Events: Dance DC Festival 2012

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is hosting its Ninth Annual Dance DC Festival, August 2012. This festival highlights rich traditions from cultures across the globe! The Dance DC Festival 2012 will present an array of folk and traditional music and dance performance groups from Washington, D.C.!

Schedule of events:

Friday, August 24, 2012
6:00 p.m. – The Drum
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

This performance salutes the staple that connects every culture around the world; The Drum. Enjoy an evening of rhythmic percussive foot performances from countries across the globe! Also featuring a multicultural marketplace. Featured performers include Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, Grufolpawa, Fiddle Puppet Dancers, Flamenco Aparicio, Lesole’s Dance Project, Just Tap, and Nana Malaya.

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Let’s Get Physical! A series of interactive workshops.
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
1:00 p.m. – Bharatanatyam, Dr. Janaki Rangarajan
2:00 p.m. – Pontitango, Argentine Tango
3:00 p.m. – International Capoeira, Angola Foundation Capoeira

6:00 p.m. – Dance Asia 2012: Asia in Maskquerade
John F. Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566

Revel in the mystery and enchantment of Asian Maskquerade. The jovial, the forbidden, the divine, the sanguine, mask are significant elements in many folk and traditional ceremonies, rituals & traditions and are often of an ancient origin. Witness the vivacity of movement and partake in the dance.

7:00 p.m. – Move N’ Groove: An all out Hand Dance Party!
Twelve Lounge, 1123 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Join us as we close out the festival with DC’s own native dance, led by The National Hand Dance Association.

For more information contact Ebony C. Blanks, Program Coordinator ebony.blanks@dc.gov or (202) 724-5613.

The above information is from an e-mail received Wednesday, July 18th.

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Dance Asia 2010 Performance at Atlas Performing Arts Center

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities hosted the Dance DC Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE last weekend.  The event celebrated global movement and cultural dance through a series of free workshops and performances, including Dance Asia 2010 which took place last Saturday, August 21st at 5pm.  This performance featured traditional dances from Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino, Chinese, Indian and Mongolian cultures.

My friend Haffa and I hopped on the Red Line at Dupont Circle and got off at Union Station.  If you go out the back entrance toward the parking lot, you end up on H Street NE and the walk is about 10 blocks to Atlas Performing Arts Center.  Later on, I found out that 15th and I Street NW is one of the X2 stops so I took that bus back to my place near Logan Circle.  It will probably be the way I get to H Street NE from now on.

I was really looking forward to Dance Asia 2010 as I come from an Asian background myself, but was sadly disappointed by the performance overall.  I felt like the performers were not performing, but instead going through the movements half heartedly.  The host was a beauty pageant contestant who did a poor job introducing each act.  It seemed like she was reading the script for the very first time and it was clear that there was no pronunciation instruction beforehand.

There were of course some highlights.  The group who performed Indian folk dancing featured two little girls who charmed the audience.  Their second act was also captivating as the performers actually looked like they were enjoying themselves.  The Fairfax Chinese Dance Group brought some color to the performance with joyful music selections and red props.  And the Filipino-American Heritage Dance Ensemble got the crowd going with their rendition of the tinikling (video below).  For more videos from the performance, check out my YouTube page.

Did you go to the Dance Asia 2010 performance?  What did you think?   Do you agree with my thoughts on the show?  What other traditional dances would you like to have seen?

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