Where can you see The Nutcracker in the DMV?

If you live in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region, there are plenty of opportunities to see a production of The Nutcracker. Ballet might not be your favorite genre of dance, but the production has a lot to offer with familiar music, fun costumes and a variety of make believe characters. If you know of another production of The Nutcracker going on in the DMV that’s not listed below, please add a comment with the information. Happy holidays!

Maryland 
Ballet Theatre of Maryland

Ballet Theatre of Maryland

Ballet Theatre of Maryland
December 11-12, December 18-19
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
801 Chase Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland Regional Ballet
December 10-12
Weinberg Center for the Arts
20 West Patrick Street
Frederick, MD 21701

Virginia

Manassas Ballet Theatre
December 11-12, December 17-18
Hylton Performing Arts Center
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, VA 20110

Manassas Ballet TheatreRichmond Ballet
December 10-23
Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage
600 E. Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Virginia Ballet Company & School
December 27-29
The Ernst Community Cultural Center
Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus

Washington DC

Balance: The GW Ballet Group
December 11 8pm
Betts’ Theatre, Marvin Center at George Washington University
800 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Washington Ballet
December 2-26
Warner Theatre
1299 Pennsylvania Ave Suite 111
Washington, DC 20004

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VelocityDC Dance Festival 2010 at Sidney Harman Hall

VelocityDC Dance Festival was this past weekend at the Harman Center for the Arts. Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington Performing Arts Society and Dance/MetroDC presented the event which featured fourteen dance companies from the DC area. I attended the performances on Thursday, October 7th and Friday, October 8th, which were also presented in two performances on Saturday, October 9th.

Both nights, attendees were greeted by dancers in the lobby area of Sidney Harman Hall. Jane Franklin Dance climbed and danced on a metal contraption that spun around and could be reconfigured in different ways. Andile Ndlovu of the Washington Ballet performed a beautiful solo piece titled ‘Wording’ while people milled around before the performance. When you walked into the auditorium, you had to breakdance battle with Urban Artistry to get to your seat and groove to the music blasting from DJ BaronhawkPoitier and DJ Obeyah.

On Thursday and Friday night, Urban Artistry opened the show with ‘Funk In Focus.’ I’m not well versed in the bboy world, but it looked like a strutting combination that also featured popping and locking solos by the two performers. The piece was followed by flamenco both nights with Furia Flamenca taking a more traditional approach on Thursday with colorful shawls and dresses for costumes and Edwin Aparicio bringing a modern take on Friday with his dancers dressed in sharp black suits. Both were huge crowd pleasers generating a roaring applause from the audience.

The Washington Ballet also performed the same routine both nights but with different casts. ‘High Lonesome’ choreographed by Trey McIntyre featured music from Beck’s album Odelay and according to Trey McIntyre Project’s website is an autobiographical piece that premiered back in 2001 by Ballet Memphis. The white streamers hanging from ceiling to floor created a playful set that allowed the five performers to enter and exit the stage in unexpected ways. The juxtaposition between traditional ballet movements and modern hip hop moves also made for a unique twist that captivated the audience.

CityDance Ensemble performed both nights as well, but presented two different works. Thursday night they closed the show with Paul Taylor’s ‘Esplanade’ which they also performed at the DC Arts on Foot Festival. Friday night they performed Christopher K. Morgan’s ‘+1/-1’ before Suzanne Farrell Ballet closed out the show with George Balanchine’s ‘Tzigane.’ ‘Esplanade’ had a much warmer reception from the audience than ‘+1/-1’ but I thought the Morgan piece showcased their talent and athleticism more.

One of my favorite pieces on Thursday night was ClancyWorks Dance Company’s ‘Driven [by the female heartbeat].’ This piece, which featured four female dancers, started with spotlighted solos – one of which included a crazy headstand balance that generated an audible gasp from the audience. Unique use of lighting and a blend of both individual movements and group choreography created a cohesive modern dance piece. Friday night, Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company’s ‘Khaybet’ performed by Connie Lin Fink stood out in my mind. The soloist danced within a sepia tone diagonal light on stage with her face covered by a veil. The haunting image of the dancer and majestic music created a moving piece about death and mourning.

Overall, my favorite piece was Liz Lerman Dance Exchange’s ‘Still Crossing,’ performed on Friday night. All ages, races and body types were represented in this piece which featured dancers dressed in different shades of blue. The ethereal lighting and music had somewhat of a sci-fi quality to it, but created a somber setting for choreography that literally moved me to tears. I don’t usually cry in public, but the sight of everyone dancing in unison – including a man with a cane and a man who did not have full movement of his arms – really spoke to me. I hope you’ll get a chance to see this piece sometime.

Did you attend the VelocityDC Dance Festival? Which performances did you like best and why? What other dance styles would you like to have seen represented in the show?

danceDC Weekend Event Guide 8/06-8/08

Sad to be away from DC again this weekend, but happy to be hanging in LA.  First time to Southern California so if you have any recommendations on places to dance, please send me a note.  Here are some upcoming events in the District including auditions this Saturday in Silver Spring for Contradiction Dance.  As always, feel free to leave a comment with anything I left out.  Keep dancing!

Friday, August 6th

Saturday, August 7th

Sunday, August 8th

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