Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preview - Velocity DC Dance Festival

October 7-9, 2010
Sidney Harman Hall, Washington, DC

If you happen to be in the DC area next weekend (October 7th through 9th), go and see the VelocityDC Dance Festival. This event is a unique opportunity to celebrate DC's diverse dance community. It is a great introduction to the local dance scene and one of the few times in the year where different styles of dance share one stage. VelocityDC Dance Festival will make you a DC dance fan.

CityDance Ensemble, photo by Paul Gordon Emerson
With approximately a dozen participating dance companies, multiple genres are well-represented. My favorites in the modern dance category are CityDance Ensemble and Edgeworks Dance Theater. CityDance is a forward-thinking dance organization that takes artistic risks with contemporary pieces while still seeking to preserve historic modern dance works (through re-staging). Their offerings at VelocityDC Dance speak to this dual mission: the classic “Esplanade” by Paul Taylor and “+1/-1”, which I believe is Christopher K. Morgan's best work to date. Edgeworks Dance Theater also has a varied repertory though an underlying theme is present in all their choreography: the celebration of the masculine. A rarity in dance, Edgeworks is committed to discovering the male role through choreography, both from a content and a formal perspective. Washington, DC is home to two major ballet companies and both will be making an appearance at the festival: The Washington Ballet and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. The Washington Ballet had an amazing season last year with some powerhouse productions (specifically “Don Quixote”, “The Great Gatsby” and their Genius³ mixed repertory program). They are on a roll, and I predict that their performance of Trey McIntyre's “High Lonesome” will be a highlight of the VelocityDC festival. The Suzanne Farrell Ballet is another company committed to the preservation of dance (primarily those ballets choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins). An exciting addition to this year's program, they will perform a lesser-known 1975 Balanchine piece (“Tzigane”) that was originally choreographed on and danced by Farrell herself. Ethnic dance is also featured in the line-up with soloist Edwin Aparicio (who brought the house down last year) and Furia Flamenca. VelocityDC understands the importance of inclusion, and to that end, makes every attempt to have a broad and diverse festival, representing as many different dance genres as possible. 

My review of last year's Festival:

My review of last year's prelude performance:

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