Performance and Dance Archive

D.C. Wins the National Poetry Slam for the First Time

Snap hard for this one: For the first time, D.C.'s delegation to the National Poetry Slam has brought home the gold.
Last week, 72 poetry-slam teams convened in Oakland, Calif., for a five-day competition culminating in a final showdown on Saturday, Aug. 9. There, the Beltway Poetry Slam team beat out the three other finalists: Urbana (New [...]

What Makes a World-Class Air Guitar Champion?

Sometimes, the best part of a face-melting guitar solo isn’t the riffs coming from the amp—it’s the over-the-top hijinks. It’s Chuck Berry's duckwalk, Jimi Hendrix lighting his Stratocaster on fire, Slash dropping a still-lit cigarette from his mouth into his leather pants.
This Saturday, at the U.S. Air Guitar Championship Semifinals at the 9:30 Club, nine competitors [...]

I Watched the Entirety of a 25-Hour Art Show at DCAC

This past weekend, in honor of its 25th anniversary, DC Arts Center (DCAC) exhibited art nonstop for 25 hours. The goal was to one-up the First 24, the venue's inaugural all-night show that celebrated its opening in 1989. That show, recalls DCAC executive director B. Stanley, was a resounding success, despite being broken up by the cops after getting too raucous. This [...]

Nutcracker Smackdown! Washington Ballet vs. Momentum Dance Theatre

Every December, Arts Desk provides readers with a consumer report on a different holiday tradition which those in the Christmas spirit are obligated to attend whether they like it or not. This year we look at the great ballet Tchaikovsky composed to keep American dance companies afloat, The Nutcracker. We compare two D.C. staples, the [...]

Diary Performance Pieces of Amber Qualifies as Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Drama doesn't always make for good theater. Interpersonal conflict is at the heart of art, but drama—in the most popular and parroted sense of the word—is something else. Drama means passion and pettiness in equal parts that you don't want to hear about in equal measure. People don't want no drama, and reasonably so. At [...]

A Chat With Walson Botelho, Founder of Balé Folclórico da Bahia

Tomorrow night in Cheverly, Md., Brazil’s Balé Folclórico da Bahia will fill the Publick Playhouse stage with 18 dancers, five percussionists, and three singers. It'll be for a special occasion: The company known for its martial arts-like leaps, bright costumes, and Afro-Brazilian percussion is touring for its 25th anniversary, and tomorrow night, it brings more than two decades [...]

At SynchroSwim, Performance Art Gets Waterborne

Artist Eames Armstrong is used to getting props for her curation work and performances, but she doesn't get much attention for her swimming ability. She's terrible in the water, she says. Yet Armstrong, along with three other artists, has crafted a semi-improvised water play, Antarctica, that includes The Little Mermaid and the Lovecraft squid monster Cthulhu.
Synchronized [...]

What I Learned From Crawling On My Hands and Knees Through Rosslyn For Eight Hours

On Friday, June 7, after two hours of slogging through the rain on my belly and shivering from high winds, I figured that my performance art project was doomed. Our team of three performers—Caitlin Tucker, Maggie Schneider, and myself—had only made it halfway across the Francis Scott Key Bridge, heading toward Rosslyn. By this point [...]

Pay Attention to These Artists at SuperNOVA

In this week's issue, artists and curators Sheldon Scott and Eames Armstrong talked to Washington City Paper about the recent explosion of performance art culminating in SuperNOVA, a sweeping performance art festival taking place in Rosslyn—of all places—this weekend. For the first time in recent D.C. memory, there's more performance than even the sternest fan [...]

The Body Stop: D.C.’s Once-Nonexistent Performance Art Scene Takes Off—in Rosslyn

Drop into any Brightest Young Things party or Pink Line Project event with a DJ, a food truck, and some graffiti, and there’s a good chance you’re going to see some performance art. Not, mind you, the Viennese Actionism of the late 1960s or the NEA Four of the early 1990s or Marina Abramović trying [...]