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 […]

Washington Ballet Names Julie Kent as New Artistic Director

Following Septime Webre‘s departure as artistic director in June, the Washington Ballet won’t be leaderless for long: The organization announced today that Julie Kent has been named its new artistic director. Kent, who retired from the American Ballet Theatre last summer after 29 years, will start at the Washington Ballet on July 1. For Kent, […]

La Bohéme at Virginia Opera, Reviewed

On Saturday evening, as the world was still reeling with news of the horrific terrorist attacks that devastated Paris, Virginia Opera took the stage at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax with La Bohéme, an opera that often reads like a love song to the City of Lights. The news of the previous day’s […]

Can Pillow Performance Art Combat Gentrification?

If you happened to stroll by the Wilson Building this morning, you may have stumbled upon a peculiar scene: Performance artist Sheldon Scott, sharply dressed in a chic suit, lying on the sidewalk, head propped up by a pillow with the words “REST EASY” scribbled across. Near his head, a tarp piled with 50 similar pillows. No, this […]

In Its Second D.C. Season, a Ballet Company Nixes the Same Old Song and Dance

On June 14, the Chamber Dance Project opened its practice room to outside observers for one rehearsal. A pair of dancers took their beginning pose, entwined. Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning gave the cue to begin: “And lights up.” The dancers, Davit Hovhannisyan and Luz San Miguel, both from the Milwaukee Ballet and in their […]

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