Don’t Be Bored: Flamenco Dance and Fishbowl Platforms
As far as folk dance forms go, flamenco enjoys a wide following in Washington. Several studios offer classes, a handful of semipro companies perform around town, and every winter, the Flamenco Festival brings the warmth of the Iberian Peninsula to the Lisner Auditorium. This year, the Spanish embassy and cultural ministry have put some extra euros behind the event, which has dancers and musicians jetting back and forth on the Andalusian Express—er, the Acela—between New York and Washington. In D.C., the festival continues tonight with a performance by the fiery Olga Pericet (shown). When she performed at Sadler’s Wells in London earlier this month, a Guardian critic described her as a “diminutive figure with a towering presence, her fierce energy caged within a steely technique.” Tonight’s show, “Rosa, Metal, y Ceniza” (“Rose, Metal, and Ash”) is more theatrical than your average flamenco performance, and finds Pericet collaborating with up to four singers (calledcantaores) as well as a stage director and guest contemporary dancers. Tomorrow night’s performance by Ballet Flamenco Manuela Carrasco promises a more traditional gypsy-style flamenco show, and the festival concludes Wednesday with another evening of fusion: Rafaela Carrasco’s company, with a live band, dancing to songs by the poet Federico García Lorca. Flamenco Festival continues tonight, Saturday, and Wednesday at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. $35-$65. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)
Interesting lineup at Joe's Movement Emporium tonight: Insect Factory, Alma Tropicália, and Chris Richards and John Davis (formerly of Q & Not U). The latter will be playing some new—yes, new!—songs. 8 p.m. at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier. $7-$12.
Casa Fiesta, the Central American restaurant on Upper Wisconsin Avenue NW, is the hot-shit punk venue in Tenleytown these days. On the bill tonight: Meta, the new band from Laughing Man's Brandon Moses, as well as a trio of bands from Harrisonburg, Va., and Frederick, Md. 9 p.m. at 4910 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $5.
Dance music: Local DJ/producer/Party Bro Chris Burns DJs the 9:30 Club backbar this evening with Navbox. 11 p.m. $5. (And tomorrow, Sami Y., Eric Tilden, and Dawit Eklund do the same.) 815 V St. NW.
Finally, a chance to wear your patchwork bellbottoms/fishbowl platforms/satin pantsuit/enlarged bowtie: Black Cat is hosting a dance-party tribute to Don Cornelius on the backstage tonight. 9:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $5.
Are you a proud member of the bourgeoisie? This might appeal to you: Tonight's talk at the Folger combines Pulitzer-winning author Stacy Schiff and writer Tilar Mazzeo, whose beats include wine, French culture, and the trappings of imperialist wealth. 7:30 p.m. at Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $15. 202-544-4600.
The D.C. Independent Film Festival is oddly tight-lipped on the title of tonight's Les Blank documentary, but there's a good chance it's A Poem Is a Naked Person, Blank's 1974 film featuring pianist Leon Russell. Blank will be present for the screening—but all attendees must check their cell phones at the door, and don't even think about smuggling in a recording device. 9 p.m. at the U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. $15. (Update: This event has sold out, but the festival has added a second screening at noon on Saturday. The second show will be held in the Heritage Center's main theater.)
Most of the time, naming your band for a Nazi-themed exploitation film will not earn you new fans. (Ditto naming your album after an Italian B-movie about devil worshippers.) But when you’re working in a genre as alienating as Ilsa’s—the name comes from the 1975 film Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS—the cinematic shout-outs probably couldn’t hurt. Then again, as far as extreme metal goes, the D.C. outfit isn’t a bad starter band. That’s not to say Ilsa’s music isn’t heavy: The five piece blends the slow-tempo muck of sludge metal, the compositional complexity of death metal, the apocalyptic theatrics of doom metal, and all the crust you’d expect from a group that appears pretty regularly on the local house-venue circuit. Not enough of a primer? Luckily, the rest of tonight’s bill includes psych metal, thrash metal, and classic-sounding heavy metal—but sadly, no melodic Swedish death metal. Ilsa performs with Windhand, Natur, Pilgrim, and Midnight Eye at 6:30 p.m. at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. $10. (Jonathan L. Fischer)
Bike nerds: Check out this used bicycle sale at Big Bear Café Saturday afternoon! All proceeds benefit Arlington nonprofit Phoenix Bikes. (Full disclosure: I'm a former volunteer.) 3 p.m. at 1700 First St. NW.
If you’re mounting a series about films made up of photographs—as the Goethe-Institut and the National Gallery of Art are doing—Hollis Frampton’s 36-minute 1971 film Hapax Legomena I: (nostalgia) is a smart, if not unsettling, pick. In the film, a series of photos are set on a hotplate and slowly burned to a blackened crisp. Frampton narrates, describing and reminiscing on each photo’s circumstances, but it’s soon clear that he’s describing the next picture to be scorched. This leads to a mystery that nearly drove my then-girlfriend batty when I took her to a screening of it in my college avant-garde film class. (Though I admit that the course’s pairing of Frampton’s film with Peter Greenaway’s three-hour, 92-part mockumentary The Falls may really have driven us to the brink that night.) Frampton’s film shows at 4:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art. PhotoFilm! runs through March 12 at the National Gallery of Art and the Goethe-Institut, 4th St. and Constitution Ave. NW and 812 7th St. NW, respectively. Films at the gallery are free; at Goethe, $4–$7. (202) 289-1200. (Louis Jacobson)