Author Archive | Madeline Duff

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Review: ‘Flamenco Extranjero’ at GALA Theatre

When a technician noticed a lighting cue had come later than planned (the dancing took over), Aleksey Kulikov, co-director of Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company, explained to the crew member: “That’s flamenco.” Together he, his counterpart, Edwin Aparicio (choreographer, co-director, and dancer), and their talented team of dancers, singers, and instrumentalists, turned the GALA Hispanic Theatre […]

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Review: Gin Dance Company’s ‘Dance, Champagne and Chocolate with Gin’ at the BalletNova Center for Dance

Gin Dance Company’s Dance, Champagne and Chocolate with Gin program felt a little bit like flicking between emoticons: determined, eyebrows scrunched emoji? Hmm, aloof? What about giggling emoji? Mischievous? Winking emoji? No, surprise – sad face. In its seventh season, under the leadership of Artistic Director Shu-Chen Cuff, this contemporary company displayed a wide range […]

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Review: ‘DEMO’ at Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

No curtain opened on the black and white picture of Jerome Robbins, smiling, in a sweatshirt, a hand on his forehead and another on the chest of one of his two dogs. There was no boundary unrolled, no delineation of performance. Though warm, this image of the renowned choreographer, projected as a backdrop, still presided […]

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Review: VelocityDC Dance Festival

Velocity is speed with purpose: a change in distance over time, crucially defined by direction. The VelocityDC Dance Festival took us in many. In its ninth iteration, the variety-style performance, presented at Sidney Harman Hall in partnership with the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Washington Performing Arts, showcased […]

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Report: CityDance’s 2017 DREAMscape Benefit Gala

Moments into a dimmed house at the historic Lincoln Theatre, an off-stage voice over a loudspeaker made a promise to a buzzing audience: “We’re going to light up the night sky, so dance!” CityDance’s 2017 DREAMscape Benefit Gala, which brought CityDance DREAM and Conservatory students, professional ballet and contemporary notables from Washington, D.C. and nationally […]

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A Report on ‘Handsome Hound’ at Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center

Handsome Hound, a local band piloted by twenty-somethings Claire Daviss and Cuchulain Kelly, gives millennials a better name. Self-described as having “roots in folk, rock, pop, Americana, country and bluegrass,” the group radiates a message often out of smartphone reach: positivity. They even have a trumpeter, Allison Rosenberg. Who has a trumpeter anymore? These cool […]

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Review: Source Festival 2016: ‘Static’

In Tom Horan’s Static, directed by Bridget Grace Sheaff, Emma (Amy Horan), a perky millennial, inherits, after her father’s death, the sad task of excavating the second house he owned later in life. It is curiously close to the home in which she grew up and belonged to the enigmatic Walter and Millie Burke (her […]

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Review: CityDance’s ‘DREAMscape’ at The Lincoln Theatre

Every so often, we witness a moment in time unabashedly good—good in its intentions, good in its ideals, good from inner core to every outer, polished extremity. CityDance’s benefit performance, DREAMscape, featuring students just as star-like as its guest professional dancers, marked a tick on this timeline, the one charting history so moving sometimes it’s […]

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‘Latin Heat’ at The Washington Ballet

Latin Heat does what the Washington Ballet does best: spotlight its dancers’ strengths and individual personalities. However, Latin Heat also illumines the WSB unhinged and unrestrained. Never before has principal Maki Onuki shouted, on stage, at her partner to exit before her, used her hand to pull her mouth into a twisted grimace, then shuffled away. Ms. […]

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‘Seuls’ at The Kennedy Center

To witness Seuls is to witness a gifted artist toss his tools—la vie banale, literary idols, childhood—into the same spot in a stream. Each tool, each influence, creates a new circle on the surface. Over time, these circles meet the circles of others. They overlap and blend until they become larger than themselves. Une rencontre. […]

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at Wolf Trap

Eight dancers paused on an open-air stage. The curtain is up. No music, yet. A rustle from a small, brown mass as far downstage as can be: a bird, flicking wings. One more sits near the other quarter mark then flies out into the transitioning day. A drum beat starts. Dancers, in profile, run slowly […]

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Polish National Ballet at The Kennedy Center

Grey, almost nondescript costumes, would not seem powerful. A lightly lit modern painting, blue, then back to grey, would not seem striking. Eight dancers, re-entering in lines from upstage to downstage, walking toward the audience, may not sound breathtaking; but “Adagio & Scherzo,” the first piece from the Polish National Ballet in their Washington, D.C. […]

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‘DanceWorks Spring 2015’ at the Department of Theatre & Dance at The George Washington University

This dance variety show featuring undergraduate choreography and dancers unfolds with a consistent contemporary theme, but some pieces achieve more variety of movement than others. These Five Women, from Cat McCormack, a senior, revved the program into gear with an understated ferocity. The five female dancers, clad in long, black gowns, navigated a floor covered […]

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New York City Ballet: Program B: 21st-Century Choreographers’ at The Kennedy Center

Principal dancer Teresa Reichlen unwraps her leg into a développé, a blade curling a bow, then—suspends—playfully, before hiding it away. Her partner, principal Zachary Catazaro, approaches with a respectful, confident stride. Arms intertwine; pliés arc toward one another. A connection tied in an epic, melodic strain of music. Reichlen’s foot gathers in, then gives away, […]

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‘Hexagon 2015: The Spoof, the Whole Spoof, and Nothing but the Spoof!’ at Woodrow Wilson High School Auditorium

If fast-paced apps, tweets, and glowing screens have your eyes abnormally a-glaze (yes, millennials, you can admit this, too) trade Facebook for good-feeling farce and be sure to pop over to Hexagon’s 2015 show at the Woodrow Wilson High School Auditorium before the end of the run this upcoming weekend. Between the peppy, live orchestra, […]

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