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NOVEMBER 10-12

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It’s easy to be cynical about a D.C.-based choreographer who moves to El Salvador to make “healing” dances in a place ravaged by 12 years of civil war. In fact, when I first heard of Miya Hisaka Silva, I thought of Jules Pfeiffer’s cartoon dancer and her naive “dance to El Salvador.” Yet in one year, Hisaka’s vision and her company, El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea de El Salvador, have taken off. The troupe’s dancemaking is neither sentimental nor wildly hopeful, but the sheer energy and sensuality of the movement allows dancers and audiences to soar. Primitive musical instruments and age-old cries punctuate the work, some of which portrays the everyday lives of Salvadorans. The troupe’s engagement at D.C.’s Dance Place marks a homecoming of sorts. For 12 years, Hisaka was the artistic director of D.C. Contemporary Dance Theater (as well as director of the dance program at Georgetown University), until she and her husband established El Salvador’s first modern dance company. At 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, at 4 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $10. (202) 269-1600. (Nora FitzGerald)