Author Archive for Amanda Abrams

Go to the (Ex-) Mountain: Why the Dance Exchange’s Cassie Meador Walked 500 Miles

The sun has just disappeared behind the hills around the Claytor Nature Study Center in Bedford, Va., and Cassie Meador is trying to conjure movement out of memories.
Eight people sit with her in a circle, but only one has any dance experience. The rest are mostly middle-aged residents of this town about 30 miles west of [...]

Does the “Street Arts” Festival Augur a More Youthful Kennedy Center?

After more than a year of promises about a new initiative geared toward younger audiences, the Kennedy Center has finally made good on its word. The institution just launched its latest multiday event, but unlike most KenCen festivals, “Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America” isn’t happening inside the walls of the big Kleenex box [...]

The Washington Ballet’s ALICE (in wonderland): Worth the Obligatory Standing Ovation

You could say the standing ovation has lost some of its meaning. After all, just about any Kennedy Center show that's pretty decent or better can be relied on to bring folks to their feet.
But last night, the one the audience gave The Washington Ballet for its production of ALICE (in wonderland) felt utterly well-deserved. [...]

Kennedy Center, Performing Arts Society Announce Annual Dance Prizes

The Kennedy Center announced the 2012 recipients of its Local Dance Commissioning Project earlier this month, but the news didn't seem to travel very far; I couldn’t find the announcement on the Kennedy Center’s website, and only received a press release about it this week.
But it’s nonetheless worth noting. This year’s winners are Company E [...]

The Washington Ballet and Twyla Tharp Do It Their Way

Twyla Tharp and The Washington Ballet make a good pair.
Tharp, a choreographer with a national reputation who’s been creating pieces for decades, is generally lumped into the modern dance category, but she’s worked with ballet companies throughout her career. And she’s known as stickler for precise technique, the kind that only comes from years of [...]

Smooth Moves: Two Improv Masters Perform “Sightlines”

Dance Place is the region’s most reliable spot for local and touring modern dance, yes. But it’s also famous for its years-long loyalty to specific choreographers.
Daniel Burkholder and Sharon Mansur are two examples. This weekend, the Brookland venue hosts the duo's two-person show, "Sightlines." The dancers, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary of collaborating together, [...]

Manzari Brothers Tap at Strathmore This Weekend

In 2010, John and Leo Manzari were big news. The teenage brothers, a dancing duo from Southwest D.C., had been picked from almost-obscurity by tap dancing eminence Maurice Hines to star in Sophisticated Ladies at the Lincoln Theatre. Their Cinderella story—combined with the boys’ charming looks, manners, and cool onstage style—proved irresistible to the Washington [...]

The Company Man: Paul Emerson’s Company E Makes Its Debut

Photo Slideshow: Dance Rehearsal, Company E

The last time Paul Gordon Emerson ran a professional dance company in D.C., it was supposed to be too savvy to fail.
CityDance Ensemble frequently earned high marks from local critics, but what really set the eight-person contemporary dance company apart was its connections: a partnership with North Bethesda’s Strathmore arts center [...]

Paradise Tossed: Synetic’s Genesis Reboot, Reviewed

You can take the Bible's Genesis story any number of ways, even if you don't take it religiously. Humans contaminated by knowledge? Metaphorically speaking, that could easily apply to a range of shifts in human experience, from the evolution of consciousness to society's growth from a nomadic lifestyle to an agrarian one or to simply [...]

Representing Observation and Perception Through Movement, at ADI Tonight

The American Dance Institute’s incubator program, which was updated and upgraded in 2010, is making its public debut tonight. Advanced Beginner Group, a New York-based modern dance company run by choreographer David Neumann, has been in residence at ADI for the past five days and will perform a version of its new piece, Restless Eye, [...]