Metro Weekly

Dance: Spring Arts Preview 2018

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

The Washington Ballet — Photo: Rosie Vergilio, Theo Kossenas

There’s a world of dance out there, and whether your passion lies in traditional Indian or ancient Chinese, Afro-Brazilian or the broader African diaspora, you don’t have to travel very far at all to see and experience any of it. Ultimately, the cultural toast of the season is dance from Cuba, with renowned companies from the island nation set to perform at Dance Place and the Kennedy Center, through the latter’s multi-genre Artes de Cuba festival.

Meanwhile, Wolf Trap offers the chance to see dance from gay America, with men in drag taking the amphitheater’s stage. But the season’s de facto LGBTQ dance central is Dance Place, led by its new Artistic Director Christopher K. Morgan. Talk about a man on the move.


1333 H St. NE

  • Youth Summit Showcase — Although not exclusively dance, the majority of performers are movement-oriented in this year’s showcase, hosted by Atlas’ City at Peace Youth Program as the culminating event of a youth-centered day at the Atlas Intersections festival. Raqs Habibi World Dance Company, Capitol Movement Pre-Professional Dance Company, Dance Institute of Washington, Elements Dance Company, and the After School Dance Fund are among those on tap (3/10)
  • DC Contemporary Dance Theatre / El Teatro de Danza Contemporánea (4/20)


Fredgren Studio Theatre
3443 Carlin Springs Rd.
Falls Church, Va.

  • Spring Repertory Performance — A program of Swan Lake, Act II, A New Work, and South African Suites (5/18, 5/20, Wakefield High School Theatre, Arlington)
  • Year-End Pre-Professional Performance — A showcase of students in the junior, senior, and conservatory divisions (6/9-10)
  • In-Studio Youth and Teen Performance (6/16)
  • In-Studio Adult Performance (6/22)


45 West Preston St.
Baltimore, Md.

  • BlueShift Dance — Baltimore-area company offers a program featuring premiere of natural disaster-focused Reclamation as well as Drawing The Universe, a collaboration with LucidBeings Dance of Ellicott City, Md., and SylviDances of D.C., in which all three companies offer their own take on matters of substance, from the subatomic to the emotional to the global (3/23)
  • The BIDA Choreographers Showcase — A diverse evening of work from local choreographers from the volunteer-based support organization Baltimore Independent Dance Artists (3/24-25)
  • Vincent E. Thomas/VTDanceIn The Company of Men…Part III offers a range of works performed by all-male cast embracing themes of masculinity, life, love, social awareness, and humanness (3/30-31)
  • The Collective Senses is billed as a “broadly accessible dance performance,” a work that incorporates a variety of sensory experiences, such as touch, taste, and smell, to shift perceptions of the dance and dancer (4/19-22)
  • New Renaissance Arts Sensoria is a multi-genre, adult-only event dedicated to the arts and human connection and including performances of dance in styles ranging from urban to cultural to classical, highlighting the works of several local artists (6/30)



  • BalletX — From Philadelphia, one of the nation’s most intriguing contemporary ballet companies returns with cutting-edge pop culture choreographer by Darrell Grand Moultrie and Trey McIntyre (6/22-23, Dock5, Union Market)
  • Wolf Trap Opera, Hong Kong Ballet Dancers — Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, a celebration of the wild era of prewar Berlin and dating to 1933, gets revived as a ballet chanté (ballet with song) by former Washington Ballet director Septime Webre (6/23-24, Dock 5 at Union Market)
  • Bridgman|Packer Dance Truck, a signature blend of live performance and video technology, is designed to be performed inside a U-Haul truck, meaning it can roam to and be seen in nontraditional and unexpected locations (6/21-24, Various Venues)


Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th St. NW

  • Ballet, Chant & Song — The highlight of the main program in company’s 5th anniversary season is the world premiere of Chant, a work of sound, movement, and light developed by Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning and dancer Andile Ndlovu, and featuring live Gregorian chant from singers associated with the National Cathedral. The company’s eight dancers and a string quartet will also perform other new and repertoire works (6/21-23)


Dance Place
3225 8th St. NE

  • Season Performance at Dance Place — A wide-ranging evening from contemporary dance company in residence at Dance Place. Program launches with namesake’s solo work, Unpredictable Repeat Hesitation, involving audience participation, and also includes the world premiere of Tiffanie Carson’s B.U.G. – [Backlight. Uplight. Glare.], with original score played live by Wytold, Adriane Fang’s powerhouse duet Conflict Resolution, and Morgan’s Inconstancy with original score by David Schulman (3/24-25)



  • Dreamscape Annual Gala — Annual dance spectacular benefiting CityDance’s Dream student program (5/5, Lincoln Theatre)


Dance Theatre
University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • MFA Dance Thesis Concert — Mustapha Braimah’s Akwantuo: Plight of the Immigrant and Allen Chunhui Xing’s Equinox and Solstice will be performed (3/9-11)
  • Second Season: Shared Graduate Dance Concert (4/13-15)
  • Dynamic Dance Team: Rip The Floor 2018 — Annual hip-hop dance competition/showcase (4/15, Dekelboum Concert Hall)
  • NextLook: Orange Groove Dance — Part 2 of the 1 Mile Radius Project offers deeper exploration of unique spaces in the vicinity and shared through dance, film, and projections (4/20, Joe’s Movement Emporium)
  • UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert (5/4-6)
  • Aakash OdedraRising offers a quartet of solo pieces showcasing U.K.-based artist’s skills in choreography and traditional Indian dance (5/9, Kay Theatre)
  • NextLook: alight dance theater Fairie is a fantastical and mythical dance work exploring the under-considered culture and belief in fairy lore (5/11, Joe’s)


3225 8th St. NE

  • Dahlak Brathwaite — Blurring the line between hip-hop and dramatic performance, Spiritrials is a timely and personal exploration of the criminal justice system, written for Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Living Word Project (3/9-10)
  • Spilling Ink Srishti Layankari is a dance drama project that parallels the law of conservation of energy with the story of Shakti, and draws from the vocabularies and nuances of classical South Indian dance forms Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi (3/17-18)
  • Christopher K. Morgan & Artists — An evening of mixed repertory featuring two world premieres and an audience favorite as part of inaugural season as resident company of Dance Place (3/24-25)
  • DanzAbierta — Celebrating 25 years as one of Cuba’s most compelling and innovative modern dance companies and presenting MalSon, a love letter to Havana featuring traditional music and elaborate projections (3/30-31)
  • Viva Cuba! w/DanzAbierta, DC Casineros — A post-show salsa party (3/30)
  • UpRooted Dance — A series of poignant vignettes fusing 2D design with 3D movement (4/7-8)
  • ClancyWorks Dance Company — Artistic Director Adrienne Clancy’s Resilience investigates the complexities of our current world and ways in which each of us understand ourselves, absorb the shock of a blow, and learn to adapt (4/14-15)
  • the feath3r theory — A post-ballet musical reimagining the unrecorded, deleted, and lost footage from Saturday Night Live’s 2015 episode on Love and War (4/21)
  • ReVision Dance Company Propelling Voice displays director Shannon Quinn’s athletic style, further spotlighted via Ben Levine’s imaginative scenic design (4/28-29)
  • MK Abadoo Wake Up! is an evening-length piece that takes inspiration from Spike Lee’s School Daze, co-developed with Vaughn Midder, using jazz, contemporary, funk, step, tap, and West African dance to immerse the audience in a poignant social justice discussion (5/5-6)
  • Sean Dorsey Dance — Trailblazing transgender choreographer returns with Boys In Trouble (5/19-20)
  • NEXTgeneration Showcase — Dance Place’s Kids on the Move students perform African, ballet, tap, hip-hop, and more (5/20)
  • New Releases Choreographers Showcase — Annually curated showcase featuring some of the best new works by established and emerging choreographers (5/26)
  • DanceAfricaDC 2018 — The 31st annual festival celebrating the dance, music, and spirit of the African Diaspora (5/29)
  • Capitol Tap — Shaping the next generation of tap musicians, dancers, historians, improvisers, technicians, teachers and performers (6/15-16)
  • RebollarDance Beauty and Decay highlights forgotten and reborn Baltimore neighborhoods, a collaborative evening-length work directed by Erica Rebollar (6/23-24)
  • Deviated TheatreBeyond is a new work from Enoch Chan and Kimmie Dobbs’ company utilizing a mix of dance, acting, and aerials to tell fantastical tales of other worlds (7/7-8)
  • Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company Chakra is a hybrid dance that draws on Bharatanatyam, modern dance, and martial art form Kalaripayattu (7/14-15)
  • Heart Stück Bernie — A soft and vicious solo, which unravels into an operetta of savage and coarse dimensions (7/21-22)
  • Prakriti Dance — Using Bharatanatyam to communicate inspirations from nature, philosophy, and the human experience (7/28-29)
  • Energizers Creative Arts Camp Concert 2018 (8/2-3)
  • S.J. Ewing & Dancers Analog II melds the linear, digital experience of technology with the human experience of movement and touch in an immersive environment (8/11-12)


4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor

  • Springboard Dance Concert Series — A three-weekend performance series featuring local artists and companies, all selected by Dance Loft to perform in the venue’s renovated 120-seat theater, with each weekend focused on a specified dance genre (3/29-31, 4/6-7, 4/13-15)


Gaston Hall
Georgetown University
3700 O St. NW

  • One Move, One Groove: Annual Groove Theory Hip-Hop Showcase — Georgetown’s co-ed hip-hop team hosts performances from campus dance groups and hip-hop crews from the area (3/24, Lohrfink Auditorium)
  • Ritmo y Sabor — Spring Showcase of various styles of Latin dance (4/8)
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de GeorgetownLa Plaza Hoya: Fiestas de mi Pueblo is a celebration of the traditional festivals heralding the arrival of spring in towns throughout Mexico (4/14)


Concert Hall
4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Va.

  • Shen Yun — Classical Chinese dance, one of the world’s oldest art forms, is framed in stunning set production and with an original orchestral score by New York-based group (3/12-14)
  • Tu Bhi Nachle — A classical-fusion dance competition held between collegiate dance teams from all across the nation (3/17, Harris Theatre)
  • Moscow Festival Ballet — Esteemed company founded by a former star of the Bolshoi Ballet offers two classic full-scale productions: Swan Lake, showcasing the traditions of Russian grand ballet (3/17), and Cinderella, the famous fairy tale with enchanted melodies, opulent costumes, lavish scenery, and sharp dancing and physical comedy (3/18)
  • 2018 Mason School of Dance Gala Concert — Graduating dance majors perform Doug Varone’s Mass, Yin Yue’s Within Reach, Iván Pérez’s Flesh, and Lar Lubovitch’s Brahms Symphony (3/23-24)


730 21st St. NW

  • Rhythmaya Annual Dance Showcase: The Rhythmaya Railway — Over 200 students join the Rhythmaya Dance Company for a journey through India showcasing the country’s various forms of traditional and modern costumes, music, and dance (4/22)


Merchant Hall
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, Va.

  • Manassas Ballet TheatreSwan Lake (3/9-11)
  • Moscow Festival BalletCinderella comes to life with 50 dancers from world-renowned ensemble (3/16)
  • 2018 Mason School of Dance Concert (3/25)
  • Asaph Dance Ensemble — Spring Concert (4/8)
  • Virginia National Ballet — The world-premiere of Rafik Hegab’s Bolero, set to Ravel’s famous score, with his choreographic take on Carl Orff’s bombastic classic Carmina Burana (5/11)
  • The Northern Virginia Ballet Sleeping Beauty performed with select members of the Academy of Russian Ballet (5/13)
  • Manassas Ballet Theatre Colin: Son, Marine, Hero focuses on the story of Artistic Director Amy Grant Wolfe’s son, an Iraqi War victim, with original music by Mark Menza (5/18-20)
  • Virginia National Ballet — 5-Year Anniversary Spring Recital (6/2)


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

  • The Big Meow — The story of the ever-hopeful fluffball who desperately wants to be in the band of neighborhood cats but is ostracized for being too loud, adapted from Elizabeth Spires’ book (4/14)
  • Border — Stories of bias and loneliness alongside the urge to belong, as told through interviews, movement and visual art (4/13-28)
  • Complete Dogness — Incorporating spoken word, movement, and music, the focus is on new puppy Barky and his ability to learn new tricks (4/28)


Jack Guidone Theater
5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Youth Dance Project (3/10)

  • Afro-Diaspora Studio to Stage — Celebrating the dances and heritage of the diaspora through Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, West African, contemporary jazz, and tap dance styles (3/17-18)
  • Classical Repertory Dance Ensemble — 2018 Spring Concert with a mix of old and new classical, contemporary, and lyrical ballet works (3/24-25)
  • Abada Capoeira Brazil – Rhythms and Poetry traverses the rich history of Brazilian culture through movement and music, presented by an organization marking its 10th anniversary in D.C. (4/21-22)
  • American Dance Conservatory — Spring Concert (5/5, Greenberg Theatre)
  • Youth Performance Companies in Concert (5/5, Greenberg)
  • Furia Flamenca (7/28)


American University
Greenberg Theatre
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • AU Dance Company: Spring Dance Concert — Featuring choreography by AU students, faculty, and guest artists (4/20)



  • Mark Morris Dance Group and Silk Road Ensemble Layla and Majnun, a Kennedy Center co-commission based on a tragic ancient tale akin to Romeo and Juliet, features dancers from acclaimed gay-led contemporary troupe performing with singers and musicians from virtuosic pan-Asian group, backdropped by a set designed by painter Howard Hodgkin (3/22-24, Opera House)
  • New York City Ballet — Acclaimed company’s annual visit presents two distinct programs: Works by Balanchine, Martins & Peck, presenting three works by the company’s George Balanchine and Peter Martins’ Zakouski, plus a new work from Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck (3/27-29, Opera House). Also, a Robbins Centennial Program celebrating the centennials of Jerome Robbins, one of the most influential dance-makers in the company’s history, and legendary composer Leonard Bernstein (3/29-4/1, Opera House)
  • Nederlands Dans Theater — Pioneering Dutch company’s non-conformist, progressive productions and bold repertory have put it and its collective of dancers on the international map (4/4-6, Opera House)
  • Shen Yun — New York-based arts group seeks to breathe new life into traditional Chinese culture with a particular focus on classical Chinese dance, one of the world’s oldest art forms (4/10-15, Opera House)
  • Pan American Symphony Orchestra: Tango Impressions (4/14, Terrace)
  • Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble — Five dancers from Stockholm and 11 musicians from Glasgow offer a sublime synergy of onstage interaction as collaborators in Goldberg Variations — ternary patterns for insomnia, bringing Bach’s sparkling masterpiece to stunning life in a whirlwind of movement and sound (4/26-28, Eisenhower)
  • Malpaso Dance Company — Performing as part of the Kennedy Center’s multi-genre festival Artes de Cuba, Cuban company with a growing international profile performs Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz along with Osnel Delgado’s Ocaso and 24 Hours and a Dog (5/11-12, Eisenhower)
  • Compañía Irene Rodríguez — Award-winning Cuban dancer and choreographer melds the fiery passion and exhilarating footwork of flamenco with a unique Afro-Cuban flair, and performs as part of Artes de Cuba (5/15, Terrace)
  • Ballet Nacional de Cuba – Forty years after its Kennedy Center debut and seven years since its last visit, internationally renowned company offers two programs featuring evening-length signatures choreographed by its Artistic Director Alicia Alonso and performed with the Opera House Orchestra: Don Quixote, adapted from the choreography of Marius Petipa (5/29-30, Opera House), and a definitive staging of the romantic classic Giselle with choreography after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot (5/31-6/3)
  • Dance Exchange — Centered around the themes of prayer, performance, and protest from Silver Spring-based company and community members (5/31, Millennium Stage)
  • Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance CompanyPortraits is a program of three new dances created at the National Portrait Gallery (6/15-16, Terrace)


610 F St. NW

  • Xuejuan Dance Ensemble — A D.C.-based company led by Xuejuan Feng inspired by Confucius and dedicated to Chinese folk and classical dance performs as part of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s free Happenings Happy Hour series (5/24)


1212 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, Md.

  • Midweek Concert: Ballet to Flamenco — Ballet Theatre of Maryland Principal Dancer Nicole Kelsch and professional flamenco dancer Anna Menendez will highlight the range, grace, and power of dance in this kids-focused educational program led by Nicholas Hersh and featuring selections from Bizet’s Carmen and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (4/11, 4/13)


5445 Landover Rd.
Cheverly, Md.

  • World Dance Showcase — Annual event offers wide-ranging dance traditions performed with vivid costumes (3/31)
  • 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 (4/26-29)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, Md.

  • Circa “S” combines the death-defying acrobatics this seven-member Australian ensemble is known for with a dazzling pre-recorded score by the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet (3/12, Music Center)



  • Three World Premieres — Three newly commissioned works supporting both the evolution of ballet and the dancer by Clifton Brown of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Gemma Bond of American Ballet Theatre, and Marcelo Gomes, formerly of ABT (3/14-18, Harman Hall)
  • Peter and The Wolf — Children’s classic comes to life through dance in a Studio Company performance of Brian Reeder’s choreography with Prokofiev’s music performed live by DC Youth Orchestra Program (3/24-25, THEARC)
  • Mixed Masters — Three masterworks that remain inspiring and relevant, with music played live by Washington Ballet Orchestra: Serenade, the first ballet George Balanchine choreographed in America and set to Tchaikovsky, Symphonic Variations, Frederick Ashton’s finest pure-dance classical work, set to Franck, and The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody), Jerome Robbins’ timeless and humorous one-act charade set to Chopin (4/11-15, Eisenhower Theater)


Filene Center
1551 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • The Washington Ballet Giselle is this year’s family-friendly classic ballet presented in the amphitheater, performed with the Wolf Trap Orchestra (5/25)
  • Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — A year after making its Kennedy Center debut, this erstwhile underground New York dancing drag troupe prepares for its debut under the stars in the Virginia woods with thousands of picnicking fans (6/19)
  • Bernstein at 100: A Celebration w/Misty Copeland — This National Symphony Orchestra-led program will feature many luminaries from music and the performing arts, though none bigger in the dance world than the American Ballet Theatre star (7/27)
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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.