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Music & Concerts

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW DANCE: Movement, motion and meaning

Picasso, stardom and Chinese history among region’s dance themes



dance, gay news, Washington Blade
dance, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Black to Silver’ returns in April. (Photo courtesy Dissonance Dance Theatre)

The Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, a gay-helmed company, performs the world premiere of “Picasso Dances,” inspired by a series of works by the famed artist at the Kreeger Museum (2401 Foxhall Rd., N.W.), also the location of the performance, on March 26. Tickets are $45.

Washington Performing Arts presents two dance showcases this spring. Jessica Lang Dance is at George Washington University Lisner Auditorium (730 21st N.W.) on March 28 at 8 p.m. Jessica Lang Dance company is relatively new, founded in 2011, but has already performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Tickets range from $25-38.

dance, gay news, Washington Blade

Jessica Lang Dance. (Photo by Takao Komaru; courtesy Bucklesweet Media)

Brooklyn company Gallim Dance performs at Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th St., N.W.) on April 16-17 at 8 p.m. Gallim Dance infuses Israeli contemporary dance in their productions led by Artistic Director Andrew Miller. Tickets are $30. For more information on these shows and to purchase tickets, visit

dance, gay news, Washington Blade

Gallim Dance. (Photo by Franziska Strauss; courtesy Bucklesweet Media)

The Kennedy Center (2700  F St., N.W.) has several offerings slated.

Iberian Suite: María Muñoz, Mal Pelo and Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza is on March 13-14. Muñoz will premiere her solo piece “Bach” for the first time in the U.S. Tickets are $26.

Apertamente S.r.l. presents  “Being Leonardo da Vinci: An Impossible Interview on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. The performance is a one-act two-scene play that show cases da Vinci’s life. The play’s prologue includes a contemporary  ballet dance performance inspired by da Vinci’s painting “Vitruvian Man” and choreographed by Michela Lucenti. Tickets range from $24-30. The play will be performed in Italian with English subtitles.

Bowen McCauley Dance presents the world premiere of “Victory Road” on April 10-11. The show uses Jason Ringenberg’s music to create dances that bring his stories and songs to life in a story about a boy who leaves home in the 1980s to become a music star. Tickets range from $40-45.

Washington Ballet presents “Swan Lake” at Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on April 8-12. Tickets range from $45-145. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

dance, gay news, Washington Blade

Brooklyn Mack and Misty Copeland in ‘Swan Lake.’ (Photo by Teo Kossenas; courtesy Washington Ballet)

Shen Yun, a classical Chinese dance and music company, presents “Shen Yun 2015: Reviving 5,000 Years of Civilization” from April 17-26. The dance performance chronicles ancient legends, modern stories and more in 5,000 years of China’s culture and history. Tickets range from $50-250.

Dissonance Dance Theatre presents “Black to Silver: A Black LGBT Experience” at Joy of Motion Dance Center (5207 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) on April 11-12. The show explores interpersonal relationships, identity and love inside the African-American LGBT community. The show also focuses on homoeroticism, acceptance, affirmation and more. It’s D.C.’s first theatrical platform for African-American LGBT dance artists.

BalletNova presents “Firebird and Other Works” at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre (125 S. Old Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va.) on May 1 at 7:30 p.m., May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and May 3 at 3 p.m. The performances use dance to tell the story of Prince Ivan and the Firebird who battle the evil wizard Katschai. Tickets range from $8-30. The May 2 performance includes a dance talk with BalletNova teacher Irina Wunder at 6 p.m.

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, a gay-helmed local company, performs “Persistent Voices,” a work that explores the effects of AIDS, at Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) May 2-3 and at the Reston Community Center at Hunter Woods (2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston) on May 6. Tickets are $15-30. Details at

If you’re the one who wants to dance, there are several chances to do that as well. DJ Matt Bailer is at Town this weekend. Other highlights there include Dirty Pop with DJ Drew G on March 14, DJ James Anthony on March 21, CTRL on March 28, Madonnarama on April 11, the Cherry main event with DJ Tom Stephan on April 18 and more. Details at


Music & Concerts

The Atlantis to showcase musical legends of tomorrow

New venue, a near replica of original 9:30 Club, opens next month



A look at the interior of the original 9:30 club. (Photo public domain/Library of Congress)

A new nirvana for music fans opens next month adjacent to the 9:30 Club. Dubbed The Atlantis, this intimate venue embraces a 450-person capacity – and pays homage as a near-replica of the original 9:30 Club.

The $10 million venue comes courtesy of I.M.P., the independent promoter that owns and operates the 9:30 Club and The Anthem, and operates The Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The Foo Fighters will inaugurate The Atlantis on May 30, which is also the 9:30 Club’s anniversary. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl, during a concert in 2021, kicked off speculation that I.M.P was planning to open a new venue, noting that, “We’ll probably be the band that opens that place, too, right?”

Other big names on the inaugural 44-show run roster: Franz Ferdinand, Barenaked Ladies, Third Eye Blind, Spoon, and Billy Idol.

To thwart scalpers, The Atlantis utilized a request system for the first 44 shows when they went on sale two weeks ago. Within four days of the announcement, fans had requested more than 520,000 tickets, many times more than the total 19,800 available. All tickets have been allocated; fans who were unable to snag tickets can attempt to do so in May, when a fan-to-fan ticket exchange opens.

While I.M.P. oversees multiple larger venues, “We’ve been doing our smallest shows in other peoples’ venues for too many years now,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. “We needed a place that’s ours. This can be the most exciting step in an artist’s career.”

The 9:30 Club holds 1,200 people, while The Anthem has space for up to 6,000.

“This will be where we help introduce new artists to the world… our smallest venue will be treated as important, if not more, than our bigger venues. If the stories are told right, both the artists and the fans begin their hopefully longterm relationship. Its stage will support bourgeoning artists and the legends of tomorrow,” Hurwitz said. Hurwitz and the team developed a tagline for the new venue: The Atlantis, Where Music Begins.

Hurwitz got his start at the original 9:30 Club, originally located at 930 F St., N.W. He was an independent booker of the club for the first six years and then he bought it, and managed the move from its original location to its current location in 1996. The venue first opened in 1980.

Audrey Fix Schaefer, I.M.P. communications director, provides further insight. “We were missing small venues in our umbrella. Big acts don’t start in stadiums. We need a place for emerging artists and for the community to discover new acts. The Atlantis can help new artists grow.”

While design elements are still coming into focus, Schaefer says that the space will be intimate, with almost no separation between the artist and the crowd. “There will be energy on both sides of the stage,” she says.

Although The Atlantis is set to be a replica of the original 9:30, I.M.P. has spared no expense. Schaefer notes that the sound and light systems use the latest available technologies, similar to next door at the current 9:30 Club.

The Atlantis takes over the footprint of now-closed Satellite Room. The venue will have at least two bars flanking the stage; cocktails but no food will be available.

Schaefer notes that since its early days, 9:30 Club and I.M.P. “has always been a place where people are welcome. People come and feel safe with us.” 9:30 Club has hosted several LGBTQ Pride parties, the BENT dance party series, and other events for LGBTQ patrons. Particular acts of note during the kickoff run include Tegan & Sarah and Tove Lo.

The Washington Blade was a neighbor to the 9:30 Club at its original F Street location back in the 1980s. Despite their proximity, noise wasn’t an issue for on deadline nights, when Blade staff worked late hours.

“We would of course work later hours back then,” said Phil Rockstroh, a longtime Blade staffer, in a 2016 Blade interview. “Everything was typeset and done by hand without computers and fax machines so getting through deadlines was much more time consuming.”

Rockstroh said the noise wasn’t a distraction.

“It wasn’t too bad as older buildings were constructed more solidly,” Rockstroh said. “There was only one entrance to the building and you entered so far to the elevator that went up to the other floors and then continued down the hall to the entrance to the 9:30 Club. Frequently at night if I was coming or going, there were people spilling out the doors.”

“The Blade has always had a friendly relationship with the 9:30 Club,” he added.

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Music & Concerts

National Philharmonic to perform classical, contemporary works

Violinist Melissa White returns



The National Philharmonic will host “Beethoven’s 7th” on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. at Strathmore.

Past and present will collide in this performance of contemporary works and classical masterpieces. Maestro Piotr Gajewski will direct Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja, Anthem for Unity for Orchestra” Violinist Melissa White will also return to the Philharmonic to perform Florence Price’s sweeping, melodic “Violin Concerto No. 2.”

Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased on the Philharmonic’s website.

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Music & Concerts

Bruce & Janet & John Legend, oh my!

Slew of iconic acts hitting the road after pandemic cancellations



Janet Jackson is among the iconic acts touring this spring.

Pop and rock icons are releasing their pent-up pandemic frustrations by mounting huge tours this spring and summer. After three years of canceled and postponed shows, everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Janet Jackson is hitting the road at long last. But save your coins because the TicketMaster algorithms are driving ticket prices to astronomical highs. Here are a few highlights from D.C.-area venues this spring. Although some of the iconic acts aren’t coming until summer — Beyonce, Madonna, Pink — several others are hitting the road this spring.

Betty Who plays March 10; Keyshia Cole headlines the All Black Extravaganza 20 Year Anniversary tour on March 18; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs come to town on May 3; Seal brings his world tour to town on May 10; and the beloved Pixies are back on the road with a new North American tour stopping here on June 10.

9:30 CLUB
Don’t miss Gimme Gimme Disco, an Abba dance party on March 18; Inzo arrives on March 31, followed by Bent on April 1; Ruston Kelly brings his The Weakness tour on April 17 along with Purr; The New Pornographers show on May 19 is sold out but there are tickets available for the May 20 show; The Walkmen have added a fourth show on May 23 because the other three shows are sold our;

Living legend Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are back with a vengeance, playing one of four area shows on March 27. (They’re in Baltimore the night before.) If you missed out this time, don’t worry, Bruce is playing Nats Park in September as well as at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. April 1 brings the R&B Music Experience, including Xscape, Monica, Tamar Braxton, and 112. Blink-182 comes to town on May 23. And this summer watch for Sam Smith to continue his hot streak, bringing his “Gloria” tour to town on Aug.4.

Janet Jackson makes her highly anticipated return to the stage this spring, arriving in our area on May 6 along with guest Ludacris. The LGBTQ ally and icon has promised new music on her upcoming “Together Again Tour,” which follows the pandemic-related cancellation of her “Black Diamond Tour.” Jackson also plays Baltimore’s newly renovated CFG Bank Arena on May 13.

John Legend plays two nights at Wolf Trap on June 2 and 3; Charlie Puth follows on June 4. Wolf Trap also hosts the Indigo Girls on June 7 just in time for Pride month. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Smithereens at the Birchmere on March 17. Fans of ‘80s alternative will be lined up for the Church also at the Birchmere at April 4, followed by Suzanne Vega on April 26. Amy Grant returns to the stage this spring and plays the Birchmere on May 2. Echostage plays host to a slew of buzz worthy shows this spring, including Ella Mai on April 8 and Fisher on May 12.

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