Recent Dance Articles

Athletic Aesthetic

Moses Pendleton choreographs feats with his dance company Momix

Ask Moses Pendleton about his dance company Momix's next show in D.C. and he'll give you a perfectly lucid description -- and then crack wise. ''Botanica is a show that hopefully gives you the feeling of going through the four seasons, using basically the garden and natural world as inspiration,'' he says, continuing on a bit before stopping to laugh. ''Of course there is the opportunity to dream if you don't like the show. If you have that kind of ... [Read]

Anglophilic

The Washington Ballet celebrates British rock -- and choreography

''All three of these choreographers are at the top of their game,'' Septime Webre says, referring to Trey McIntyre, Christopher Bruce and Christopher Wheeldon. As artistic director of The Washington Ballet, Webre has put together a program featuring works by these three choreographers, two of whom -- the two Christophers -- are British. And as it turns out, Anglophilia is the driving force behind the program, titled British Invasions. The focus is on ''the two greats of British rock and ... [Read]

Unexpected Moves

Alvin Ailey's Robert Battle advances the company's popular legacy

''I started taking dance because I used to imitate Michael Jackson,'' says Robert Battle, who recalls playing piano and singing as a child growing up in Miami before Thriller inspired him to move. But the 41-year-old's dance career path was further solidified once he caught a local performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. ''I remember just being so moved by it, so excited by it.'' {Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Rachael McLaren, Jacqueline Green and Glenn Allen Sims ... [Read]

Rousseve's Reality

UCLA's dance diva brings his own brand of Stardust to College Park

As a child growing up in Houston, David Rousseve had dreams of being a Broadway triple-threat performer -- singer, dancer and actor. Surprisingly, that was his principal motivation when choosing college too. ''Honestly, I'd never heard of Princeton when I got in,'' Rousseve says, laughing at the memory. ''But I looked at a map and saw, well, New Jersey is next to New York. I can commute to New York and become a Broadway diva. That was my goal in ... [Read]

French Toast

The InSeries and Washington Ballet salute French songs in a new show

On the surface you might not expect a collaboration between the InSeries's Carla Hubner -- originally from Chile -- and the Washington Ballet's Septime Webre -- of Cuban descent -- to result in a show devoted to French music. But La Vie En Rose, which Webre has co-directed and co-choreographed with David Palmer, the ballet's associate artistic director, reflects their professional histories. ''About eight years ago,'' Webre says, ''notable New York-based cabaret artist Karen Akers and I did a project ... [Read]

District of Dance

Modern Moves Festival celebrates local contemporary dance

''Our intent,'' says Carla Perlo of Dance Place, ''is to shed light on the fact that yes, we have world-class companies that have chosen to make Washington, D.C., their home.'' In fact, all 12 companies participating in the Dance Place-organized Modern Moves Festival, running this weekend at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, regularly tour nationally and internationally. ''They're famous touring companies,'' Perlo says, ''and then they come home and they don't always get the same respect.'' These companies, including Bowen ... [Read]

Beefed-Up Ballet

The Washington Ballet puts male dancers in the spotlight for ''Giselle''

{Giselle (Photo by Steve Vaccariello)} ''Men in tights.'' Septime Webre laughs after he says that, the first thing that springs to mind when asked what's gay about The Washington Ballet's production of Giselle. But Webre is not, in fact, kidding. As the company's artistic director, Webre has actually increased the ballet's homoerotic appeal. ''It was created at a time when men were very much in the background in ballet, and they didn't dance very much,'' he explains about Giselle, first ... [Read]

Homecoming Dance

Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to D.C. after a prolonged hiatus

{Return #1 (Photo by Matthew Murphy)} ''My older sister was so clumsy,'' Jenelle Figgins says. ''I guess my mother assumed that she'd be able to bypass a few accidents by putting us in dance.'' Ultimately the move inspired three of the four Figgins girls to pursue dance as a career, including Jenelle, who next weekend returns to her hometown with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The professional troupe, founded in 1972, performs two mixed-repertory programs at Sidney Harman Hall as ... [Read]

Night at the Ballet

NPR's Ari Shapiro's ''surreal opportunity'' to sing with The Washington Ballet

Did you hear the one about NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro performing with The Washington Ballet? ''I'm not a dancer, and I do not dance,'' Shapiro says, ''but I get to sing this song while everybody dances around me.'' He's not joking. In fact, the song Shapiro sings during his ''little cameo'' in the company's new ballet, based on Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, is in French. {Ari Shapiro (Photo by Doby Photography, NPR)} ''It's a crazy, fun, surreal opportunity,'' ... [Read]

Vampire Barre

The Washington Ballet's latest is as much Broadway as ballet

''It's been loosely referred to as the Rocky Horror Show of ballet,'' jokes Michael Pink. ''It comes back and back again because it sells out. People adore it. It has that cult status.'' He's referring to Dracula. Both Atlanta Ballet and Colorado Ballet have performed the ballet nearly six times in the past 13 years. Also a repeat performer is the Milwaukee Ballet, where Pink serves as artistic director. {Dracula Luis R. Torres and Maki Onuki in ''Dracula'' (Photo by ... [Read]

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