March 3, 2011 | by David J. Hoffman
Diversity dancing

A scene from 'Romeo and Juliet' as performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre. The company will be at George Mason in April. (Photo courtesy of the Ballet)

It’s a busy spring for dance in D.C., starting this weekend with an avant-dance group “Pomo Afro Homos,” with its “pomo” or “post-modern” stories from black gay life from San Francisco’s Castro District. It returns to D.C.’s Dance Place Saturday and Sunday only, each night at 8.

Think of this show as the badass dancers of queer performance. It’s the same group that rocked Dance Place in the ’90s, but is now remixed with a fresh crew of talent and attitude. Tickets are $22 ($17 for members, seniors, students, as well as teachers and artists). Dance Place is at 3225 8th Street N.E. Purchase tickets at danceplace.org or call 202-269-1600.

Coming at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Montgomery College, in its Guest Artist Series with “Stars of the Bolshoi,” is Bolshoi Ballet principal dancers Mario Mashina and Andrei Bolitin at the College’s Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St. in Rockville. For tickets ($40 and $38), call the box office at 240-567-5301 or visit montgomerycollege.edu.

Coming in April to George Mason University in Virginia is the Russian National Ballet Theatre, called by the Washington Post “a cut above many of its rivals,” and performing three of classics: “Romeo and Juliet” April 9 and “Swan Lake” on April 10, both at GMU’s Center for the Arts at its Fairfax campus, and on April 19 “Sleeping Beauty,” at its Manassas campus at the Hylton Center. Tickets for the first two ($27-$54) and the third ($30-$46) are at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

The Atlas Intersections festival also features theater, music and film, as well as other dance performances, including “Mirandy and Brother Wind,” a world premiere dance operetta for families that follows young Mirandy on a quest to win a cakewalk contest by capturing the perfect partner — Brother Wind. A collaboration of Adventure Theatre with the African Continuum Theatre Company, “Mirandy” is performed Saturday at 11 a.m, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and also March 11-13. Tickets are $15, for ages 5 and up.

Also consider on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. a dance-theater fantasy from Word Dance Theater: “Preludes: Duncan, Sand and Chopin,” where the feminist writer George Sand encounters the revolutionary choreographer and dancer Isadora Duncan, united by their passionate encounter with the “Preludes” of Sand’s lover, the composer Frederic Chopin. Tickets are $30, $20 students.

At the Kennedy Center, March 22-24 in its Eisenhower Theater, is the 16-member Paul Taylor Dance Company, a contemporary dance company formed by one of the foremost American choreographers of the 20th century, the last living member of the pantheon that created America’s indigenous art of modern dance. Dubbed by Martha Graham “the naughty boy of dance,” Taylor, who was born in 1930 and grew up in and around D.C., is gay. His cutting-edge repertory is often highly erotic, including three works this time: “Three Dubious Memories,” “Brief Encounters” and “Also Playing.” For tickets ($22-$65), visit kennedy-center.org or the box office or call 800-444-1324.

Finally, the lord of the dance beckons you also, and it’s D.C.’s only square dance club, D.C. Lambda Squares. The Squares will offer free intros to modern Western square dancing in April, and single dancers are warmly welcomed. Visit dclambdasquares.org/info for details.

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