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SPRING ARTS 2018 DANCE: Pirouettes and arabesques

Dorsey Dance Company’s gender exploration among season’s dance highlights



dance 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Boys in Trouble’ by Sean Dorsey Dance. (Photo by Lydia Daniller, courtesy Dance Place)

Bowen McCauley Dance presents “Une Soirée de Danse” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) this weekend (March 2-3) at 7:30 p.m. The show will be the world premiere re-staging of Eric Hampton’s “UnRavel,” choreographed by Lucy Bowen McCauley, and a performance of the comedic dance “Le Café Carambole.” There will be audience participation and live musicians. General admission tickets range from $40-50. VIP tickets are $150 and are available for the March 3 performance only. They include a VIP seat and admission to the after-party at the KC Café with Bowen McCauley Dance’s cast, crew and board members. For more information, visit

Dana Tai Soon Burgess holds a lecture demonstration at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (8th and F streets, N.W.) on Saturday, March 3; Saturday, March 10; and Saturday, March 17 at 2 and 4 p.m. Burgess, who is choreographer-in-residence at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (and also gay), will explore eurythmics and themes found in the exhibit “Portraits of the World: Switzerland.”Admission is free. For more details, visit

Dissonance Dance Theatre presents “The J.I.N. Project” at Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts (8270 Alumni Dr., College Park, Md.) on Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. The contemporary ballet, which explores relationships, family and community, will be performed to the music of Jill Scott, India Arie and Nina Simone. Student tickets are $15. General admission tickets are $25. For more information, visit

Choreographer Damian Woetzel hosts his third annual “Demo” series show “Woke” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Wednesday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. The show will feature recent commissions and D.C. premieres including a new work from choreographer Pam Tanowitz and the Kennedy Center premiere of “Fandago” by Alexei Ratmansky. Other dancers performing include street dancer Lil Buck, Sara Mearns from the New York City ballet, Jason Collins from Pam Tanowitz Dance and more. Tickets range from $39-49. For more details, visit

The Washington Ballet debuts three world premieres from three emerging choreographers at the Harman Center in Sidney Harman Hall (610 F St., N.W.) on Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through Sunday, March 18. Featured choreographers will be Clifton Brown from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Gemma Bond from American Ballet Theatre and Marcelo Gomes from American Ballet Theatre. Tickets range from $25-118. For more information, visit

Capitol Movement presents “a commUNITY Showcase” at Montgomery College Theater (7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.) on Saturday, March 17 at 7 p.m. There will be performances from Bowen McCauley Dance Company, Capitol Movement Dance Company, Capitol Movement Pre-Professional Company, The CMI Kidz, Dr. Badlove and the Remedies and many more. Student tickets are $20. General admission tickets are $25. For more details, visit

UpRooted Dance performs “Circling the Line” at Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) on Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 8 at 7 p.m. The surrealist performance fuses the 2D design from printmaker Susan Goldman with the 3D movement of the dancers. Tickets range from $15-25. For more details, visit

Falun Dafa Association of D.C. presents “Shen Yun” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) from April 10-15. The show explores the beauty of traditional Chinese culture through dance, scenographic effects and a live orchestra. Tickets range from $80-250. For more details, visit

‘Shen Yun’ (Photos courtesy of the Kennedy Center)

The Washington Ballet performs “Mixed Masters,” a selection of ballets from choreographers George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton and Jerome Robbins, at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) from April 11-15. Tickets range from $25-140. For more details, visit

The Cherry Fund hosts “Cherry: Kaleidoscope,” its annual dance benefit weekend, on April 12-16 at various venues in D.C. The weekend kicks off with “Catalyst” at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. New York City-based DJ Kenneth Rivera and DJ Danny Verde, from Italy, will play music all night. Tickets are $20. The final dance party will be “Infinity” at Soundcheck (1420 K St., N.W.) on Sunday, April 15 from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. DJ Nina Flowers and DJ Alain Jackinsky will spin tracks.Tickets are $30. Proceeds will benefit Washington D.C. HIV/AIDS community organizations.For a complete list of events, visit

ClancyWorks Dance Company presents “Resilience,” a debut work from Artistic Director Adrienne Clancy, at Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) on Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 7 p.m. The performance showcases how people learn to adapt from the shocks in the current world.Tickets range from $15-30. For more details, visit

ReVision dance company holds performances April 28-29 at 4 and 7 p.m. The contemporary modern dance company works with both professional and beginner dancers. Tickets range from $15-30. For details, visit

Sean Dorsey Dance, led by transgender choreographer Sean Dorsey, presents “Boys in Trouble” at Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) on Saturday, May 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 20 at 7 p.m. The piece examines masculinity from a transgender and queer perspective. Tickets range from $15-30. For more information, visit

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company presents “Remix: Swiss Beats” in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (8th and F. streets, N.W.) on Thursday, May 24 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The performance will bring together American and Swiss cultures in dance, music, art and food. Admission is free. For more details, visit



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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