City Paper is not for tourists
Throughout his tenure at The Washington Ballet, artistic director Septime Webre has transformed beloved works of literature, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to The Great Gatsby to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, into artistic narrative ballets. In his final season with the company, Webre’s troupe of dancers will take on another classic tale: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Choreographer Stephen Mills’ adaptation of the play about the Danish prince brings the action to a contemporary setting. Unlike ballet adaptations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which feature elaborate costumes and sweeping music, this one tests the limits of dance and features a soundtrack by Philip Glass. In a way, it combines the narrative structure of traditional ballets with the abstract qualities of contemporary dance. And lest audiences fear a performance that will verge on hoaky territory, rest assured the performers will tell their stories without the use of water features or fake blood. The ballet runs March 23 to April 3 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $32.25–$130. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org.