An Inside Look at How a New Ballet Came Together in 14 Days

The Washington Ballet will dance "RACECAR," a piece constructed over the course of three weeks.

In mid-September, a sign posted on the notice board outside the Washington Ballet studio reads: “Please drop off pointe shoes and slippers to be dyed in the bucket near your dressing rooms by Friday, Sept 27th. Thank you!!” Just weeks after the ballerinas’ traditionally pink satin pointe shoes are dyed bright red, the company will […]

The DC Arts Center Hosts a Multi-Generation Black Performance Art Collaboration

The Black Overlay takes re-performance to new heights.

On June 1, before an intimate crowd at the DC Arts Center (DCAC), Holly Bass performed a piece that left her feeling sore. For the piece, she stood stock still on the black box theater stage between two wood columns, while another artist worked around her. It was a test of endurance typical of her […]

Gian Carlo Perez Is Making Ballet Relevant Again

As one of The Washington Ballet’s premier dancers Perez dances with personal and poignant grace.

Gian Carlo Perez still gets jitters in the moments before a performance. He waits in the wings while stagehands and set pieces move around him. When his nerves get the better of him, the Cuban dancer retreats to the bathroom until his cue. But his audience would never know. When Perez dances, he is completely […]

The Scene Report: Head-Roc, Killa Kiesha, and More

Checking in on the latest in D.C. hip-hop.

Head Roc, The Black Avenger LPSelf-released Head Roc not-so-modestly refers to himself as a Black Rock Star Super Hero, but if you check out his résumé (activist, entrepreneur, journalist, political candidate) the veteran lyricist is worthy of the bombastic accolades. And his new album Black Avenger is jam-packed with the conscious verses and punchy beats that we expect […]

5,000 Lbs. of Dry Ice, 100 Lbs. of Pyrotechnics, and 21 Gallons of Paper Snow: Inside The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker

For The Washington Ballet, the journey from rehearsal to performance is a wild world of beautiful Christmas commotion.

The chaos hits full throttle. Backstage, ballet master Michele Jimenez is informed that a child may have peed at center stage. Sure enough, there’s a puddle in the center of the stage. The littlest snow angels, clad in shimmering blue dresses with matching halos, are yelling at every dancer that passes by, “Good job breaking […]

Makes Me Wanna Shout

Performance Group When Europeans uprooted Africans from their homelands and brought them to the Americas, the traders did everything they could to strip the captives of their culture—and their new masters then force-fed them Christianity. But the flames of damnation and the hail of brimstone that an angry God promised white Methodist and Baptist congregations […]

Breaking the Dance Barrier

Moving Forward Dance Company At the post-performance reception following the Nov. 5 world premiere of Gandhara: East West Passages, a regular dancegoer looked around at the decidedly nonbohemian crowd and mused, “Who are all these people?” Science guys rubbed shoulders with ambassadors, art-gallery denizens, and Mayor Anthony Williams, who delivered an official proclamation making Nov. […]