How Rhizome DC Pivoted Its Way Through a Pandemic

The Takoma arts venue Rhizome DC has managed to host workshops, art exhibitions, and even concerts over the last year.

It’s Jan. 14, 2021, and Rhizome DC is hosting a virtual event called “Mindful Listening in Isolated Times.” Molly Jones, a Chicago-based improviser and composer, has been practicing sound-based meditation for the past 11 months and wants to share the experience with others. “Unlike a lot of Zoom meetings, I would invite you, if you’re […]

In 2020, D.C. Comedians Explored Comedy’s Final Frontier: The Outdoors

A crowded comedy club is the coronavirus’ dream, so comics took their shows outdoors. Those impromptu shows might end up changing comedy’s status quo.

Comedians agree their art is best performed where a contagious virus might thrive: small basements with low ceilings packed to the brim with people. That’s the kind of place where a comic will know immediately whether or not a joke has landed, either from the laughter bouncing around the room or the immediate silence. The […]

Performance Artist Maps Glover Charts a New Course for Himself

Glover is a performance artist who wasn’t able to perform because of the coronavirus. Here’s what he did instead.

“The rush of performing is pretty unmatched,” Maps Glover says. “That vibration of you and the audience connecting on that unspoken level is an unmatched feeling, and I miss it tremendously.” Glover, a performance and conceptual artist originally from Charles County, Maryland, has a slight build and an easy smile. Before the pandemic, he was one […]

Coronavirus Means No In-Person Nutcracker, But for Some Young Dancers, the Show Went On

City Paper checked in with several dance students to see how they are handling the upending of an annual tradition.

The cast list for The Nutcracker usually comes out on a Friday in early fall at Maryland Youth Ballet (MYB), a pre-professional school in Silver Spring. In the days before the announcement, the teachers observe their classes even more closely than usual in order to decide which dancers get which roles. Their determinations are placed […]

How the Pandemic Has Impacted Local Dance Schools and the Next Generation of Dancers

With classes suspended or redesigned, young dancers and their teachers must figure out how to train.

For many years, the fundamentals of ballet class have remained largely unchanged. There was a barre, there was a mirror, and there was the beat of a piece of music. But recent months have seen that relative consistency brought to a halt.  The coronavirus pandemic forced ballet schools and dance centers in the D.C. area to […]

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 […]

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