September 13, 2019 at 8:11 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
FALL ARTS 2019: DANCE — Dance is central component in Kennedy Center’s new Reach programming
DC dance 2019, gay news, Washington Blade
The Mark Morris Dance Group in ‘Pepperland.’ (Photo by Gareth Jones; courtesy Kennedy Center)

Patrons are invited to celebrate the 10th annual National Dance Day at the Kennedy Center’s  (2700 F St., N.W.) new campus, the Reach, on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. 

Emmy-winning choreographer and actress Debbie Allen will host the day’s festivities which will include interactive dance routines and lessons, outdoor performances, panel discussions, film screenings, live music and more. Participants can learn the official, nation-wide 2019 National Dance Day routine, created by the American Dance Movement and choreographed by Matt Steffanina, on the Reach’s main stage. 

The Kennedy Center has also crated it’s own line dance routine to tell the history of the Kennedy Center. There will be a panel discussion and performance by dancer Tiler Peck from New York City Ballet. Other events include 16 dance classes taught from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. including Chinese Ribbon dance, tap, salsa, Classical Indian dance, dancehall fusion and more. 

Attendees can also view film screenings from documentaries such as “Ballet Now,” “No Maps on My Taps” and “NY Export: Opus Jazz. This event is part of the Reach’s Opening Festival. Admission is free. For a complete list of events, visit kennedy-center.org.

The Reach at the Kennedy Center presents a screening of “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé,” on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. The film follows the pop star’s journey of curating and choreographing her 2018 Coachella performance. Admission is free but timed-entry passed are required. The screening is part of the Reach’s opening festival. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

D.C. Style Salsa Academy (7014 Westmoreland Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) presents Cuban Styling for Salseros taught by instructor Jonathan Burke on Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 8:30-10 p.m. The class will teach how to incorporate Afro-Cuban and rumba dance styles. Drop-in class pass is $25. Other class packages are available. For more details, visit dcstylesalsa.com.

The Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Pl., Silver Spring, Md.) hosts a Salsa and Bachata Block Party on Sunday, Sept. 29 from 1-9 p.m. There will be dance lessons, a block party and more. Dance lessons will include Zumba, kids Latin dance, hip-hop dance fitness, Caribbean dance fitness, salsa lessons and bachata lessons. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/eventsdowntownsilverspring.

The Kennedy Center presents “Merce Cunningham at 100” from Oct. 3-5. The performance will honor the iconic dance choreographer’s works “Beach Birds,” which translates the movement of birds into dance and “BIPED,” which merges technology and dance by incorporating animated images. Robert Swinston, who danced for Cunningham and worked side-by-side with him for over 17 years, now leads Compagnie Centre National de Danse Contemporaine-Angers, keeping Cunningham’s brilliant flame alive with dancers of today. CNDC-Angers performs the two Cunningham masterworks in its Kennedy Center debut. There will be a pre-performance talk on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $25-79. For more details, visit kennedy-center.org.

The AfroCuban D.C. Dance Festival is at the Dance Institute of Washington (3400 14th St., N.W.) from Oct. 11-13. The festival will include dance and music workshops. On Friday, Oct. 11, there will be lessons on percussion in Rumba and Batá followed by an after party at Songbyrd (2475 18th St., N.W.) at 11 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 12, there will be workshops on AfroModern, Female Orisha Dance, Rumba Percussion, Orisha Song and Orisha Dance. Sunday, Oct. 13 will feature lessons on Batá Musicality for Orisha Dancer, Rumba Dance and Orisha Dance. There is a fee for each workshop. Tickets range from $20-125. Visit danceinstituteofwashington.org for more details.

The Washington Ballet presents NEXTsteps, a collection of never-before-seen ballets from choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, John Heginbotham and Jessica Lang, at Sidney Harmon Hall (610 F St., N.W.) from Oct. 23-27. Tickets range from $25-100. For more information, visit washingtonballet.org.

Dancer Gian Carlo Perez in Washington Ballet’s ’NEXTsteps.’ (Photo by Procopio Photography; courtesy Washington Ballet)

The Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company presents “Origins of Modern Dance Salon” at the Woodrow Wilson House (2340 S St., N.W.) on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. The performance, which explores how modern dance evolved during the post-WWI era, will include dances and stories about dancers Isadora Duncan and Michio Ito who pioneered this new form of dance. The opening night performance will be followed by a reception. The Sunday performance will include a post-performance talk with Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the openly gay troupe leader. Tickets range from $25-35. For more details, visit dtsbc.org.

Dancers perform ‘Exploring the Rise of Modern Dance’ by Jeff Watts. (Photo courtesy DTSB Dance Co.)

Mark Morris Dance Group presents “Pepperland,” a dance tribute to the iconic Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” in the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center Nov. 13-16. Along with music composed by Ethan Iverson, the group will dance to Beatles hits such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “A Day in the Life,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Within You Without You” and “Penny Lane.” There will also be six additional pieces of music inspired by the album. On Nov. 13, there will be a post-performance talk with the dancers, choreographers, composers and other members of the creative team. Tickets range from $35-99. For more details, visit kennedy-center.org.

Bowen McCauley Dance Company returns to its debut venue Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m and Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. Resident choreographer Ilana Goldman will debut her world premiere piece “Crossing.” It will feature music composed for the Kronos Quartet by Stephan Thelen. Other works in the performance will include “Gershwin Preludes” and a surprise work by by Lucy Bowen McCauley. General admission tickets are $25. Senior and student tickets are $15. There will be an opening night after party on Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. with the cast and crew. After party tickets are $25. For more information, visit bmdc.org.

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