Metro Weekly

Ballet Across America celebrates diversity in American ballet at the Kennedy Center

Misty Copeland and Justin Peck curate two distinct programs

Ballet Across America: Jeremy McQueen’s The-Black Iris Project “Madiba” — Photo: Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Two of the biggest superstars in ballet, Misty Copeland and Justin Peck, curate two distinct programs celebrating innovation and diversity in American ballet, as well as the centennial of John F. Kennedy.

The Opening Night Celebration features New York City Ballet dancer Sara Mearns as host, plus performances by American Ballet Theatre dancers Stella Abrera and Marcelo Gomes and an appearance by Ben Folds, accompanying the Nashville Ballet in a performance set to his Concerto, on Monday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m.

Copeland’s program, featuring performances by the Nashville Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and the Black Iris Project, runs Wednesday, April 19, Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Peck’s program, featuring the L.A. Dance Project, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and the Joffrey Ballet, is Saturday, April 22, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m.

The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra accompanies all performances. Tickets are $29 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.