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FALL ARTS 2018 DANCE: ‘Realm of the Jaguar’

Fall dance offerings range from freestyling contemporary works to classical standards



dc fall dance 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

’SOMBRERISIMO’ with choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and music by Banda Ionica and Titi Robin is a ballet for six men who use a bowler hat to explore masculine identity set to flamenco guitar and Spanish rap in a ‘playful, sexy atmosphere.’ (Photo by Dean Alexander; courtesy Washington Ballet)

PrioreDance presents “Cirque De Nuit” at Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St., N.E.) tonight (Friday, Sept. 14) at 8 p.m. Set during the times of traveling circuses, the dance follows a group of outcasts that come together inside and outside the circus tent. Tickets are $10. For more details, visit

National Museum of the American Indian (4th St., S.W. and Independence Ave., S.W.) presents “Realm of the Jaguar” on Sept. 22-23 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be a series of dance performances from Bolivia, Mexico and Guatemala honoring the jaguar. Attendees can also learn about mask making from Alex Vasquez and artistry from Carlos Chaclán Solís, who tells the story of the jaguars through ceramics. Free admission. For more information, visit

City of Takoma Park presents “Sly Anansi: A Mini Musical” at Takoma Park Community Center (7500 Maple Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. The musical retells the West African folk tale about Anansi, the trickster spider who gets tricked himself. The performance features Caribbean dance with original choreography, African drumming, live music and audience participation. Admission is free. For more details, visit

The Washington Ballet offers its TWB Welcomes series with “Program A: Exquisite and Exotic” featuring “Serenade,” “Bolero” and three pas de deux Sept. 26, 27, 29 and 30. “Program B: Ethereal and Evocative” features “Les Sylphides,” “SOMBRERISIMO” and three pas de deux Sept. 28, 30 and 30. Its season continues with “Contemporary Masters,” “The Nutcracker” (more details below on that), “The Sleeping Beauty” and three world premieres. Full details at

The D.C. Fall Salsa & Bachata Dance Festival is at the Westin Alexandria (400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Va.) on Sept. 27-Oct. 1. There will be more than 50 workshops and dance performances throughout the weekend. Theme parties will be held every night with salsa, bachata, zouk and kizomba rooms. Weekend passes are $169 and include access to workshops and parties. VIP weekend passes are $195 and includes a T-shirt and VIP seating for all performances. Passes only for workshops are $115. Daily passes range from $15-125. 

The AfroCuban D.C. Dance Festival is at the Capitol Quarter Community Center (1000 5th St., S.E.) on Oct. 6 from noon-2 a.m. There will be AfroCuban and folkloric dance and music workshops. Afterwards, there will be an after party. An all access class pass is $100. Individual classes are $20. For a complete list of workshops and instructors, go here

Gin Dance Company presents “The Story of Our Lives” at the CenterStage at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston, Va.) on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The performance will feature the premiere of “We, The Moon, The Sun,” a work by Artistic Director Shu-Chen Cuff which fuses Chinese Opera movements with modern dance. “200 Feet,” a dance performance inspired by author Jack Canfield, Gin Dance Company’s critically acclaimed piece “L.E.O.” and the storytelling performance “The Other Side” will also be included in the showcase. Tickets are $30. For more information, visit

Robert Fairchild joins Renée Fleming for “Voices,” a spotlight series, at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Fairchild, known for portraying the lead role in “An American in Paris,” will perform songs and dance from “An American in Paris” and more. Tickets range from $59-69. For more details, visit

Flamenco dancer and choreographer Eduardo Guerrero performs at George Mason University Center for the Arts (4400 University Dr., Fairfax, Va.) on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. Guerreror will perform a mix of classical and contemporary Spanish dance and ballet. Tickets range from $30-50. For more information, visit

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker presents “Dog Without Feathers” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Oct. 18-20. The performance is inspired by Brazilian author João Cabral de Melo Neto. Tickets range from $29-79. For more information, visit

The San Francisco Ballet presents the East Coast premieres of works from “Unbound: A Festival” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) Oct. 23-28. Program A will be performed Oct. 23-24 and 27-28. It will include works from Trey McIntyre, Christopher Wheeldon and David Dawson. Program B will be performed on Oct. 25-27 and includes works from Edwaard Liang, Cathy Marston and Justin Peck. Tickets range from $29-129. For more details, visit

Dana Tai Soon Burgess debuts “Silhouettes” at the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (8th St., N.W. and F St., N.W.) on Oct. 27 and Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The dance performance is inspired by the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now,” an examination of the art form and its impact on American history and culture. This gay-helmed company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. For more information, visit

“Demo by Damian Woetzel: Gathering” is at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.)  on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Woetzel, a former New York City Ballet principal dancer, curates and hosts cross-genre performances. Tickets range from $49-59. For more details, visit

Ragamala Dance Company presents “Written in Water” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) Nov. 2-3. “Written in Water” is inspired by the Indian board game Paramapadam and combines dance, music, text and painting. There will be a free, pre-show interactive game-playing experience. Tickets are $30. For more details, visit

“So You Think You Can Dance Live” comes to the Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.) Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. Season 15’s top 10 finalists Hannahlei Cabanilla, Jay Jay Dixonbey, Chelsea Hough, Evan Debendedetto, Genessy Castillo, Cole Mills, Darius Hickman, Madalena Fialek, Slavic Pustovoytov and Jensen Arnold will perform along with the season 15 winners and America’s Favorite Dancers. All star guests will be announced. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $57-87. For details, visit

The Washington Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” at Thearc Theater (1901 Mississippi Ave., S.E.) on Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and the Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.) from Nov. 29-Dec. 28. This version of the classic Christmas tale is set in Georgetown featuring the traditional “Nutcracker” characters and historical figures such as George Washington and King George III. Tickets for Thearc range from $30-55. Tickets for the Warner Theatre range from $32-125. For more information, visit


Music & Concerts

Musical icons and newer stars to rock D.C. this spring

Brandi Carlile, Bad Bunny, Nicki Minaj, and more headed our way



Brandi Carlile plays the Anthem this month.

Bands and solo artists of all different genres are visiting D.C. this spring. Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight will team up to perform at the Wolf Trap in June, and girl in red will play at the Anthem in April. Some artists and bands aren’t paying a visit until the summer, like Janet Jackson and Usher, but there are still plenty of acts to see as the weather warms up. 


Brandi Carlile plays at the Anthem on March 21; Arlo Parks will perform at 9:30 Club on March 23; Girlschool will take the stage at Blackcat on March 28.


Nicki Minaj stops in D.C. at Capital One Arena as part of her North American tour on April 1; Bad Bunny plays at Capital One Arena on April 9 as part of his Most Wanted tour; girl in red performs at the Anthem on April 20 and 21; Brandy Clark plays at the Birchmere on April 25; Laufey comes to town to play at the Anthem on April 25 and 26. 


Belle and Sebastian play at the Anthem on May 2; Chastity Belt performs at Blackcat on May 4; Madeleine Peyroux stops at the Birchmere on May 5; The Decemberists play at the Anthem on May 10; the rock band Mannequin Pussy performs at the Atlantis on May 17 and 18; Hozier plays at Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 17 as part of the Unreal Unearth tour. 


Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight will sing soulful melodies at Wolf Trap on June 8; Joe Jackson performs at the Lincoln Theatre on June 10; the Pixies and Modest Mouse are teaming up to play at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 14; Maggie Rogers plays at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 16 as part of The Don’t Forget Me tour; Brittany Howard headlines the Out & About Festival at Wolf Trap on June 22; Sarah McLachlan plays at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 27; Alanis Morissette performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 29 and 30

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Music & Concerts

Grammys: Queer women and their sisters took down the house

Taylor Swift won Album of the Year



When the late, great Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked when there will be enough women on the Supreme Court, her answer was simple: Nine. She stated: “I say when there are nine, people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” RBG did not attend the Grammy’s last night, but her spirit sure did. Women, at long last, dominated, ruled and killed the night.

Cher, in song a decade ago, declared that “this is a woman’s world,” but there was little evidence that was true, Grammy, and entertainment awards, speaking. In 2018, the Grammys were heavily criticized for lack of female representation across all categories and organizers’ response was for women to “step up.”

Be careful what you wish for boys.

The biggest star of the 2024 Grammys was the collective power of women. They made history, they claimed legacy and they danced and lip sang to each other’s work. Standing victorious was Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, SZA (the most nominated person of the year), Lainey Wilson, Karol G, boygenius, Kylie Minogue and Victoria Monét. Oh, yes, and powerhouse Taylor Swift, the superstar from whom Fox News cowers in fear, made history to become the first performer of any gender to win four Best Album of the Year trophies.

In the throng of these powerful women stand a number of both LGBTQ advocates and queer identifying artists. Cyrus has identified as pansexual, SZA has said lesbian rumors “ain’t wrong,” Phoebe Bridgers (winner of four trophies during the night, most of any artist) is lesbian, Monét is bi and Eilish likes women but doesn’t want to talk about it. Plus, ask any queer person about Swift or Minogue and you are likely to get a love-gush.

Women power was not just owned by the lady award winners. There were the ladies and then there were the Legends. The first Legend to appear was a surprise. Country singer Luke Combs has a cross-generational hit this year with a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” When originally released, the song was embraced as a lesbian anthem. When performing “Fast Car,” surprise, there was Chapman herself, singing the duet with Combs. The rendition was stunning, sentimental and historic.

Chapman, like many of the night’s female dignitaries, has not been public with her sexuality. Author Alice Walker has spoken of the two of them being lovers, however.

The legend among legends of the night, however, was the one and only Joni Mitchell. Not gay herself, she embodies the concept of an LGBTQ icon, and was accompanied by the very out Brandi Carlile on stage. On her website, Mitchell’s statement to the LGBTQ community reads, “The trick is if you listen to that music and you see me, you’re not getting anything out of it. If you listen to that music and you see yourself, it will probably make you cry and you’ll learn something about yourself and now you’re getting something out of it.”

Mitchell performed her longtime classic “Both Sides Now.” The emotion, insight and delivery from the now 80-year old artist, survivor of an aneurism, was nothing short of profound. (To fully appreciate the nuance time can bring, check out the YouTube video of a Swift lookalike Mitchell singing the same song to Mama Cass and Mary Travers in 1969.) In this latest rendition, Mitchell clearly had an impact on Meryl Streep who was sitting in the audience. Talk about the arc of female talent and power.

That arc extended from a today’s lady, Cyrus, to legend Celine Dion as well. Cyrus declared Dion as one of her icons and inspirations early in the evening. Dion appeared, graceful and looking healthy, to present the final, and historic, award of the night at the end of the show.

Legends did not even need to be living to have had an effect on the night. Tributes to Tina Turner and Sinead O’Conner by Oprah, Fantasia Barrino-Taylor and Annie Lennox respectively, proved that not even death could stop these women. As Lennox has musically and famously put it, “Sisters are doing it for themselves.”

Even the content of performances by today’s legends-in-the-making spoke to feminine power. Eilish was honored for, and performed “What Was I Made For?,” a haunting and searching song that speaks to the soul of womanhood and redefinition in today’s fight for gender rights and expression, while Dua Lipa laid down the gauntlet for mind blowing performance with her rendition of “Houdini” at the top of the show, Cyrus asserted the power of her anthem “Flowers” and pretty much stole the show.

Cyrus had not performed the song on television before, and only three times publicly. She declared in her intro that she was thrilled over the business numbers the song garnered, but she refused to let them define her. As she sang the hit, she scolded the audience, “you guys act like you don’t know the words to this song.” Soon the woman power of the room was singing along with her, from Swift to Oprah.

They can buy themselves flowers from now on. They don’t need anyone else. Cyrus made that point with the mic drop to cap all mic drops, “And I just won my first Grammy!” she declared as she danced off stage.

Even the squirmiest moment of the night still did not diminish the light of women power, and in fact, underscored it. During his acceptance of the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, Jay-Z had a bone to pick with the Grammy voters. He called out the irony that his wife Beyoncé had won more Grammys than any other human, but had never won the Best Album of the Year. Yeah, what’s with that?

But then, it brought additional context ultimately to the fact that the winner of the most Grammys individually … is a woman. And to the fact that the winner of the most Best Album of the Year awards … is a woman.

Hopefully this was the night that the Grammys “got it.” Women are the epicenter of The Creative Force.

Will the other entertainment awards get it soon as well? We can hope.

Most importantly, in a political world where women’s healthcare is under siege. Will the American voters get it?

A little known band named Little Mix put it this way in their 2019 song “A Woman’s World.”

“If you can’t see that it’s gotta change
Only want the body but not the brains
If you really think that’s the way it works
You ain’t lived in a woman’s world

Just look at how far that we’ve got
And don’t think that we’ll ever stop…”

From Grammy’s mouth to the world’s ear.

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Music & Concerts

Janet Jackson returning to D.C, Baltimore

‘Together Again Tour’ comes to Capital One Arena, CFG Bank Arena



Janet Jackson is coming back to D.C. this summer.

Pop icon Janet Jackson announced this week an extension of her 2023 “Together Again Tour.” A new leg of the tour will bring Jackson back to the area for two shows, one at D.C.’s Capital One Arena on Friday, July 12 and another at Baltimore’s CFG Bank Arena on Saturday, July 13.  

Tickets are on sale now via TicketMaster. LiveNation announced the 2023 leg of the tour consisted of 36 shows, each of which was sold out. The 2024 leg has 35 stops planned so far; R&B star Nelly will open for Jackson on the new leg. 

Jackson made the tour announcement Tuesday on social media: “Hey u guys! By popular demand, we’re bringing the Together Again Tour back to North America this summer with special guest Nelly! It’ll be so much fun!”

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