There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Novelist Edmund White once called theatrical pioneer Robert Wilson “a playwright who doesn’t write.” Presumably, White was being facetious about Wilson’s highly visual style—one that often eschews narrative. These days, the maverick collaborator can also be called a choreographer who doesn’t dance, but his terpsichorean foray is sure to open up the discipline. Wilson has created Snow on the Mesa, a one-act dance to traditional Balinese music and American song from the ’30s, for the Martha Graham Company. The piece is a tribute to the modern-dance legend who greatly influenced his work: He probably shares more of the late Graham’s sensibilities than any other artist (including choreographers) today. Graham was as obsessed with ancient drama and archetypal images as she was with inventing a new vocabulary for dance. Her staged mythologies inspired the young Wilson, and his seminal works—The Photographer and Einstein on the Beach—are rapturously visual and kinetic. Costumes for Snow were conceived by Donna Karan, who has remarked that Graham invented the concept of “black and stretch” in apparel. Also on the program is Graham’s signature work, Appalachian Spring, an American folk tale that premiered in 1944. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. $27.50-$40. (202) 467-4600. (Nora FitzGerald)