There’s an abundance of dance performances in and around the DMV this season, and good for us! More than ever, the world needs dance, “a healing art that brings our community together,” according to choreographer and recent Metro Weekly cover star Dana Tai Soon Burgess.
In October, Burgess and his DTSBDC artists bring sculpture and dance together with Surroundings: A Tribute to Maya Lin, premiering at the National Portrait Gallery, while the Kennedy Center hosts September’s annual ultimate dance get-together, National Dance Day.
District audiences enjoy a wealth of options for just the right Nutcracker to tickle their fancy, and a few lucky chances to catch super troupes like Mark Morris Dance Group, American Ballet Theatre, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
But blink and you might miss singular treats like beloved twister-tumblers MOMIX, and Farruquito, the flamenco superstar from Seville, stomping through on a mini-tour that’s sure to leave fans swooning.
Editor’s Note: This column has been modified slightly from the magazine edition.
Visionaries of the Creative Arts: Deaf BIPOC Solo Shows — Explore the Deaf BIPOC experience through ASL storytelling, dance, poetry, and music with performing artists Natasha “Courage” Bacchus, Mervin Primeaux-O’Bryant, and Stella Marie Antonio, each presenting their own autobiographical, 90-minute work, all performed in ASL and spoken English (9/23-25, Lang Theatre)
Kalanidhi Dance: Sundari Kalapam “The Ballad of Belle” — The Bethesda-based company reimagines the oft-told fairy tale in the Indian classical dance tradition of Kuchipudi, following beauty Sundari into a world of fairies, imps, and the mysterious Beast who probably will win her heart (10/28-29)
The Nutcracker — Members of BalletNova’s pre-professional Junior and Conservatory divisions present a full theatrical staging of the holiday favorite (11/26-27, Kenmore MS, Arlington)
Home for the Holidays – Jingle! — BalletNova dancers join the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra for ASO’s traditional holiday concert (12/17, Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center, Alexandria)
10534 York Road
Cockeysville, Md. 21030
The Nutcracker — The company’s 22nd annual production of Tchaikovsky’s chestnut, featuring world-renowned guest artists, and a pre-show Sunday “Tea with Clara” meet-and-greet for kids (12/10-11, Goucher College Kraushaar Auditorium, Towson)
BALTIMORE THEATRE PROJECT
45 West Preston St.
50-Year Anniversary Concert — The Baltimore Theatre Project celebrates their golden milestone with a reception, followed by music, theater, and dance performances highlighting resident artists like Deep Vision Dance Company (10/23)
Full Circle Dance Company — In HOME: Longing and Belonging, Full Circle stages works by choreographers exploring meanings of home, as in Home/Less by company artistic director Donna L. Jacobs, or Jennifer Seye’s Vows, which takes on laws affecting who we’re allowed to make a home with (11/19-20)
CHAMBER DANCE PROJECT
CDP Media Lounge
700 12th St. NW
Great Works Series — Following their just-wrapped performance season, the company leaps into its discussion series with artistic director Diane Coburn Bruning and guests deconstructing impactful choreography on stage and film by notables like Lar Lubovitch and Twyla Tharp, while members sip wine, view the ballets, and join the conversation (10/12, 11/9, then resuming February thru April)
National Dance Day at Kennedy Center — Highlighting its award-winning pre-professional training across multiple genres, CityDance Conservatory takes the stage performing an arrangement of dance works, and will be announcing its 2022-23 Conservatory Performance season soon (9/17, REACH Plaza, Kennedy Center)
Surroundings: A Tribute to Maya Lin — Premiere of DTSBDC’s work inspired by the upcoming National Portrait Gallery exhibit Maya Lin: One Life, and created by the Gallery’s choreographer-in-residence Burgess, who told Metro Weekly that Surroundings focuses “on the idea of an abstract emotional terrain that occurs with an artist, any artist, but especially an artist who is architectural, who’s looking at landscape, who’s looking at, in a sense, a lot of hauntings” (10/16, 10/23, 10/30, National Portrait Gallery)
Transformations Showcase — The Falls Church-based company presents its annual night of new and existing works by selected choreographers (11/19, Chaiken Auditorium, Fairfax)
3225 8th St. NE
Kinetic Light — The internationally recognized disability arts ensemble performs the evening-length dance, tech, and design work DESCENT on a custom ramp installation built to accentuate the pleasures of wheeled movement (9/24-25)
DANCE LOFT ON 14
4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor
Dance Loft on 14 just received D.C. Zoning Commission approval for its future green arts complex, a mixed-use building with arts and dance spaces on the ground floor and affordable housing above. Stay tuned.
GMU CENTER FOR THE ARTS
4373 Mason Pond Drive
MOMIX — The world-famous troupe formed by innovator Moses Pendleton marks 40 years of mind-bending, shapeshifting dance and acrobatics with VIVA MOMIX, a program of some of the company’s most dazzling vignettes (10/1, Concert Hall)
Fall: New Dances — The Mason School of Dance presents a performance filled with diverse choreography and talented dancers (11/11-12, Harris Theatre)
Fall: Dance Innovations — GMU choreographers showcase new works performed by the Mason Dance Company (12/2-3, Harris Theatre)
December Studio Series — New dances performed in an intimate black-box setting (12/6, deLaski Performing Arts Building)
HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
10960 George Mason Circle
Kollywood Night 2022 — A festive night of Nepalese music and dance (9/24, Merchant Hall)
Mummenschanz — The Swiss troupe many might remember from The Muppet Show combines large-scale masks, puppetry, and the inventive use of shadow and light to reprise classic sketches and characters in career retrospective 50 Years (10/23, Merchant Hall)
Farruquito — Spanish flamenco sensation Farruquito (a.k.a. Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya) dances his personal journey through traditional flamenco bulerías, alegrías, and tangos, accompanied by an expressive cast of dancers, live musicians, and vocalists (10/30, Merchant Hall)
Company 360 Dance Theatre: AWAY — A contemporary horror ballet, “inspired by Hitchockian proclivities” and set amidst a Rear Windowed murderous engagement party, follows two heroines in a fight to love without the threat of hatred (11/19, Merchant Hall)
Virginia National Ballet: The Nutcracker — The 10th anniversary production from artistic director Rafik Hegab and company features international soloists and professional students from VNB’s school (11/25)
Northern Virginia Ballet: The Nutcracker — Exquisite costuming and Russian-produced sets add to the holiday magic of NVB’s traditional production (11/26)
Machine de Cirque — The Quebec City-based company juggles zany acrobats, one electrifying musician, and loads of popcorn in La Galerie, its high-flying spectacle about a circus troupe invading a serious museum exhibit (2/4-5)
Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble — The renowned company makes its much-anticipated Hylton Center debut with Morris’ whimsical, critically-acclaimed Beatles tribute Pepperland, set to songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and original music by Ethan Iverson (2/11)
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan: 13 Tongues — Artistic director Cheng Seng-lung imagines a fantasy world from his childhood memory of the sights and sounds in Taipei’s oldest district, Bangka (10/20-22, Eisenhower)
Mark Morris Dance Group: The Look of Love — MMDG presents the East Coast premiere of Morris’ choreographic ode to the songs of Burt Bacharach (10/26-29, Eisenhower)
Dance for Parkinson’s Disease with Mark Morris Dance Group — Launched as a partnership between Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, this program offers internationally acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s (10/29, Studio F)
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo: Cendrillon — The company founded by Princess Caroline of Monaco makes its Kennedy Center debut with choreographer and director Jean-Christophe Maillot’s new version of Cinderella set to Prokofiev’s classic score (11/17-20, Eisenhower)
Kansas City Ballet: The Nutcracker — Continuing the Kennedy Center’s annual presentation of the nation’s best Nutcrackers, this year the K.C. Ballet takes a spin, promising “grandeur, laughter, and a snowfall of Christmas magic” (11/23-27, Opera House)
Ballet Hispánico: Doña Perón — Last seen at the Kennedy Center in 2013, the illustrious Ballet Hispánico returns with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s dance portrait probing the brief, rag-to-riches life of Argentina’s controversial icon Eva Perón (11/30-12/03, Eisenhower Theater)
National Ballet of China: Chinese New Year (A Ballet in Two Acts) — Known for fusing western ballet and Chinese culture, National Ballet of China presents a luminous, mystical adaptation of The Nutcracker, set to Tchaikovsky’s familiar score but centered on a young Chinese girl celebrating the New Year (2/1-5, Opera House)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — The Ailey Company’s annual visit to the Opera House will, of course, include signature opus Revelations, along with new modern dance works courtesy of today’s “most dynamic choreographers” (2/7-12, Opera House)
Open Rehearsal: American Ballet Theatre — An afternoon delight for ballet fans, who can view a company rehearsal with live commentary provided by dance scholars (2/15, Opera House)
American Ballet Theatre: Romeo and Juliet — The nation’s preeminent ballet troupe brushes up their Shakespeare, performing choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s version of the tragic love story (2/15-19, Opera House)
Farruquito — The first of two chances this season to catch the Spanish flamenco powerhouse in the DMV, so don’t miss out on his masterful moves, accompanied by live singers and musicians (10/29, The Music Center, and 10/30, Hylton Performing Arts Center)
Dorrance Dance: SOUNDspace — Challenging notions of tap, this NYC-based company supports dancers and musicians “who embody and push the dynamic range that tap dance has to offer” (11/3, Music Center)
The Hip-Hop Nutcracker — Back by popular demand, and once again featuring legendary rapper Kurtis Blow, this holiday remix mashes up Tchaikovsky’s score with all-star contemporary and hip-hop dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and Blow, one of hip-hop’s founding fathers (12/19-22, Music Center)
MFA Dance Thesis Concert — Fall thesis showcase presenting choreographic works by MFA in Dance students (11/17-20, Dance Theatre)
Shamel Pitts’ TRIBE: Black Hole: Trilogy and Triathalon — Voyage into “a kaleidoscopic performance art experience” by artist, dancer, and choreographer Pitts, who uses a trio of dancers, original sound, strobe lighting, video projections (and a hint of nudity) to create what promises to be an intriguing third entry in his trilogy of works built on Ohad Naharin’s Gaga movement language (12/2, Kay Theatre)
NEXTsteps — Visionary new choreography by Silas Farley, Dana Genshaft, and the company’s own Andile “reflects the voices of our time” (10/12-16, Sidney Harman Hall)
The Nutcracker — Choreographed by former TWB artistic director Septime Webre, the company’s acclaimed production whisks audiences back to historic Georgetown for a nation’s capital take on Tchaikovsky’s ballet (11/25-12/30, Warner Theatre)
Balanchine! — TWB honors the great George Balanchine with a program featuring the artist’s classic repertoire, including Concerto Barocco, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Apollo, and Theme & Variations (2/22-26, Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater)
The Nutcracker — Guest artists from the New York City Ballet join the Maryland Regional Ballet Company and students from the Frederick School of Classical Ballet to transport audiences to Tchaikovsky’s Kingdom of Sweets (12/9-11, Weinberg Center)
John E. Dowell once had a dream in which his late grandmother beckoned him to visit the cotton fields of South Carolina as a way to honor their roots and legacy.
The Philadelphia-based photographer and Temple University art professor emeritus made good on the dream, snapping photographs of his journey South that eventually formed the basis of Cotton: The Soft Dangerous Beauty of the Past.
The series of 35 large-scale photographs was presented as an exhibition in 2018 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Dowell's haunting and often surreal images situate cotton both in the past and in the present of the African-American experience, and evoke the journey from rural Southern fields to the North, specifically the concrete canyons of New York City.
George Mason University organized its first annual gaming convention in 2019, an all-day event co-presented by its main student entity and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, in collaboration with several game design programs affiliated with the school as well as the student affinity group GMU Esports.
Microsoft signed on to sponsor the second annual GAMEmason (GAME in this instance being an acronym for Gaming, Appearances, Meet and Greets, and Experiences), set for mid-March 2020, but you can guess why the convention was canceled that year, and also why it became a virtual affair in 2021.
"I've been lucky enough to be in eight Broadway shows, all of which have been pretty varied. I've done four shows on London's West End. I've had a really amazing career that, if it stopped..."
Gavin Creel was roughly 20 minutes into an hour-long interview when he abruptly stopped mid-sentence, catching himself being reflective, forgetting his recent reality.
If it stopped…
In fact, his career did stop, along with the careers of every other stage performer, nearly three years ago. The global pandemic forced performers like Creel to take an indefinite hiatus from work, without pay and benefits, for what turned out to be a full year and a half for most, longer for others.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!