Metro Weekly

Dance: Spring Arts Preview 2016

Ballet, contemporary and ethnic dance performances in Washington, D.C, Maryland and Virginia

The Washington Ballet_Bowie & Queen - Corey Landolt (L) and Daniel Roberge by Dean Alexander

The Washington Ballet Bowie & Queen – Corey Landolt (L) & Daniel Roberge by Dean Alexander

Wolf Trap toasts the 20th anniversary of River Dance, while the Kennedy Center presents works by two River Dance artists as part of its toast to Irish arts and culture. But don’t worry — there are plenty of alternatives in dance this season, including two separate adaptations of Carmina Burana at the Kennedy Center — one from the Washington Ballet, the other from the Gallim Dance Company as the invited guest of the Gay Men’s Chorus. Meanwhile, Dance Place will present new works by two noted gay choreographers performed with their eponymous companies, Christopher K. Morgan and Sean Dorsey. Shawn Short’s Dissonance Dance Theatre will offer its fourth annual festival focused on the black LGBT experience at Joy of Motion’s Guidone Theater. Yet another gay-originating highlight is bittersweet twice over: Coming mere months after David Bowie’s death, Bowie & Queen effectively serves as Septime Webre’s swan song as head of the Washington Ballet. Talk about exiting on a high note.


McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave.
Mclean, Va.

  • Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — A playful parody of traditional, classical ballet from the New York troupe (4/7)


1501 East Jefferson St.
Rockville, Md.

  • Jane Comfort & Company — A world premiere focused on the dance of humanity as people go about their daily, urban lives (3/18-19)
  •  Pam Tanowitz & Ballet ADI — A shared evening of new contemporary work by award-winning choreographer and ADI’s Runqiao Du (4/1-2)
  •  Steve Paxton — Bound is a dance performance composed of vignettes, including unchoreographed dance remarks, set to eclectic music and images that are not immediately logical (4/15-16)
  •  Brian Brooks Moving Company — everythingatonceallatthesametime is a sculptural installation designed and constructed by Brooks with lighting designed by Joe Levasseur (4/29-30)


Fredgren Studio Theatre

3443 Carlin Springs Rd.
Falls Church, Va.

  • Spring Repertory Performance — Virginia troupe offers four works in this year’s repertory: the celebrated third act, “The Kingdom of the Shades,” from the 19th Century ballet La Bayadere; the neo-classical gem Concerto Grosso #1 by Tyrone Brooks, formerly of the Dance Theatre of Harlem; BalletNova’s associate artistic director Constance Walsh’s Gaites Parissiene, an original, can-can-inclusive work set to Offenbach; and excerpts from GinDance Artistic Director Shu-Chen Cuff’s Lost and Found (5/20-22, Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, Arlington)
  •  Artist-in-Residence Showcase — Performances by Chamber Dance Project, GinDance Company, Karen Reedy Dance, DanceArtTheater and Synetic Theater (4/30)
  •  Year-End Student Performance — Pre-professional program junior, senior and conservatory divisions perform (June, Washington-Lee High School)
  •  In-Studio Youth and Teen Performance (June)
  •  In-Studio Adult Performance (June)


45 West Preston St.
Baltimore, Md.

  • Phantasmagoria Orlando — In Wicked Little Tales evocative Florida troupe retells popular horror stories, from Poe to Dickens, using dance, live music, stage combat and large-scale puppetry (3/17-20)
  •  Air Dance Bernasconi — Breath and Air is a collaboration between aerial artist Jayne Bernasconi and animation artist Lynn Tomlinson, creating spectacular visuals of flying with ease (3/25-26)
  •  Vincent E. Thomas/VTDance — A talented cast explore themes of masculinity, life, love, social awareness and humanity in the wide-ranging In The Company of Men (4/1-3)
  •  The Collective — The Art of Movement is a new work presented with special guests ClancyWorks Dance Company focused on the elements of motion that have shaped dance as an art form (4/7-10)
  •  Deep Vision Dance Company — Largely inspired by Deepak Chopra, the ambitious Matter, Energy, Human explores the connections among quantum physics, metaphysical theory and the human experience, all set to a score by collaborators Timothy Nohe and Inverse Square Trio (4/15-17)
  •  Isabelle Schad & Laurent Goldring — Inspired by an unfinished novella from Franz Kafka, Der Bau (The Burrow) is the latest in a series of influential visual art collaborations between the Berlin-based choreographer, who will perform the piece nude, and French artist (4/25-26)
  •  Mara Neimanis/In-Flight Theater — Swing (6/23-26)

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Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th St. NW

  • Bash in Bloom: Annual Benefit (3/12, Residence of the Ambassador of Colombia, 1520 20th St. NW)
  •  Ballet & Brass — Acclaimed, contemporary ballet company offers three very different world-premiere works in the program to its third season in D.C.: A hip-hop ballet from artist Victor Adebusola, accompanied by the band Brass Connection; A piece by young New York choreographer Jennifer Archibald, also with Brass Connection; and a work by artistic director Diane Coburn Bruning set to a score by Bryce Dessner of rock band the National and performed by a string quartet. Each performance features seven dancers and also contains a “Structured Improvisation” surprise and a performance by the rousing trio Flying Cloud Cotillion (6/23-26)


  • Pohaku – A world premiere, inspired by Morgan’s late cousin, Hawaiian hula master John Kaimikaua, and performed with hula master Elsie Kaleihulukea Ryder, classically trained electric cellist Wytold, projectionist Sareen Hairabedian, scenic designer Dalani Tanahy and lighting and technical designer Brian S. Allard (3/19-20, Dance Place)
  •  4th Annual Professional Summer Dance Intensive — Morgan and company dancers lead a two-week summer dance intensive for both pre-professional and professional dancers, culminating in a free performance, a re-staging of a work from the CKM&A Repertory (6/10, American Dance Institute)



  • Dreamscape Annual Gala — Annual dance spectacular benefiting CityDance’s Dream student program, co-presented with and directed by Rasta Thomas (5/7, Lincoln Theatre)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • Dynamic Dance Team: Rip The Floor — Annual hip-hop dance competition/showcase with a $500 grand prize (3/26)
  •  Shared Graduate Dance Concert (4/8-9)
  •  Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal — Company known for its radiant and expressive style exploring the creative side of contemporary dance, while firmly committed to classical aesthetics (5/5)
  •  UMOVES: Undergraduate Dance Concert (5/6-8)
  •  Delta Chi Xi Benefit Showcase — National dance fraternity concludes its annual conference with this showcase also featuring local guest artists and dance companies (5/22)


3225 8th St. NE

  • Master Class Series 2016 — Dance Place presents classes followed by discussion over light lunch with choreographers Cleo Parker Robinson (3/12), Christopher K. Morgan (3/16), Sean Dorsey (3/30), and Osnel Delgado and the Malpaso Dance Company (5/18)
  •  Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble — Denver-based international, cross-cultural organization rooted in African-American traditions celebrates its 45th anniversary season (3/12-13)
  •  Sean Dorsey Dance — The Missing Generation is a dance-theater work from this transgender-led San Francisco company that serves as a love letter to longtime survivors of the AIDS epidemic, those who experienced the loss of so many friends and loved ones (4/2-3)
  •  Dance Place Youth Festival — “No Bullying” is the theme to this year’s showcase of both pre-professional and professional local youth companies (4/9-10)
  •  Cuban Dance Social with DC Casineros — An evening of son, songo, salsa and more led by this company of community DJs and dancers (4/15, Edgewood Arts Center)
  •  Jody Oberfelder Projects — The Brain Piece from this New York troupe examines the overlap between the objectivity of science and the subjectivity of art in understanding how we perceive the world (4/16-17)
  •  Nejla Yasemin Yatkin Dance/NY2Dance — What Dreams May Come is a multi-media dance solo from this Chicago-based choreographer, exploring oppression, freedom, identity and anonymity (4/30-5/1)
  •  Fieldwork for Mixed Disciplines Showing — A works-in-progress showing for all artistic disciplines and points of view (5/4)
  •  Glade Dance Collective — New works choreographed by local company’s individual members, drawing inspiration from patients at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and students at Gallaudet University, among others (5/7-8)
  •  AXIS Dance Company — Oakland-based ensemble, one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative, featuring performers with and without disabilities (5/14-15)
  •  Dance Place’s NEXTgeneration Showcase — The talents of Dance Place’s Kids on the Move and Coyaba Academy’s students in African, ballet, tap, hip-hop and more (5/15, Hartke Theatre at Catholic University of America)
  •  Malpaso Dance Company — Ensemble from Cuba performs works by artistic director Osnel Delgado as well as Why You Follow by Ronald K. Brown and Bad Winter by Trey McIntyre (5/21-22)
  •  DanceAfrica, DC 2016 — Annual festival celebrating the dance and music of the African diaspora (6/4-5)
  •  New Releases Choreographers Showcase — Dance Place’s annually curated event of some of the best new works by both established and emerging artists alike (6/18)
  •  Light Switch Dance Theatre — Project-based company dedicated to multidisciplinary performances in nontraditional spaces (6/25-26)
  •  Kitchen Sink Fest — An evening of 50 fast-paced, one-minute pieces, juxtaposed with 10 meditative installation works, will emerge from collaborations between producer Ben Levine and some of D.C.’s most daring dance-makers, including Erica Reboller, Tia Nina, Sarah Beth Oppenheim and Hayley Cutler (7/30-31)
  •  Energizers Creative Arts Camp Concert 2016 — Showcasing the talent of students after a seven-week dance camp (8/4)
  •  S.J. Ewing & Dancers — Analog is a visually stunning, interactive performance of dance and computer-generated projections (8/13-14)


The Jack Guidone Theater
Joy of Motion Dance Center
5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Black to Silver: A Black LGBT Experience — A multidisciplinary arts festival, now in its fourth year, examining and exploring experiences and issues in the gay black community through new works by new and established choreographers, this year including a 30-minute work, Black to Silver: A Road to Self, about how love can complicate individual identity and self-regard (4/16-17)


Ira Aldridge Theater
2455 6th St. NW

  • Annual Spring Dance Concert — A dynamic and diverse program of dance works by nationally renowned guest artists and Howard University faculty members, performed by graduating dance students (4/9)



  • Mouse In House — Adapted from Elizabeth Spires’ book, The Mouse of Amherst (3/12, 3/19, Theatre on the Run, Arlington)
  •  Forty+ – Jane Franklin’s performing group of community-based dancers past age 40 (3/12, 3/19, Theatre on the Run; 4/14, Athenaeum, Alexandria)
  •  Wash Over You Part 1 and 2 — Travelers move along an unpredictable, serene yet powerful river, with many stopping places — though stopping and getting off the boat dryly and safely can be tricky (3/19, Theatre on the Run)
  •  The Charlotte Hollister Annual Gala — Annual Spring Benefit, with special guests and surprise performances, named in honor of board president Charlotte Hollister, who died last October (5/22, Arlington Arts Center)


3309 Bunker Hill Rd.
Mt. Rainier, Md.

  • Rhythm of the Night: Joe’s Annual Gala (3/19, Gateway Arts District, Mt. Rainier, Md.)
  •  Orange Grove Dance — Un castell built for two (4/1-2)
  •  Proving Ground — Gyre (4/8-9)
  •  NextLook: UpSpring Studio — Swing is a “performance-in-progress,” co-presented by UMD’s Clarice, in which community voices are helping shape the aerial choreography by Kirsty Little, Mara Neimanis and Alana Cole-Faber, all artists/instructors with UpSpring (4/11)
  •  Nootana — Looking Glass is an original dance drama, about a beautiful queen turned bad, and part of the fourth annual spring showcase of this D.C.-based Indian classical music and dance ensemble, led by Rishi Das (5/21)
  •  UpSpring Studio — Science/Fiction explores how individuals respond to the end of the world through movement utilizing aerial fabric, trapeze, poi and more (6/5)


Jack Guidone Theater
5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Classical Repertory Dance Ensemble — Adult ballet dancers of intermediate to advanced levels will perform (3/19-20)
  •  DNA Workshop: Gary Beauford — A master class from world-renowned hip-hop teacher, who led the dance troupe Culture Shock D.C. last decade, in a co-presentation with Fierce Collabo Dance Company (3/25)
  •  AU in Motion — American University’s student-run, choreographed and danced club offers Don’t Stop The Music (3/26-27)
  •  Winter Studio to Stage — Students in Joy of Motion’s Adult Dance Program culminate their studies in this performance (4/2-3)
  •  Shannon Dunne Dance 2016 — An evening of traditional Irish dance and music (4/9)
  •  Tappenstance — Striving to maintain and expand the art of tap dancing (4/23-24)
  •  H.Y.P.E. in Concert — A program exposing the history, technique and discipline of various street dance forms (5/7)
  •  Youth Dance Ensemble — A full-length concert by students in a pre-collegiate program with core classes in ballet, jazz and modern dance (5/14-15)
  •  Soles of Steel — Electrifying youth tap company (5/21)
  •  Nancy Havlik Dance Performance Group — An evening of new and recent choreography based in improvisation and centered on live music, including Honing/Home, a premiere dance exploring the nature of home and homelessness ((6/11)
  • Annual Youth Spring Recital (6/18-19)
  •  Spring Studio to Stage (6/25-26)
  •  Technique/Repertory and Hip Hop Performance Intensive Concert (7/16)
  •  Percussive Dance Project — Part of this center’s annual choreography series, introducing innovative works in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary and hip-hop, with one to be chosen as Audience Favorite (7/30)
  •  Step Ahead Concert — A summer arts experience for 50 D.C. teens, who choreograph and produce their own show (8/4, Atlas Performing Arts Center)
  •  Summer Studio to Stage (8/27-28)


American University
Greenberg Theatre
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Spring Dance Concert: Style and Pattern — Dance students, joined by special guest Baakari Wilder, perform works by Erin Foreman-Murray, Melanie George, Nicole McClam and guest artist Tiffanie Carson (4/8-9)



  • World Stages: Monica Bill Barnes & Company — New dance work Happy Hour invites audiences to have a drink, laugh at our collective failures and fall in love with our shortcomings (3/10-11, Terrace Gallery)
  •  Company E — Local eight-member ensemble stages an evening celebrating four generations of Polish contemporary choreography and classical music with Generations: Poland (3/16-17, Family Theater)
  •  Bowen McCauley Dance — Celebrated local contemporary dance company celebrates its 20th anniversary with a program that includes the world premiere of Ars Amatoria, a playful interpretation of ancient Roman poet Ovid’s writings about the arts of seduction and love, with a commissioned score by Larry Alan Smith (3/18-19, Terrace Theater)
  •  Ballet In The City: Kathryn Morgan — Cleveland-based presenter offers “Bloch’s Evening with Kathryn Morgan,” the ballerina whose tenure with the New York City Ballet was cut short for health reasons; her life story is told through various excerpts, including Balanchine’s Who Cares and Donald Garverick’s haunting The Red Shoes, re-imagined for the occasion (3/29-30, Terrace)
  •  Demo: Place with Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles — Adventurous performance derives from an international collaboration between Memphis Jookin’ dance pioneers and musicians including tabla player Sandeep Das, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, gaita player Cristina Pato, sheng player Wu Tong, cellist David Tele and multi-instrumentalist and singer Kate Davis (4/22-23, Terrace)
  •  Gallim Dance with GMCW: Carmina Burana — Acclaimed modern dance company from New York will present Andrea Miller’s new choreography to Carl Orff’s choral masterpiece, performed by presenting organization Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington joined by the New York Master Chorale (5/8, Concert Hall)
  •  Ireland 100: Celebrating A Century of Irish Arts & Culture: Colin Dunne — Out of Time is a multi-disciplinary solo show by Riverdance dancer/co-choreographer taking audiences on a journey of virtuosic dance, electronic sound manipulation, archival film footage and spoken word (5/20-21, Terrace)
  •  Paul Taylor Dance Company — Seminal choreographer continues to shape the homegrown American art form of modern dance and returns with his company for two all-Taylor programs, performed with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (5/25-28, Eisenhower Theater)
  •  Ireland 100: Jean Butler & Neil Martin — This Is An Irish Dance is a full-length duet between Riverdance dancer/co-choreographer and composing cellist, exploring the intimate ties of movement and music when created simultaneously (5/26-27, Terrace)
  •  Royal Swedish Ballet: Ek’s Juliet and Romeo — Venerated troupe returns with a bang, the North American premiere of Mats Ek’s provocative take on Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy, which is danced to Tchaikovsky and set in the stark, violent 21st Century and told from a feisty Juliet’s point of view (6/1-4, Opera)
  •  American College Dance Association: 2016 National College Dance Festival — A showcase of some of the finest dance works created at and selected by 31 participating dance schools and universities, presented in three distinct programs (6/9-11, African Lounge)


George Washington University
730 21st St. NW

  • Flamenco Festival: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia — Images: 20 commemorates the 20th anniversary of this important troupe, revisiting five of the most celebrated dances in its repertoire (3/12)
  •  Flamenco Festival: Rocio Molina — Spanish dancer at the forefront of modern flamenco explores her personal dance language combining flamenco with traditional bolero and Spanish classical dance in Danzaora y Vinatica (3/18)
  •  Bhangra Blowout 23: The Collegiate Championships — A national intercollegiate dance competition of high-energy style originating in Punjab, hosted by George Washington University’s South Asian Society (4/9)
  •  Gotan Tango — A concert of highlights of Argentine tango, with a cast of internationally acclaimed tango dancers performing with accompaniment by Rodolfo Zanetti and Emmanuel Trifilio on bandoneons and Martin de Leon on vocals (4/16)


5445 Landover Rd.
Cheverly, Md.

  • World Dance Showcase — Annual event offers wide-ranging dance traditions performed with vivid costumes (3/19)
  •  Dallas Black Dance Theatre — Texas-based company offers several programs, including one on African dance and drumming, another for seniors, plus master classes of “Liturgical Dance for Youth” and a performance of new works (4/27-29; 4/30-5/1)
  •  Hand Dancing for Seniors — Screening of a 30-minute film on the popular dance form followed by a brief panel discussion with noteworthy dancers and a showcase by the National Hand Dance Association of styles from the ’50s and ’60s (5/6)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, Md.

  • The Peking Acrobats — 30th Anniversary North American Tour of gravity-defying artists performing to ancient Chinese music, enhanced by state-of-the-art special effects (3/24)


Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

  • Stephen Mills: Hamlet — Set to Philip Glass, this reinvention of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy offers a contemporary staging that redefines the limits of dance (3/23-4/3)
  •  Carmina Burana & Balanchine’s Theme and Variations — Septime Webre’s adaptation of Carl Orff’s beloved chorale masterpiece returns a decade after its debut, in a performance featuring the Cathedral Choral Society, and presented along with George Balanchine’s evocation of classic Russian ballet (4/13-17)
  •  Bowie & Queen — A program of works created by two gay choreographers celebrating the music of two LGBT rock icons, with Trey McIntyre’s Mercury Half-Life about Freddie Mercury and Queen, and Edwaard Liang’s Dancing In The Street about David Bowie and featuring his music as well as original compositions from Gabriel Gaffney Smith, performed by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and violinist Machiko Ozawa (5/4-15)
  •  The Magical Toy Shop — Arthur Saint-Leon’s charming ballet, with music by Leo Delibes, about an eccentric dollmaker yearning to create a doll with a soul (5/21-22, THEARC)
  •  The Little Mermaid — A collaboration with Imagination Stage, Janet Stanford’s faithful adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic features puppets and dance choreography by Webre and David Palmer with music by Matthew Pierce (6/25-26, Imagination Stage)


20 W. Patrick St.
Frederick, Md.

  • Maryland Regional Ballet — The Frederick School of Classical Ballet performs Cinderella (4/30-5/1)


1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • Riverdance — The 20th Anniversary World Tour (6/23-26, Filene Center)
  •  American Ballet Theatre — Romeo and Juliet (7/14-16, Filene Center)
  •  Handspring Puppet Company with the NSO: The Firebird — An impressive, world-premiere production featuring the awe-inspiring, larger-than-life puppetry you expect from the company that gave us War Horse, with contemporary South African choreography from Handspring’s Janni Younge set to Stravinsky’s ravishing century-old score, performed live by the National Symphony Orchestra (7/23, Filene)

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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