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Washington, D.C., 7th International Dance Improvisation Plus+ Festival

Remember the Torrance Community Dance Group? That gang of flailing, rhythmless “dancers” featured in Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” video a few years ago? Unfortunately, so do I—it’s the visual that plays in my head when anyone so much as mentions improvisational dance. Thank goodness, attending the International Dance Improvisation Plus+ Festival (hosted by George Washington University and organized by local dancers Maida Withers, Cyrus Khambatta, Daniel Burkholder, and Sharon Mansur) will do much to expunge such errant associations. The festival features respected dancers (Daniel Burkholder/the PlayGround, pictured), performance artists, and musicians from around the world, who undoubtedly show off skills that extend beyond the jump-around-in-yellow-sweat-suits variety. Now in its seventh year, the event gives dancers a chance to gather and—for two weekends—abandon that stuffy choreography crap in favor of free-form movement. The uninitiated may want to check out Saturday’s “Dance In” at the Art Museum of the Americas, where dancers from Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States will groove to Brazilian music. And for those who still wish to limit their dance experience to grindin’ their skanky asses up against me: You could do worse than spending an afternoon watching scantily clad pros writhe around just out of arm’s reach. The festival runs until Sunday, Dec. 9; see City List for details. (Sarah Godfrey)