Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Bowen McCauley Dance’s Final Season

Acclaimed dance company goes out "with a bang" after 25 years

Bowen McCauley Dance
Bowen McCauley Dance: Le Sacre du Printemps A Quatre Mains — Photo: John McCauley

Hailed by the Washington Post as “Metro D.C.’s premier contemporary dance company,” the Bowen McCauley Dance Company will celebrate its 25th anniversary through a series of programs intended as one major last hurrah.

“Over the past few years, in consultation with our board of directors, we developed a strategic plan to bring the company to a close,” said founding artistic director and choreographer Lucy Bowen McCauley in a press release. “We want to celebrate our quarter-century of accomplishments and then go out with a bang!”

The Silver Anniversary season includes a mix of world-premiere works of choreography as well as classics from the company’s repertoire, most presented virtually. The season begins on Friday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m., with an artist discussion before a screening on YouTube of Le Sacre du Printemps A Quatre Mains (The Rite of Spring), as seen in its 2012 world premiere at the Kennedy Center.

A showcase of McCauley’s signature style of musicality and athleticism as performed by eight company dancers, this interpretation of the modern dance staple, originally choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky in 1913, is angular and abstract, and driven by the harmonic dissonance and syncopated rhythms contained in the original four-handed piano version of Igor Stravinsky’s influential orchestral composition. “I wanted people to relate to the full emotional range of the work and the unfolding of events in a less obvious way,” McCauley has said about the work.

Later, on Wednesday, May 26, at 7 p.m., comes a mixed program, live-streamed from the Kennedy Center, including the premiere of Trois Rêves, a new socially distanced work from McCauley set to the graceful, sweeping movements of composer Maurice Ravel with live piano accompaniment from the company’s Music Director Nikola Paskalov, and a reprise of McCauley’s Dances of the Yogurt Maker, set to music by Turkish composer Erberk Eryilmaz and originally commissioned by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra in 2019. For more info, visit

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