Metro Weekly

Dance: Fall Arts Preview 2017

Ballet, modern and cultural dance recitals around D.C.

Dance — Illustration: Scott G. Brooks

The fall dance season gets off to a banging start, as many of the local community’s movers and shakers powwow for the inaugural DC Dance Summit at Dance Loft on 14. Even more emerging dance leaders will take part in multi-genre art showcases this weekend at the University of Maryland and George Mason University. And you can get your fix of more homegrown dance pride at October’s VelocityDC Dance Festival, November’s DanceMetroDC showcase at Dance Place, and the Washington Ballet’s timeless Nutcracker, devised and set right here in the nation’s capital.

Yet dance in D.C. is hardly an all-local affair. Few cities offer as many opportunities to experience the best in dance from across the globe. The season brings gay-run festivals featuring preeminent dancers from India and Spain, while the Kennedy Center highlights groundbreaking Japanese artists in an event celebrating the reopening of its main home for dance, the remodeled Terrace Theater. The Republic of Georgia, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, the U.K. — dancers from all those countries and more will be in motion all around us.


1333 H St. NE

  • Furia Flamenca Dance Company: Cafe Flamenco — An intimate evening of flamenco “tablao” style, with drinks and tapas served tableside during the performance, accompanied by guitarist Torcuato Zamora (9/30-10/1)
  •  Contradiction Dance: Forgiveness: Love More Wildly — Unpacking the stages of forgiveness with scenes taken from life, history, and an imagined future interwoven with original dance and music (10/21-22)
  •  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 and DJ Frosty the Snowman (12/16-17, 12/20-23, 12/27-30)


1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • An Evening of Indian Dance — Classical and folk dancers from the Indian Dance Educators Association present Meghadoot The Cloud Messenger, an epic lyric poem written by Kalidasa in Sanskrit (11/18)


Black Box Theater at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Roy Assaf Dance — An informal, intimate performance followed by talkback (10/6)
  •  Mid-Year Showcase: Creating the Magic — The rising stars of CityDance Conservatory and selected Lower School students (12/9-16)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

NextNow Fest — Among the dance events on tap at this all-genre celebration of the rich arts environment at UMD are performances by Delta Chi Xi Honorary Dance Fraternity and NextDANCE ft. Lynne Price & Kristen Yeung, a Samba for All Dance Party and a Silent Disc-Glo (9/15-16)

  •  MFA Dance Thesis Concert: LaTefia Bradley and Jen Graham (10/13-15)
  •  Germaine Acogny — Hailed as the mother of contemporary African dance, the Senegalese artist offers a striking, visually arresting reinterpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, a collaboration with French choreographer Olivier Dubois staged as a contemporary solo piece (11/11)
  •  Faculty Dance Concert: Adriane Fang, Maura Keefe, Alvin Mayes, Carlos Finn and Liz Shea (12/8-10)
  •  Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks, and Brooklyn Rider — Some of a Thousand Words is an elegant and electric ballet-inflected contemporary work from celebrated choreographers with accompaniment by noted string quartet (12/9)
  •  35th Annual Choreographers’ Showcase (1/27/18)
  •  Grupo Corpo — In Suite Branca/Danca Sinfonica, Brazilian dancers, clad in ethereal white, move with hypnotic movements, athletic suspensions and gravity-challenging floor work, all across a stark, enigmatic landscape and accompanied by Samuel Rosa of popular Brazilian folk/rock band Skank (1/31/18)


Dupont Underground
1500 19th St. NW.

  • Rogue Collective and Orange Grove Dance: The Open Box Project — A collaboration, directed by Alexa Cantalupo and choreographed by Colette Krogol, that challenges the audience’s experience of space, time and relationship through highly developed and delicately tuned improvisational scores (December 2017)
  •  S.J. Ewing and Dancers: Transit (April 2018)



  • Festival of Indian Arts — The 14th annual event focuses on pioneering women choreographers of India, including performances by Mallika Sarabhai, Rama Vaidyanathan, Leela Samson, and their respective companies (10/12-15, Atlas)


4618 14th St. NW

  • DC Dance Summit — The city’s newest dance venue kicks off its second season with a weekend-long event, co-presented by Dance Exchange, featuring many of the area’s leading dance companies and schools as a way to bolster the local community (9/15-17)


3225 8th St. NE

  • BodyCartography Project — A cast of D.C. professionals will join this Minneapolis-based group for closer (solo), a series of interactions between dancers and audience members intended to present new perspectives on the familiar (9/14-17, various locations)
  •  DC Casineros — World-renowned salsa company performs its signature blend of Cuban dance styles followed by a social dance party (9/29)
  •  Roy Assaf Dance — Israeli choreographer presents his award-winning repertory in a partnership with CityDance (10/7-8)
  •  ArtWorks for Freedom — “Strong in the Broken Places” is an evening of dance featuring Holly Bass, Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, Erica Rebollar and PearsonWidrig DanceTheater to raise awareness of human trafficking (10/14-15)
  •  Momentum Season Gala — Dance Place’s new director Christopher K. Morgan gets a warm welcome and offers a special guest performance as part of an evening of immersive art installations, food and drink, silent auction and dance party (10/21)
  •  LMnO3 — New York troupe presents B.A.N.G.S.: Made in America, which uses hard rap, body percussion and a game show to repurpose our “Beauty, Age, Number, Goodness, and Size” (10/28-29)
  •  Joy of Motion — Mixed Movement: Entertainment in Motion mixes dance, live music, poetry and theater into a humorous and eclectic program (11/1)
  •  Metro Tap Roots — A weekend-long celebration of the area’s rich history of tap with performances, now in its third year (11/4-5)
  •  Dance Metro DC — A showcase of previously commissioned works and the rich breadth of creative productions in D.C. (11/11-12)
  •  What’s Going On – Dance Place’s first full-length production, an eclectic mix of choreography by Vincent E. Thomas, Ralph Glenmore, and Sylvia Soumah and set to the music of Marvin Gaye, returns home after a successful nationwide tour (11/18-19)
  •  El Teatro de Danza Contemporánea — Miya Hisaka founded multicultural company also known as DC Contemporary Dance Theatre, which this season features works by Kevin Iega Jeff, Lloyd Whitmore and Francisco Castillo, among others (12/2-3)
  •  Fieldwork — A works-in-progress showing in all artistic disciplines from this artist workshop, a peer-to-peer forum for artists (12/5)
  •  Dissonance Dance Theatre (12/9-10)
  •  Coyaba Dance Theater: Kwanzaa Celebration — Annual Celebration directed by Sylvia Soumah (12/16-17)
  •  Unit Souzou — Portland-based company presents 88: Hachi Hachi, a bold theatrical performance, intricately weaving taiko, dance and theater, to investigate the space that exists between two people (1/6-1/7/18)
  •  Christopher K. Morgan & Artists — The fifth annual Winter Workshop, now at the company’s new home (1/8-1/10/18)
  •  KanKouran West African Dance Company — Performing its annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. (1/13-1/14)
  •  Cynthia Oliver Co. Dance Theatre — Virago-Man Dem is a stirring evening-length work navigating concepts of Caribbean and African-American masculinities, performed by men but funneled through the interpretation of its choreographer’s female voice (1/20-1/21/18)


Georgetown University
3700 O St. NW

  • Georgetown University Dance Company — A prelude to the spring season, this Fall 2017 Works-In-Progress Concert features performances by professional and student choreographers, ranging from hip-hop to classical (11/29, 12/1)
  •  Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Georgetown — Posada: Camino a Belen recreates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem seeking shelter in a family-friendly winter showcase, followed by a reception with authentic Mexican fare (12/2)
  •  Black Movements Dance Theatre — Contemporary dance theater company performs signature works along with new works by professional guest and student choreographers and performers (12/2)



  • Rewind 2 Fast Forward — Works by Dissonance’s principal choreographer Shawn Short as well as Kareem B. Goodwine and Kjara Starič Wurst form an evening of dance ranging from classical ballet to jazz (10/7, Ernst Cultural Center, 8430 Center Dr., Annandale, Va.)
  •  Habibi — Inspired by the ancient Silk Road as well as Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages,” tracing communication of love between friends, lovers and family in a fusion of the sounds of the east with dances of the west (12/9-10, Dance Place)


Gala Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th St. NW

  • Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company — Flamenco Extranjero presents unique stories from the perspective of non-Spaniards who chose flamenco as their life’s passion and career, including festival curator Edwin Aparicio (11/3-5)
  •  Francisco Hidalgo & Company — Lauded flamenco master, as seen most recently at Lincoln Center in Pedro Almodovar’s Los Abrazos Rotos, returns with Binomio (11/9-12)
  •  Oruro — Ballets Milenarios de Bolivia features 12 companies and Banda Sur Andes in a presentation of spectacular folkloric dance, exotic garb and the ancient Bolivian music of the Altiplano region (11/17-19)


Concert Hall
4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Va.

  • Festival of South African Dance: Gumboots and Pantsula Dance Companies — Two dynamic dance companies, featuring 20 dancers with live musicians, share the stage for a pulsating, rhythm-filled evening of urban street dance (9/30)
  •  Pilobolus — Shadowland is an exhilarating multimedia work, with projected shadow play and almost-acrobatic dance, depicting the surreal dream world of a young girl on the verge of self-discovery, conceived with SpongeBob SquarePants writer Steven Banks (10/13)
  •  The Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin — One of the best acrobatic troupes from China shows off its superior skill with thrilling acrobatics, circus acts, illusions and mesmerizing demonstrations of martial arts (11/3-4)
  •  Fall New Dances — Emerging choreographers perform their musical choices (11/9-10)
  •  Doug Varone and Dancers — Acclaimed New York-based contemporary dance company performs in the shelter of the fold (11/18)
  •  Dance Innovations (12/7-8)
  •  Dance Studio Series Performance (12/12)

    730 21st St. NW

  • Sukhishvili Georgian National Dance Company — Fifty awe-inspiring, magnificently costumed, choreographic “warriors” from the Republic of Georgia (10/20)


Merchant Hall
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, Va.

  • Arts Alive! — Festival includes performances by Virginia Dance Center, Dance Etc. School of the Arts, Manassas Youth Ballet, Asaph Dance Ensemble, Virginia National Ballet, and Woodbridge Dance Company (9/16)
  •  Tango Buenos Aires — The Spirit of Argentina, as presented by one of the most authentic tango ensembles performing today (10/13, Hylton)
  •  Manassas Ballet Theatre — Just in time for Halloween, a spine-chilling performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow featuring all-original choreography, an international cast of dancers, and a live orchestra (10/20-22)
  •  Virginia National Ballet: The Nutcracker (11/24, Hylton)
  •  Manassas Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker (12/15-23, Hylton)


Theatre on the Run
3700 S. Four Mile Run
Arlington, Va.

  • Bits & Pieces and a Pint — Excerpts from Complete Dogness and Aflight, new works by the Forty+ ensemble, and a free pint at New District Brewing Company (10/27)
  •  Family Fun Day — A movement class, The Big Meow, interactive introduction to Complete Dogness, and free snacks (10/28)
  •  Auto-Audio — Site-specific work down Oakland Street, new works by Forty+, excerpts from Aflight (11/3)
  •  Aflight — A production honored as “Best of Capital Fringe” (11/4)
  •  Valley Fest Street Festival (11/5)
  •  Border — Premiere of new work exploring boundaries, bias and divisions (11/11)


Jack Guidone Theater
5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Dreamweaver: Studio to Stage — Exploring hopes, dreams, fantasies and aspirations through hip-hop, modern, tap and Horton technique (11/18-19)


American University
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Contemporary Dance Master Class: Christopher K. Morgan (10/7)
  •  Urban Dance Master Class: Toyz Are Us (10/28)
  •  Choreolab 2017 — Student choreographers present an evening of concert dance works-in-progress (11/8, Greenberg Theatre)
  •  Movement Speaks with Erin Foreman-Murray — A week-long residency with AU Dance Company culminates in a discussion and sneak peek of a new work via this biannual discussion series (11/17)


Terrace Theater

  • MK Abadoo — LOCS/you can play in the sun, driven by intragroup body dialogue and inspired by Octavia Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower, explores lessons in female maturity and bonding; part of the Local Stage Commissioning Project (9/21-22, Millennium Stage)
  •  Lotus — Six award-winning tap dancers, connected by Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk, reunite for a celebration of the art form set to live jazz, part of the Terrace Theater Grand Re-Opening Celebration (10/7)
  •  Matthew Bourne/New Adventures — Acclaimed choreographer and company present The Red Shoes, a reenvisioning of the beloved fairy tale and Oscar-winning movie that won two 2017 Olivier Awards, including Best Theater Choreographer (10/10-15, Opera House)
  •  Japanese Connections featuring Kazunori Kumagai and Yumi Kurosawa — Two groundbreaking Japanese artists, a tap dancer and a koto player, join forces with an accompanying jazz trio to pay tribute to the Japanese government and people who supported the original opening of the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater nearly 40 years ago (10/18)
  •  Demo by Damian Woetzel — Jerome Robbins: American Dance Genius is a lecture and demonstration-style performance hosted by this former New York City Ballet principal and featuring a stellar cast celebrating the legendary choreographer’s centennial (10/20-21)
  •  Kansas City Ballet: The Nutcracker — Keeping with its tradition of presenting some of America’s best Nutcrackers, the Kennedy Center presents the D.C. debut of Devon Charney’s opulent direction with impressive choreography featuring his company’s dancers accompanied by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (11/22-26, Opera House)
  •  Camille A. Brown & Dancers — A Kennedy Center debut featuring full-length works celebrating diversity, community, and self-discovery, performed on separate nights: Black Girl: Linguistic Play and ink (12/1-2, Eisenhower Theater)
  •  The Suzanne Farrell Ballet: Farewell Performances — The KC says goodbye to its resident ballet company of 16 years with a pageant of favorites, naturally an all-Balanchine program given its namesake was the beloved muse of the late, great choreographer (12/7-9, Opera House)
  •  Onoe Ryu Dance Entreprises — Japanese classical dancer and choreographer Onoe Kikunojyo III returns as the Grand Master of the prestigious Onoe School of Dance (1/14/18)
  •  Company E — I Never Dreamed It Could Be Like This: Leonard Bernstein at 100, a world-premiere collaboration with the Kennedy Center and guided by rising local choreographer Robert J. Priore in a blend of dance, video, projection and live and recorded music and text (1/17-1/18, Theater Lab)


5445 Landover Rd.
Cheverly, Md.

  • Capoeira Angola w/Skher Brown & the Dancing Warriors — Explore the unusual movement and drumming of a high-energy Afro-Brazilian art form (9/23)
  •  National Hand Dance Association — “Hand Dance: The Dance of Our City”; Platinum Series for Seniors 60 & Better (9/25)
  •  Soul Line Dancing (9/27)
  •  Azucar al rojo! A Celebration of Latin Dance — Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with an extravaganza of Latin-American dance, a showcase of professional dancers from Mexico, Bolivia and beyond (10/14)
  •  Philadanco! — Acclaimed company of elegant dancers perform engaging dance pieces (11/3)


Music Center
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • The Hip Hop Nutcracker — A dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist reimagine Tchaikovsky’s classic score through hip-hop choreography (12/12-13)
  •  Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker — Russian dancers, playful puppets, and the unmatched splendor of handcrafted sets and costumes for the holiday favorite, featuring guest performers from CityDance School & Conservatory (12/22-23)
  •  StepAfrika! Step Explosion — The first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping offers its fourth annual showcase of percussive dance styles drawn from African-American fraternities and sororities plus African dance forms (1/21/18)



  • A Circus Carol — LGBTQ-inclusive circus arts company presents a new holiday show, set in the fictitious W.T. Dickens High School (12/16-17, Atlas)


Harman Hall
610 F St. NW

  • A special partnership with the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Washington Performing Arts, and host organization the Shakespeare Theatre Company, this 9th annual festival presents world-class dance of various styles — from ballet to modern to hip-hop. Among the 17 groups selected to offer short performances this year are CityDance, El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea, Gin Dance Company, Prakriti Dance, PrioreDance, Therese Gahl, and the Washington Ballet Trainee Program, with site-specific works by Heart Stuck Bernie and LucidBeings Dance (10/6-7)



  • Russian Masters w/the Washington Ballet Orchestra — An evening of works revealing where classical ballet began and the influence Michel Fokine, Alexei Ratmansky, Marius Petipa and George Balanchine have had on the art form over the last 175 years (10/4-8, Kennedy Center)
  •  Ballet 101 — A Studio Company performance offering brief introductions to several classical masterworks to guide the audience (10/14-15, THEARC Theater)
  •  The Nutcracker — Septime Webre may no longer lead this company, but his twist on the family favorite carries on, with D.C. as the backdrop, George Washington as the titular figure, and King George III as the Rat King (11/25-26, THEARC; 11/30-12/24, Warner Theatre)
  •  John Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet w/the Washington Ballet Orchestra — Created for the Stuttgart Ballet in 1962 and given its first American production by the Joffrey Ballet in 1984, Cranko’s version, according to the New York Times, “is arguably the best dance treatment of Prokofiev’s celebrated ballet score” (1/14-2/18/18, Kennedy Center)


20 W. Patrick St.
Frederick, Md.

  • Maryland Regional Ballet — Joyce Morrison leads a production of The Nutcracker featuring guest artists from the New York City Ballet and students from the Frederick School of Classical Ballet (12/8-10)
  •  Teelin Irish Dance Company — A Columbia-based, award-winning company performs Celtic Storm in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day (2/24)

For more Fall Arts Preview Dance listings, visit

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