Metro Weekly

Dance: Fall Arts Preview 2018

Everything dance in the D.C. region this fall!

The Washington Ballet

The fall dance season starts strong with a local focus: a gathering of many of the community’s key movers and shakers next weekend, followed by free performances of key dance ensembles over the course of the next month at the Kennedy Center, which has commissioned new works for the occasion.

The new season is also rich with performances of flamenco, hip-hop — and the Nutcracker. You’ll find a little Kwanzaa, even a nod to Clara, too. Did I mention the Nutcracker? Tis (almost) the season.

Dance Metro DC presents three days of performances, classes, panel discussions, and more, bringing together members of the regional dance community. Each day’s activities take place at a different hosting organization, with the first day at Dance Place offering an evening Presentation Showcase with the following Kennedy Center Local Dance Commission Recipients and Dance Place Artists-in-Residence: Kalanidhi Dance, Heart Stück Bernie, SOLE Defined, Diana Movius, and Erica Rae/Raediant Movement (9/21). Activities on the second day are at Dance Exchange (9/22) with the summit concluding at the Dance Institute of Washington (9/23)

  • Among other related but not official events that weekend is a DC Dance History Dinner at Busboys & Poets Brookland (9/22)


1333 H St. NE

  • PrioreDance: Cirque de Nuit — The latest evening-length work from local gay choreographer Robert J. Priore and performed by his company takes as inspiration the world of fantasy as well as the sideshow lifestyle, as a community of societal outcasts come together to create magic inside and outside of the circus tent (9/13-14, Sprenger Theatre)
  • 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 (10/13, Sprenger)
  • 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 (12/14-30, Sprenger)


1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • An Evening of Indian Dance — Classical and folk dancers from the Indian Dance Educators Association perform at this annual showcase (1/19)
San Francisco Ballet


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • MFA Dance Thesis Concert: Stacey Carlson and Christine Hands — Carlson’s multidisciplinary work dwelling intertwines dance with puppetry, projections, aerial arts, and other mysterious elements as it explores the myriad subtleties of its title; Hands’ Hamlet is a reimagining of the classic as a work of highly physical dance theater, set against a sci-fi-inspired design (10/12, 10/14, Kogod Theatre)
  • Faculty Dance Concert — A showcase of eloquent and provocative choreography from featured UMD faculty members and special guests, including Crystal U. Davis, Maura Keefe, Alvin Mayes, Sara Pearson and Patrick Widrig, and Kendra Portier (12/7-9, Dance Theatre)
  • 36th Annual Choreographers’ Showcase (1/26)
  • Nederlands Dans Theater 2 — Featuring the “young company” of one of the world’s most celebrated troupes (1/30, Kay Theatre)


3225 8th St. NE

  • Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre Make Believe investigates religious upbringing and spiritual practices (9/15-16)
  • Cultural Shock DCVolume IV considers the theme of “enlightenment” (9/29-30)
  • Helanius J. Wilkins A Bon Coeur exploring complex issues of race, culture, and inclusivity (10/6-7) ^ Words Beats & Life Footsteps in the Dark is an original hip-hop production featuring choreography by American and international Muslim dancers (10/6-7)
  • Discover Season Gala (10/20) ^ Global Perspectives Festival — New this year, presenting a mixed-bill evening highlighting a breadth of dances from communities around the world, performed by local groups and artists (10/27-28)
  • DC Casineros — World-renowned salsa company performs its signature blend of Cuban dance styles followed by a social dance party (11/3-4)
  • Bill Shannon — Latest work combines movement, wearable projection technology and video installation (11/10-11)
  • ReVision Dance Company Garage Sale reveals the sentimentality of objects and their power to transport us (11/17-18) ^ cakeface (12/1-2)
  • Bowen McCauley Dance Company — Company kicks off its 23rd season (12/8-9)
  • Kwanzaa Celebration — Annual Celebration directed by Sylvia Soumah (12/15-16)
  • Fieldwork for Mixed Disciplines Showing — A forum for artists to share developing works and exchange peer-to-peer feedback, culminating in a works-in-progress showing (12/18)
  • Contemporary Viewpoints Festival — Featuring works by Britta Joy Peterson, darlingdance, Tariq Darrell+The UNUM Dance Collective, and PriorDance (1/12/1/13)


Georgetown University
3700 O St. NW

  • Georgetown University Dance Company — A prelude to the spring season, this Fall 2018 Works-In-Progress Concert features performances by professional and student choreographers, ranging from hip-hop to classical (11/28, 11/30) ^ Black Movements Dance Theatre — Contemporary dance theater company performs signature works along with new works by professional guest and student choreographers and performers (12/1)
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de GeorgetownPosada: 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 (12/1)



  • Fall Forward: Ngoma Center for Dance — A mixed-bill evening of dance from Ngoma School students featuring three world premieres, two — Rise and The Happy Hour — choreographed by Dissonance founding artistic director Shawn Short, the third, The Winds of Time, a work by Alvin Mayes and honoring the music of Aretha Franklin (9/29-30, The Clarice at UMD)
  • Christmas Playlist — The company offers its first Christmas/Nutcracker Medley holiday concert with Ngoma students, featuring the new ballet Gospel Suite set to the music of Richard Smallwood, Walter Hawkins, and Byron Cage (12/15-16, The Clarice)
  • Conundrum Polish, Twitch, That Little Bitty Thing, and Drive 3+3 will all be new works premiered here (1/26, Robert E. Parilla Center, Rockville)
  • Rewind 2 Fast Forward (2/10, Proscenium Theatre at UMBC)


Gala Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th St. NW

  • José Barrios & Co. — The U.S. premiere of Reditum, a high-spirited performance by one of Spain’s hottest flamenco dancers and presented in collaboration with the Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas (11/8-11)
  • Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Co…with Edwin Aparicio — The D.C. premiere of La Sobremesa featuring a mesmerizing dance by this Spanish troupe’s namesake dancer paired with the gay festival curator (11/16-18)


Concert Hall
4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Va.

  • Compañía Flamenca Eduardo GuerreroFlamenco Pasión bursts with energy as elite dancers convey the many styles of this beloved Spanish art form, guided by one of the country’s foremost dancers and choreographers (10/12)
  • Fall New Dances — Emerging choreographers perform their musical choices (11/8-10, Harris Theatre)
  • Spectrum Dance Theater A Rap on Race is an innovative new work, featuring a series of choreographed dance duets juxtaposed with verbal duets, gleaned from the public conversation held in 1970 between anthropologist Margaret Mead and novelist James Baldwin; conceived by Tony-nominated choreographer Donald Byrd and Pulitzer-nominated actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, with an original jazz score by Charles Mingus (11/16)
  • Dance Innovations (12/6-8, Harris Theatre)
  • Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker (12/21)
  • MOMIX Opus Cactus melds dance and illusion along with spellbinding music and elaborate costumes for a wildly inventive stage excursion to the American Southwest from one of the most innovative and imaginative modern companies (1/25)


Merchant Hall
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, Va.

  • Manassas Ballet Theatre — Just in time for Halloween, theatrical and seductive take on the ultimate vampire story, Dracula, with live accompaniment by the Kim Reynolds Band (10/20-21)
  • Virginia National Ballet The Nutcracker (11/23)
  • Northern Virginia BalletThe Nutcracker (11/24)
  • Clara’s Christmas — An interpretation of The Nutcracker also including a choreographed version of Handel’s Messiah (12/2)
  • Manassas Ballet Theatre The Nutcracker (12/13)
Jane Franklin Dance


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

  • Valley Fest Street Festival (9/30, New District Brewing Company)
  • The Big Meow – Adapted from the book by Elizabeth Spires (10/27)
  • Shorthanded featuring Forty+ — Reminisce with an intergenerational cast revisiting technology pushed away over time, from the cassette tape to paper dolls, IBM 3033 to shorthand notation; the program also includes recent works by Emily Crews and Rebecca Weiss (10/27-28)
  • Beauty and the Beat — Nosy neighbors jumping to big conclusions, as inspired by the Tom Waits song “What’s He Building in There” (11/3-4)
  • Complete Dogness — The story of a pup with bad habits but the ability to learn new tricks is told through spoken word, music, and movement (11/10)
  • EyeSoar — Telling the story of the people who bring the geographical area around the theater to life via video, audio, interviews, and movement (11/10)
  • Bits & Pieces and a Pint — Excerpts from Complete Dogness


Jack Guidone Theater
5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Season Opener 2018 — An evening of faculty and resident company work in a dynamic concert of premieres (9/22-23)


American University
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Fall Master Classes — A weekend of master classes with a visiting artist (10/20-21)
  • Choreolab 2018 — Student choreographers present an evening of concert dance works-in-progress (11/9, Greenberg Theatre)
Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker


Terrace Theater

  • SOLE Defined — Local dance company performs to ’90s-era “Golden Age of Hip Hop” beats by DJ The Kid in conjunction with the Hip Hop Theater Festival (9/14, Millennium Stage)
  • Kalanidhi Dance — Company offers the world premiere of the Kuchipudi-based dance Bhoomi (Earth), part of the Kennedy Center’s 2018 Local Dance Commissioning Project (9/28-29, Millennium Stage)
  • Erica Rae Smith-Gooden — The legacy and vitality of Caribbean dancehall is celebrated in a choreographed piece including a live “selecta” (DJ), a world premiere part of the Kennedy Center’s 2018 Local Dance Commissioning Project (10/5-6, Millennium Stage)
  • Diana Movius — A multimedia ballet that draws inspiration from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring to probe the 2008 financial crisis sees a world premiere as part of the Kennedy Center’s 2018 Local Dance Commissioning Project (10/13-14, Millennium Stage)
  • The Alexandria Folk Dance Troupe of Egypt (10/17, Millennium Stage)
  • Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker — Founded by an athlete, this physically daring, visually striking Brazilian company returns with Dog Without Feathers (Cão Sem Plumas), an evocative work inspired by a poem by João Cabral de Melo Neto (10/18-20, Eisenhower Theater)
  • Abada-Capoeira DC & Batalá Washington — Local capoeira leaders join forces with the all-women samba/reggae percussion band for a program of dynamic martial art and dance movements celebrating the culture of Brazil (10/20, Millennium Stage)
  • San Francisco Ballet — Featuring two programs of works selected from renowned company’s groundbreaking festival, Unbound: A Festival of New Works (10/23-28)
  • Demo by Damian Woetzel: Gathering — Former New York City Ballet principal dancer Woetzel curates and hosts an evening of recent commissions and D.C. premieres from some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music, TBA (10/29, Terrace Theater)
  • Ragamala Dance Company — Acclaimed Bharatanatyam ensemble, created and run by the mother/daughter team of Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, returns with one of its newest productions, Written in Water, a large-scale multi-disciplinary work with original dance, music, text, and painting (11/2-3, Terrace Theater)
  • Film Screening: The Unseen Sequence with Malavika Sarukkai — A film by Sumantra Ghosal examining the traditional style of Indian dance bharatanatyam and showcasing Sarukkai’s efforts to reinterpret, renew, and invigorate the style; includes a post-screening Q&A with Sarukkai (11/8, Terrace Gallery)
  • Malavika Sarukkai — Master bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer, last seen at the Kennedy Center in 2013, returns with the U.S. premiere of Thari-The Loom, her first work choreographed for an ensemble, one that delves into the history and legacy of the sari (11/9-10, Terrace Theater)
  • Ballet West — A whimsical take on The Nutcracker, pairing reimagined designs with beloved choreography for an ultimately opulent production, with the Tchaikovsky score performed live by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (12/5-9, Opera House)
  • Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures — A return of one of the most popular and beloved productions, a thrilling twist on the classic fairy tale from revered British choreographer/director (1/15-1/20, Opera House)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • 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 (12/16-17)
  • The Hip Hop Nutcracker with special guest MC Kurtis Blow — A dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist reimagine Tchaikovsky’s classic score through hip-hop choreography (12/18-19)
  • Step Afrika! 25th Anniversary Celebration — The first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping offers a retrospective featuring the company’s best-loved works (1/20)
  • Farruquito — Powerhouse performer and heir to the most renowned Gypsy flamenco dynasty (2/21)



  • Contemporary Masters — Works by iconic choreographers who have defined modern dance: Mark Morris, with Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes, Merce Cunningham’s Duets, and Paul Taylor’s Company B (10/31-11/4, Harman Center)
  • 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 (11/24-25, THEARC; 11/29-12/28, Warner Theatre)
  • The Sleeping Beauty (2/27-3/3, Kennedy Center)
  • Three World Premieres (4/3-4/7, Harman Center)

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