Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
After a 1981 collaboration with professional weirdo David Byrne, ever-experimental choreographer Twyla Tharp faced the daunting task of trumping herself in bizarre musical selections. The following year, she premiered a new modern-dance work set to the songs of Frank Sinatra. Nine Sinatra Songs married elements of modern dance and classical ballet with formal ballroom and social dance that Tharp presumably fell for while choreographing the Oscar-nominated film Ragtime. Daniel Burkholder and dance troupe the Playground restage the classic work, tweaking the title to Songs Sinatra Sung and integrating Burkholder’s technique of “contact improvisation”—which amounts to an impressive bit of spontaneous writhing. Though Sinatra’s devoted bobby- soxer-turned-grandma fans might balk at the unhinged extemporization of composer/singer Audrey Chen’s manipulation of “One More for the Road,” the work’s spirit rings of the improvised spontaneity that earned Ol’ Blue Eyes the on-set nickname “One-Take Charlie.” The program starts at 6 p.m. on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Grand Foyer. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Kara McPhillips)