Dance Place will present the 31st annual DanceAfrica, DC Festival, May 29-June 3.The event will celebrate the dance, music and spirit of the African Diaspora. The program will feature Mama Sylvia Soumah as Griot, outstanding African dance companies, a master class series, free outdoor activities and an African Marketplace. Performers will include international touring artists from Pretoria, South Africa, Usuthu Arts Productions and New York City-based Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble.
Capitol Tap, with guest District Tap, will present Leather, Sand, Metal: An Audible Exploration of Tap Dance at Dance Place on June 15 & 16. Two new works will focus on early aspects of tap dancing, including buck dancing, body percussion, and sand dancing. Other tap works will include both historical and contemporary choreography by Baakari Wilder, Leon Collins, and more.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will present Does the body rule the mind, or does the mind rule the body? -the first exhibition in the museum's history to focus on live performance art - June 20-August 12. Curated by Mark Beasley, the museum's curator of media and performance art, the presentation will feature new and recent works by leading performance artists who mix avant-garde gesture with popular culture, expressed through the rigor and dynamism of contemporary dance. The film and live performance series will include five performers who work with dance, music and spoken word - Moriah Evans, Morgan Bassichis, Will Rawls, Jen Rosenblit and Mariana Valencia.They will “explore ideas of the body and identity.” The works will be presented as a series of intimate dance and music performances designed for the Hirshhorn's circular galleries. The live performances will be presented “alongside a larger ongoing presentation of moving image documentaries and recorded works that offer an introduction to the work of this contemporary generation of American artists. Each piece is inherently social, inviting visitors to connect to the artists and to each other through playfulness, movement, humor, control and liberation. Together, they challenge notions of how people construct identity through pop culture and the histories they tell each other.”
Image below:Mariana Valencia, Album, 2018. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ian Douglas
The Lansburgh Theatre
The Chamber Dance Project will present a program titled Ballet, Chant & Song at The Lansburgh Theater, June 21-23.The world premiere of Chant will offer “a powerful work of live Gregorian chant creating a cathedral of sound, movement and light that envelops the audience. Choreographed by Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning and company dancer Andile Ndlovu, Chant features singers under the leadership of the National Cathedral Music Director, Michael McCarthy. Drawing on the majesty and emotional sweep of Gregorian chant, the work journeys from traditional chant to African-textured chant that builds into a contemporary overlay of string and voices.” In addition, the company’s eight dancers and string quartet will perform “powerful new and repertoire works from four choreographers, with a guest jazz trio featuring Lena Seikaly in the hit from last year, Songs by Cole.” The poignant Vespers by former Paul Taylor dancer, David Grenke, will receive its Washington premiere, and the beautiful Wild Swans, will be performed.
Ballet Nacional de Cuba, led by Artistic Director Alicia Alonso, with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, will perform Don Quixoteon May 29 & 30 & Giselleon May 31-June 3 in the Opera House. The performances will feature Alicia Alonso’s “definitive staging of the romantic classic Giselle with choreography after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and the company’s acclaimed version of Don Quixote choreographed by Alicia Alonso after Marius Petipa.”
Image below:The Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company will present a program titled Portraits in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on June 15 & 16.The program will feature three new dances created at the National Portrait Gallery during Burgess's residency as the Smithsonian Institution's first official choreographer. The dances, which are titled I am Vertical, After 1001 Nights, and Confluence, “exemplify Burgess's sublime choreography which poetically delves into the emotional terrain of our shared humanity.”
Wolf Trap will present Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo in the Filene Center on June 19.The all-male comic ballet company performs “a playful interpretation of classical ballet in parody form and en travesty.”