hall
610 F St. NW

  • A special partnership with Dance/MetroDC, the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Washington Performing Arts and host organization the Shakespeare Theatre Company, this festival returns for its sixth year of presenting world-class dance of various styles — all of it stemming from artists in the Washington region (10/9-11)



  • Masterworks by Kylian/van Manen/Wheeldon — The Washington Ballet opens its season with the company premiere of striking masterpieces by three of Europe’s most powerful ballet geniuses, including Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, Hans van Manen’s 5 Tangos and Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia (10/22-26, Harman Hall)
  • The Nutcracker — Every year Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre offers his own twist on the family favorite, setting it in D.C. with George Washington as the titular figure and King George III as the Rat King (11/29-30, THEARC Theater; 12/4-28, Warner Theatre)



  • Dance Theatre of Harlem — WPA partners with CityDance for this annual series of performances by this historic ensemble, guided by founding member and former dancer Virginia Johnson (10/17-19, Harman Hall)

For more Fall Arts Preview, including Film, Stage, Music, Museums and TV, please click here.

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